Rhinos great Kevin Sinfield thanked the fans who have helped make him one of the front-runners to take 2015’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year title.
Sinfield has gone from 66/1 outsider to 7/1 third favourite for the award with bookies Betfred following a surge of wagers on him from Yorkshire.
And he says he is “humbled” by the backing he has received as he seeks to become the competition’s first winner to have made their name in rugby league.
‘Sir Kev’ told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “I am so, so grateful for the support – it is incredible and makes you realise what a special sport we have got.”
He added: “You don’t really like to keep asking people to vote for you but that’s what it seems to have turned into!”
Former Rhinos skipper Sinfield, who recently crossed codes to join rugby union’s Yorkshire Carnegie, is one of three local heroes in contention to be named Sports Personality of the Year.
The other two are Otley’s world champion cyclist Lizzie Armitstead and Olympic heptathlon star Jessica Ennis-Hill, from Sheffield.
Sinfield will be joined by his former Rhinos team-mates at Sunday’s ceremony in Belfast.
The main award will be decided by phone and online votes cast by the public on the night.