IF Leeds Rhinos had not completed the treble last October, Kevin Sinfield's career retrospective book would never had made it into print.

Instead, Sinfield captained the Rhinos to a seventh Super League Grand Final triumph at Old Trafford and went on to be runner-up in the BBC Sports Personality of the Year, and now Kevin Sinfield: My League Years In Words And Pictures has just been published by Great Northern Books.

As the title indicates, Sinfield did not want to tread the familiar sportsman's kick-and-tell path into print. "I had the opportunity over the last five years or so to do an autobiography but I didn't really fancy doing that," he says, with the authority in his Oldham voice that he has always brought to Rugby League's playing fields.

"There are things that happen in the dressing room, things that should stay there, things that are built on trust and honesty, things that should remain in that bubble."

Great Northern Books, the Ben Rhydding publishing house, put a different idea to Sinfield, where he would tell his story in pictures and words, from his childhood days on the other side of the Pennines at the Waterhead amateur club, to the conclusion of his Headingley years in the amber and gold (and subsequent cross-code switch to the fly half's role for Yorkshire Carnegie.).

"Because of how it finished with the Grand Final victory and the treble [after winning the League Leaders Shield and the Challenge Cup final], it made it an easy decision to do it," he says. "It was the perfect time for me, although in February/March, when it was proposed, I couldn't know how it would finish, I could only dream.

"In sport, there are no guarantees, so I felt so grateful it ended as it did, but if it hadn't, I'm not sure I would have gone ahead with it. I just knew I wanted a Rugby League player to write a really positive book about Rugby League."

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He may not have followed his colourful former Headingley team-mates Barrie McDermott and Keith Senior into creating a headline-making, confessional autobiography, but nevertheless he did team up with Peter Smith, the Yorkshire Evening Post Rugby League scribe, from York, who had ghosted McDermott's Made For Rugby in 2006 and Senior's The Bald Truth: My Life In The World's Hardest Sport five years later.

Consequently, there is nothing stand-offish about the Leeds stand-off's words that go with the 330 pictures of both triumph and failure spread over 160 pages. "I wanted it to come across that there were also difficult things that happened in my career that I've addressed fully, but it was also good to do a book at the end of my Rugby League career to reflect on those fantastic years," he says.

In the captain's log, Sinfield recalls the Super League titles and world championship triumphs; his record number of Super League appearances and his status as the first ever Rugby League player to be nominated for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year; but he also uncovers the darker days, the five Challenge Cup defeats in a row, the only sending-off his 18 year career, his fluctuating England career.

"My career has certainly had its ups and downs, but when I've been knocked to the ground, I've shown my full colours and proved people wrong," he says. "The good thing about the book is that it fully highlights all those things and then shows how good things can come from the lows."

It is, therefore, a balanced portrait of the modern sporting great known as "Sir Kev". "The big message I've been aware of throughout my carer is that this sport has given me everything, and with that in mind, it's great to portray it in a wonderful light," he says. "There are things that need addressing in Rugby League, but that applies to all sports, but the community spirit in Rugby League is something I'm very proud of."

Now 35, many would foresee Kevin Sinfield MBE progressing into coaching, but not so. "In one word, no," he says. Instead, sports administration awaits, now he has attained a Masters in sports business at Leeds Beckett University.

* Kevin Sinfield will hold book signings of Kevin Sinfield: My League Years at WH Smith, White Rose Centre, Leeds, on April 14 from 3pm to 4.30pm and at Waterstones, Coney Street, York, on April 16, 1pm to 2.30pm

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Win the book

Courtesy of publishers Great Northern Books, The Press has five signed copies of Kevin Sinfield: My League Years to be won.

Question: How many Grand Finals did Leeds Rhinos win under Kevin Sinfield's captaincy.

Send your answer with your name, address and daytime phone number, either on a postcard to Charles Hutchinson, Sinfield Competition, The Press, 76-86 Walmgate, York, YO1 9YN, or by email to charles.hutchinson@nqyne.co.uk, by next Friday. Usual competition rules apply.