Rugby Union star Jason Robinson returned to his home town of Leeds this week to be named patron of the Hunslet Club.
Jason, who grew up in south Leeds, played for the club’s junior rugby team as a youngster.
He said: “It is an honour and a privilege to be asked to be patron of the Hunslet Club.
“It helped me so well through my early years and I am just glad to be able to give something back.
“Places like this really are essential for young people.”
The England captain visited the Hunslet Club on Hillidge Road on Wednesday.
Jason first played for the club junior rugby team before becoming an English international rugby union and rugby league player, winning the World Cup in 2003 and captaining the national side in 2005.
Playing at wing or fullback, he won 51 one rugby union international test caps for England.
In rugby league he won 12 caps for Great Britain and seven for England.
The 38-year-old was awarded an OBE in 2008.
In his autobiography, Jason wrote: “The club gave us an outlet for the energy kids have to burn. I don’t know what I would have done without it in the evenings and at weekends.”
Jason returned to the club in December last year to open new facilities and has now been invited to become honorary patron.
Dennis Robbins, chief executive officer at the Hunslet Club, said: “We have long been proud to say that Robinson played his first rugby with us and has gone on to achieve all that he has. It is a very special occasion to welcome back such a role model to become our honorary patron.”
The Hunslet Club is a youth centre in South Leeds that runs dancing football, boxing, gymnastics, drama and fitness activities for young people aged from four to 18.
The club was founded in 1940, is one of the top five largest in the country and runs a vocational education centre for over 380 Year 10 and 11 students to gain qualifications.