Boxing champion Josh Warrington spoke of his love of the region as he attended the Great Yorkshire Show for the first time since he was a boy.
The 26-year-old featherweight star, who is a self-proclaimed “proud Leeds lad”, was among the throng of visitors to arrive in Harrogate yesterday for the first day of the country’s premier agricultural showcase.
Training commitments have prevented the featherweight star from being able to attend the event for a number of years.
But yesterday he was able to relive his childhood memories as he spoke to fans and posed for pictures at the Welcome to Yorkshire stand.
He said: “I remember coming as a young lad many years ago and running around. I can remember seeing the dog show, the big ring and watching the Army assault course.
“I’m looking forward to having a walk around as there’s always lots going on.
“It’s great how many people it attracts as well.”
Josh said he was proud to represent Yorkshire on the international sporting stage and was keen to fly the flag for the county as much as possible.
He said: “I’m always singing the praises of Leeds and Yorkshire. I have the Yorkshire rose tattooed on my leg. I’m very proud of where I come from.
“I have fought in different parts of the world and it helps to put the city and the region on the map.”
And the boxer, who lives in Garforth, says he loves nothing more than training against the backdrop of Yorkshire’s stunning landscapes.
“Sometimes I go to Whitby and run up the 199 steps,” he said.
“It’s God’s County and there are some beautiful areas of Yorkshire.”
Day one of the show brought a consistent drizzle at the Harrogate showground but there was plenty of cheer among visitors and exhibitors, said Nigel Pulling, chief executive of the Yorkshire Agricultural Society.
“Everyone seems very happy. It’s wetter than we would have liked but Yorkshire folk refuse to be put off by a bit of rain and people have come determined to have a good time.
“I think the RAF Falcons (parachute display team) didn’t jump (into the main ring as scheduled)because of the clouds but everything else went ahead as planned.”
There is a visible police presence at this year’s show and bag checks following recent terror incidents.
Mr Pulling said: “People are very understanding. They understand what we are doing and why, and have taken it very positively. It’s about reassurance.”