Leeds Up and Coming Talents

With the entire city boasting a population of nearly 800,000, Leeds is the hub of West Yorkshire and is the home to plenty of young sporting and entertainment talent.

Alistair Brownlee 

TriathleteAlistair Brownlee – Triathlete

The 24-year-old is the reigning and back-to-back European Triathlon champion, became Triathlon World Champion in 2009 and 2011 and then clinched gold in the event at the London 2012 Olympics. The event involves a gruelling schedule of swimming, cycling and running, and the tough Brownlee has quickly established himself as one of Britain’s best.

Jonathan Brownlee 

TriathleteJonathan Brownlee – Triathlete

Alistair’s younger brother of two years, Jonathan in the two-time and reigning World Sprint Triathlon champion, a former under-23 world champion and a bronze medallist at the London 2012 Olympics, where he finished behind his brother and Spain’s Francisco Javier Gomez Noya.

Ryan Bailey 

Rugby LeagueRyan Bailey – Rugby League

A regular in the Leeds Rhinos team since 2002 – when he was just 18 – Bailey has played four times each for both England and Great Britain, and has also won five Super League titles with his hometown club.

Leigh Francis 

ComedianLeigh Francis – Comedian

A character comedian, the at times crazy Francis is best known for several roles on British TV series, most notably as his creations Avid Merrion and Keith Lemon. Francis starred in Keith Lemon: The Film in 2012, and remains a hit with British audiences.

Jonny Howson 

FootballerJonny Howson – Footballer

Howson rose through the ranks at Leeds United and quickly established himself in the team, even becoming the club’s youngest captain since the legendary Billy Bremner. In January 2012, the then 23-year-old midfielder left Leeds and joined Premier League side Norwich City for around £2million.

Darcy Isa 

ActressDarcy Isa – Actress

A fresh face on British TV screens, the 19-year-old Isa is best known for her roles in school dramas Grange Hill and Waterloo Road. Isa appeared in Waterloo Road on BBC one between 2009 and 2012

Aaron Lennon 

FootballerAaron Lennon – Footballer

Winger Lennon became the youngest player to appear in the Premier League when he came on as a substitute for Leeds against Tottenham in August 2003 aged 16 years and 129 days. His impressive performances attracted attention, and a subsequent move to Tottenham has seen him establish himself as one of the division’s best right wingers. Now 25, he has 19 caps for England.

Matthew Lewis 

ActorMatthew Lewis – Actor

The 23-year-old Lewis is best known for playing hero Neville Longbottom in the Harry Potter films, and is set to star in numerous upcoming TV and film productions during what will be a long and fulfilling career.

Danny McGuire 

Rugby leagueDanny McGuire – rugby league

One of the most respected players in rugby league, Leeds Rhinos stand-off McGuire has played 12 times for Great Britain and seven for England. He was a key part of all five of Leeds’ Grand Final winning teams.

James Milner 

FootballerJames Milner – Footballer

Once the youngest ever goalscorer in the Premier League, Milner moved onto Newcastle and then Aston Villa after making his breakthrough at Leeds. He moved to Manchester City for £24million in the summer of 2010, and won his first Premier League winner’s medal with the club two years later. A trusty performer, Milner has 30 England caps after winning 46 at under-21 level.

Micah Richards 

FootballerMicah Richards – Footballer

After being born in Birmingham, Richards grew up in Leeds and went through the youth teams of both the local club and Oldham before pitching up at Manchester City. The 24-year-old is a mainstay of the City team, and has won 13 England caps. He has been selected as part of the Great Britain football squad at the 2012 Olympics.

Lee Smith 

Rugby LeagueLee Smith – Rugby League

Smith averages almost a try every other game for Leeds Rhinos, and has been welcomed back into the fold despite his brief switch to rugby union with London Wasps. The 25-year-old has scored seven tries in eight England internationals.

Chev Walker 

Rugby LeagueChev Walker – Rugby League

Another rugby league player who started at Leeds Rhinos, Walker made his debut for the club aged 16 and went on to win almost every honour imaginable with them. A move to union in 2006 saw him join Bath FC, before he switched codes again to join Hull KR and now Bradford Bulls.

Alex Zane 

TV and radio presenterAlex Zane – TV and radio presenter

A recognised TV face amongst young audiences, Zane grew up in Leeds before attending university in London. Progress through several radio stations saw him eventually reach national roles before television came calling, and he continues to prove a hit with audiences due to his laid back, comedic approach.

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