England captain Kevin Sinfield has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to Rugby League.
And Sinfield is joined in the Honours List by World Cup organiser Sally Bolton, who receives an OBE for services to Rugby League, and St Helens’ iconic Welsh star Kel Coslett, who is now the game day manager with the club, who receives a British Empire Medal.
Sinfield has spoken of his pride in receiving the MBE, which reflects his long career with Leeds, for whom he is the club’s record points-scorer with 3,609 from 462 appearances, and has made a record 421 Super League appearances since making his debut as a 16-year-old in 1997.
“I’m obviously delighted and very proud,” Sinfield said.
“I think it’s great that Rugby League gets some recognition again.
“I’d like to dedicate it to all those players I’ve played alongside over many years and coaches I’ve played under, and all the people at Leeds really who have played such a huge part in my career.”
Sinfield emulates his Leeds team-mate Jamie Peacock, his predecessor as England captain, who was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s 2012 New Year Honours.
“It’s really nice to follow in his footsteps,” Sinfield said.
“If you look back over the last couple of years at the former players who have been honoured, the likes of JP and Steve Prescott and, going back even further, one of my heroes Ellery Hanley, those three have been inspirations to a lot of people and certainly to myself.”
Sinfield, who won the 2012 Golden Boot, has an open-ended contract with the Rhinos and is expected to lead England in the Four Nations Series in Australia and New Zealand this autumn.
“I still feel pretty good and I’m looking forward to the next couple of years and to hopefully bring some more silverware back to the club,” he added.
“Fingers crossed I stay fit and healthy. Form is important. I’d love to improve over this next little while. We’ve got some big games coming up.
“The Four Nations is obviously a huge carrot dangling for everybody and I’d love to be part of it again.”
Kel Coslett is St Helens’ Honorary Life President has also received the award for services to Rugby League over more than 50 years. He holds the record for most appearances and points for the club, and is a dual-code international.
“I am proud, overwhelmed, excited and humbled by this award,” said Coslett, who is currently with St Helens in France, where they will play the Catalan Dragons later today.
“To get something like this at my stage of life is superb. I have been here for more than 50 years and I’d like to thank the many people who have helped me along the way.”
More reaction will feature in Monday’s edition of Rugby League Express, available in the shops and online from 11.00pm on Sunday evening.
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