Rob Burrow: ‘True inspiration’- Tributes flow as rugby league great dies at ...

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Published Time: 02.06.2024 - 23:12:03 Modified Time: 02.06.2024 - 23:12:03

“He never allowed others to define what he could achieve and believed in his own ability to do more.” Rob Burrow

“Rob has always been a true inspiration throughout his life whether that was on the rugby league field or during his battle with MND (motor neurone disease).

“He never allowed others to define what he could achieve and believed in his own ability to do more.”

Burrow made more than 400 appearances for Leeds between 2001 and 2017. He raised over £15 million ($19 million) to help build a new care centre for motor neurone disease patients alongside former teammate Kevin Sinfield.

Speaking after his diagnosis, Burrow struck a defiant tone.

“The worst thing for me is pitying me,” he said. “I know it’s going to come, but I want to be as normal as ever.

“While I am able-bodied and feel fit and strong and healthy, I want to do normal things and not be treated any differently.” By January 2021, Burrow had lost the use of his hands and arms and began using a wheelchair after his legs became weak.

But he continued to fundraise for motor neurone disease charities and in May last year Sinfield carried him over the finish line at the inaugural Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon after pushing his great friend for the 26.2 miles.

Leeds plan to recognise the achievements of both Burrow and Sinfield with a statue at their Headingley stadium.

Burrow was made an MBE in the 2021 New Year Honours and a CBE in 2024 for his services to the sport and motor neurone disease charities.

“The outpouring of love and support that Rob and the whole Burrow family have received over the last four and a half years meant so much to Rob,” Leeds added.

“In particular, the rugby league family and MND community have rallied around Rob to inspire him, thank you for your support.

“It is testament to the strength of feeling have for Rob that the support in his name has never wavered.”