The Rhinos enjoyed a successful year with Sinfield helping them to a treble of trophies.
The way in which the sport’s fans put tribal loyalties to one side to vote for the Leeds icon has touched Sinfield.
“It has been an unbelievable year and I am eternally grateful for everyone who voted, to everyone at Leeds and also the wider game,” he told the Yorkshire Post.
“For Rugby League the whole occasion felt like it took the sport to a whole new level.
“In terms of growing the sport and inspiring young people to pick up a rugby ball and go play Rugby League hopefully it will have some impact on that.
“I would like to thank everyone who voted and I understand the tribal nature of team sports but there was a huge effort in the build up to Sunday night to bring all the clubs together and it was heartening to see.”
Sinfield, now playing rugby union for Yorkshire Carnegie, has also been pleasantly surprised by how many fans of the 15-man code have also backed him for the award.
“It was also nice last Saturday when I was down at London Scottish with Yorkshire Carnegie to have so many well wishers coming up to me and saying they were supporting me,” he added.
“I think the fact that I was a member of a team meant that a lot of people knew what that meant whether that was rugby league or union or even football and cricket.”