Rugby hero Kevin Sinfield given his hometown Oldham's highest honour

  • Report by Jennifer Buck, ITV News Granada Reports

Rugby legend and charity fundraiser Kevin Sinfield has been formally presented with his hometown Oldham’s top honour.

The Honorary Freeman of the Borough was awarded to the English rugby union coach and former Leeds Rhinos star, during an Extraordinary council meeting on Monday evening.

The accolade, which is the highest award a council can bestow, was presented to the 42-year-old in recognition of his "eminent services and inspiring achievements to the borough and its people".

Kevin Sinfield OBE running his 7 in 7 challenge in December 2020 Credit: Leeds Rugby

Kevin, who was born in Oldham, is one of only 27 people to receive this rare local achievement, including former Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill, suffragist Marjory Lees and Olympic gold medallists Nicola White and Matt Walls.

During the ceremony at Oldham Civic Centre, Kevin's name was added to the roll of honour in the building.

Kevin is widely regarded as one of rugby league's greatest-ever kickers.

The former fly-back enjoyed a glorifying 19-year career as player, which first began at local club Waterhead ARLFC.

Kevin has since gone into coaching and is now the defence coach for England’s national Rugby Union side.

Rob Burrow and Kevin Sinfield have campaigned and fundraised for MND charities. Credit: PA images

Aside from rugby, Kevin has more recently captured the hearts and minds of the nation with his incredible sporting challenges to raise money for his former teammate Rob Burrow, who was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in December 2019.

His efforts so far have involved completing seven marathons in seven days and seven ultra-marathons within a week, which have raised millions of pounds for charity.

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