Cross codes rugby legend Jason Robinson signed autographs for his legion of fans when he returned to his hometown of Leeds.
The rugby union World Cup winner – who was nicknamed Billy Whizz for his speed on the pitch – visited the Hunslet Club on Wednesday to open its new facilities.
Jason grew up in South Leeds and played for the club’s junior rugby team.
He went on to achieve massive success in rugby league with Wigan before winning the World Cup in 2003 and even captained the national side in 2005.
The 37-year-old was awarded an OBE in 2008.
He unveiled the youth centre’s new changing facilities, youth games zone and mechanics workshop.
Jason said: “This was my first rugby club and I met so many good people here.
“I thought I was never going to do anything in life or be a professional player but this is where it all started for me.
“I used to live over the road and it is nice to be back and see all the work that has been done. What has kept this place going is some very dedicated people.
“I last came here 30 years ago, so that shows how old I am.
“The facilities and programmes being run are fantastic and for young girls and boys it gives you hope and a focus and I’m sure these guys will enjoy it for years to come.”
Playing mainly on the wing or at full back, Jason won 51 England rugby union caps after switching from rugby league, where he won 12 Great Britain caps and played seven times for England.
Jack Briggs, 7, of the Oulton Raiders Under-8s team said: “It was nice to meet him. I like winning and scoring tries and would like to be famous like him one day.”
Jason Slack, funding officer at the Hunslet Club, said: “We have long been proud to say that Robinson played his first rugby with us and it was very special to welcome back such a role model.”
The club was founded in 1940 and runs dancing, football, boxing, gymnastics, drama and fitness activities for four to 18-year-olds and is one of the country’s top five largest youth clubs.