NOBODY NEEDS reminding that recently retired Rugby League legend Kevin Sinfield was one of the sport’s most decorated players…but what about the parts of his life the fans are not so familiar about like his formative years?
Of the 10 chapters in his new book “Kevin Sinfield: My League Years in Words and Pictures” (Great Northern Books, £20), it is the first that is the most pertinent.
It is headlined “From Waterhead to Headingley” and looks back to his playing days before he signed for pro club Leeds Rhinos.
And it contains a treasure trove of action photographs from his days as a schoolboy player.
Sinfield reveals his elder brother Ian, himself a former professional, got him involved by cajoling him to play for Waterhead juniors at the age of seven when they were short of players.
He went on to play for England schoolboys with all the big clubs chasing his signature.
Sinfield had trials at Wigan and Warrington, two of the giants, but preferred to sign for Leeds – even though he could have doubled his money by joining Wigan – because they were blooding young players in their first team at the time.
His rugby hero Ellery Hanley was also at Leeds at that time, and his presence was also influential in the move to Headingley.
The book, the foreword of which has been written by Jonny Wilkinson, is a look back to Sinfield’s playing days. It is not autographical in terms of being warts and all – it is simply an in-depth reflection at his considerable achievements as a player and concentrates solely on them.
The hardback book is beautifully illustrated – the image on the front cover is a perfect example in simplicity but effectiveness. It is of Sinfield the warrior with arms raised in triumph after a Rhino’s last Grand Final victory with a large gash above his left eye.
The book is available at Waterstones in Oldham and from Great Northern Books at www.gnbooks.co.uk or 01274 735056.
The winners of the competition in the Independent to receive copies of the book were Diane Shaw, of Diggle, and Anne Townrow, from Lees.