SPORTS stars led by Olympic golden girl Jessica Ennis were out in force last night as Yorkshire started the countdown to Christmas in winning style.
Thousands of people caught a glimpse of the heptathlon champion when the festive lights were turned on at the Meadowhall shopping centre in her home city of Sheffield.
The star had again proved a sell-out attraction earlier in the day when she attended the first signing for her book Unbelievable at Meadowhall which tells the story of her journey to glory.
There was another sporting flavour to proceedings at last night’s illuminations switch-on party in Leeds.
Guests included Leeds Rhinos winger Ryan Hall and Olympic triathlon bronze medallist and world champion Jonathan Brownlee.
He said: “I’m a Leeds lad so tonight is really special. When I was younger we used to come down and see all this being turned on. My mum and dad sometimes even took me [and brother Alistair] out in the car for a drive around town looking at all the lights.”
Famous sporting faces will also take centre stage at the launch of a winter wonderland attraction at the McArthurGlen shopping centre in York on November 23.
Olympic cyclist Ed Clancy, from Huddersfield, boxer Luke Campbell, from Hull, and cyclist Lizzie Armitstead, from Otley, Leeds, will be the star guests.