‘Beacon of hope’: Former teammate pays tribute to ‘wonderful friend’ Rob Burrow

‘Beacon of hope’: Former teammate pays tribute to ‘wonderful friend’ Rob Burrow

A former teammate of Rob Burrow has paid tribute to a “wonderful friend” after the rugby league legend died more than four years after being diagnosed with motor neurone disease.

Kevin Sinfield played for Leeds Rhinos alongside Burrow and the pair went on to raise millions of pounds for charity after the former scrum-half was diagnosed with the condition in 2019.

An image of Sinfield carrying his former teammate over the finish line of the Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon in May 2023 is one that will live long in the memory.

In January, the Prince of Wales awarded Burrow and Sinfield with CBEs in recognition of their “phenomenal” efforts in raising funds for motor neurone disease (MND).

Sinfield was also joined by Prince William in paying tribute to the rugby player-turned-campaigner who died on Sunday aged 41.

In a statement posted on X by Leeds Rhinos, Sinfield said: “Today was the day that I hoped would never come.

“The world has lost a great man and a wonderful friend to so so many.

“You fought so bravely until the end and became a beacon of hope and inspiration, not only for the MND community but for all those who saw and heard your story.”

Rob Burrow

Rob Burrow

He continued in his tribute to Burrow: “I would always say that you were pound for pound the toughest player I ever played alongside, however since your diagnosis, you were the toughest and bravest man I have ever met.

“I will miss you my little mate.”

In a personally signed message on X, the Prince of Wales said: “A legend of Rugby League, Rob Burrow had a huge heart. He taught us, in a world full of adversity, we must dare to dream.”

Leeds Rhinos had earlier said in a statement that Burrow “passed away peacefully” at Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield, near his home, surrounded by his family, after becoming ill earlier this week

Burrow leaves behind his wife Lindsey and their three young children Macy, Maya and Jackson.

The Prince of Wales (right) meets Rob Burrow, his wife Lindsey Burrow and their children Maya (left), Macy and Jackson during a visit to Headingley Stadium, Leeds, to congratulate him on his efforts to raise awareness of Motor Neurone Disease. Picture date: Thursday January 11, 2src24.

The Prince of Wales (right) meets Rob Burrow, his wife Lindsey Burrow and their children Maya (left), Macy and Jackson in Leeds in January. Pic: Reuters

Following his diagnosis, Burrow spearheaded a £6.8m appeal for Leeds Hospitals Charity, where he received care, for a state-of-the-art centre for people living with MND.

The rare, degenerative brain and nerve condition eventually took Burrow’s voice and confined him to a wheelchair.

The Leeds Hospital Charity has said the former rugby player was “an inspiration, not only to the people of Yorkshire, but the entire nation, and across the world”, adding that he spread joy with his “infectious smile and unwavering sense of humour”.

Read more:
Sinfield and Burrow’s lessons in friendship
Burrow completes Father’s Day fun run
infield announces new ultramarathon challenge

…. to be continued
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