Photography by Harry Potts
Kevin Sinfield OBE is the defence coach for the Leicester Tigers Rugby Union club. He is a former professional rugby league player, captain and director of rugby for Leeds Rhinos. Kevin also represented England and Great Britain. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest kickers in rugby league history. In recent years Kevin has been involved in raising awareness of Motor Neurone Disease after his close friend and former teammate Rob Burrow was struck down in 2019.
Kevin Sinfield (Photo: Skysports)
Born in Oldham, Greater Manchester in 1980, Kevin started his playing career in the town at Waterhead A.R.L.F.C along with other rugby league greats, including Barrie McDermott and Paul Sculthorpe.
Waterhead Sports & Social Club, Oldham - HQ of Waterhead A.R.L.F.C
In a trophy-laden professional rugby league career spanning 18 years, he made more than 500 appearances for Leeds Rhinos and represented England and Great Britain on more than 40 occasions. A seven-time Super League champion, two-time Challenge Cup and triple World Club Challenge winner and the Super League's record appearance holder and points-scorer.
To become a champion... you have to become a champion at home first
Kevin was awarded an MBE in 2014 for services to rugby league.
In 2015, he became the first rugby league player to be shortlisted for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year, finishing runner-up behind Andy Murray. In the same year, he joined Yorkshire Carnegie in the RFU Championship for a season before retiring from playing professionally at the conclusion of the campaign.
Kevin was appointed Rugby Director of the Rugby Football League in 2016 and helped lead England to the 2017 Rugby League World Cup Final before returning to Rhinos as Director of Rugby the following year.
In the 2021 Queens Birthday Honours, Kevin was awarded an OBE for services to rugby league and charitable fundraising. In 2021, the rugby league legend joined Leicester Tigers as Defence Coach, In his first season of coaching in rugby union, Kevin was a part of the Tigers Premiership winning outfit in the 21/22 campaign.
Away from coaching, Kevin has raised more than £5,000,000 in support of the MND Association after former Rhinos team-mate and close friend Rob Burrow was diagnosed with Motor neurone disease. In December 2020, Kevin ran 7 Marathons in 7 Days and followed up the incredible feat with the Extra Mile Challenge (101-mile run in 24 Hours) in November 2021 from Leicester to Leeds.
Something I'm really proud of over the last two years is we've been able to raise awareness and educate people this is a terrible disease. I won't stop charity challenges until there's a cure for MND