England half-back Luke Gale says his late mother, who died of cancer in 2013, would be proud that he has signed for Leeds Rhinos.
Gale, 31, came through Leeds’ academy but never made a first-team appearance.
He has rejoined his boyhood club from Castleford Tigers on a three-year contract for an undisclosed fee.
“I remember my mum driving me here from being 12 years old right up until I could drive at 17. She would definitely be proud now,” he told BBC Radio Leeds.
“It kind of feels like we’ve come full circle, starting here all those years ago with my mum having spent so many nights driving me.”
After being released by the Rhinos as a teenager, Gale had spells with Doncaster, Harlequins RL and Bradford before joining Castleford in 2015.
He won Super League’s Man of Steel award in 2017 as Tigers reached the Grand Final, which they lost to Leeds.
Gale was then part of the England team which was narrowly beaten by Australia in the World Cup final two months later.
“My career at Cas was fantastic and I owe a lot to them,” Gale, who has missed the whole of this season with a ruptured Achilles, continued.
“I went there from Bradford having never played for England and now I have nine caps.
“I got a lump in my throat telling [the Castleford players and staff] I was leaving. It was tough because I’ve got many friends there who’ll I’ll be friends with for life.”