Widnes Vikings captain Kevin Brown has pledged his vote to Kevin Sinfield for BBC Sports Personality of the Year this Sunday, and encourages Vikings supporters to do the same.
Former Leeds captain Sinfield, who led the Rhinos to the treble in 2015, could become the first-ever rugby league player to claim the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award in what would be a major boost for the sport.
Brown said: “He deserves it for the year the club had and the year Kev had. There was a bit of a fuss at the start of the year when he got dropped, but it seemed to make him stronger. He came back and led his team to the treble which in this day and age with the salary cap is exceptional and his performance levels not just last year but the whole time he’s been in rugby league have been pretty sensational, so he gets my vote.
“It will be strange playing Leeds without him. I imagine it’s even stranger for the lads who are used to playing with him. Opponents will be a bit happier that he’s not there because he’s such a cool, calm player that never seems to get flustered. I’ve never seen him have a bad game.
“It would be a massive boost for rugby league if Kev was to win BBC Sports Personality of the Year. The recognition that the sport would get off the back of that would be fantastic. Looking at some of the names on there, just to make the list is a great achievement for Kev and for rugby league, but to get in the top three or even if he could win it, would be great for the sport as a whole so fingers crossed. We’re all rooting for him.”
The Vikings stand-off first came up against Sinfield back in 2003 while at Wigan, when the Warriors drew 12-12 with Leeds at the JJB Stadium, Sinfield typically kicking two conversions from two.
He said: “It was one of the games early on in my career and we drew against them. Every time he’s played, even back then he was a youngster, he was a leader. He’s had that aura about him ever since he stepped out on to the field. He does everything good and he probably is an 8/10 every week. You get used to his really high standards and probably take it for granted really, but he is an exceptional player and to be still doing what he’s doing at his age, especially last year, is a great achievement.”
Rugby League fans have united over the past week to support Kevin Sinfield with numerous campaigns to encourage voting for him to be crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2015.
Voting for BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2015 on Sunday December 20 will be available over the phone (numbers will be provided on the night of the awards ceremony) and for free on http://www.bbc.co.uk/spoty.
In order to vote online, you will need to be registered with the BBC sign in system, BBC iD, by visiting https://ssl.bbc.co.uk/id/register.
If you have already registered with BBC iD, then you only need to sign in on the day of the awards to cast your vote.