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03rd Jun 2024

Kevin Sinfield pays moving tribute to ‘wonderful friend’ Rob Burrow

Charlie Herbert

kevin sinfield pays tribute to rob burrow

‘You were the toughest and bravest man I have ever met’

Kevin Sinfield has paid tribute to his “dear friend” and former Leeds Rhinos teammate Rob Burrow following the news of his death at the age of 41.

On Sunday evening, the Rhinos confirmed in a statement that club legend Burrow had passed away following his battle with motor neurone disease.

The former rugby league player, who played 492 times for Leeds, was diagnosed with MND in 2019 and spent the years after his diagnosis raising awareness about the disease.

At the same time, Sinfield has raised millions for charity alongside Burrow, completing incredible challenges to raise money for MND research.

In a tribute to his best friend, Sinfield described him as a “beacon of hope and inspiration” and the “toughest and bravest man I have ever met.”

He wrote: “Today was the day that I hoped would never come.

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

“My love and thoughts go to your beautiful family, Lindsey, Macy, Maya and Jackson, to your parents Geoff and Irene, sisters Joanne and Claire and your wider family and friends.

“You will continue to inspire me every single day. I have lost a dear friend and will never forget the special times we shared both on and off the pitch. I would always say that you were pundits for pound the toughest player I ever played alongside, however, since your diagnosis, you were the toughest and bravest man I have ever met.

“The last four and a half years you showed the world what living and loving looked like and this was always done with the biggest smile on your face.

“I will miss you my little mate. All my love, Kev. X”

Together, Burrow and Sinfield are estimated to have raised around £15 million for MND charities through fundraising attempts and challenges.

Last year, the pair took part in the Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon together. With Burrow wheel-chair bound at the time, Sinfield pushed him around the course before carrying him over the finish line in a hugely moving gesture of friendship.

Sinfield has also completed incredible endurance feats over recent years to raise money for MND charities, including running seven ultra-marathons in seven days last year.

He has previously said he will not stop fundraising until a cure has been found for the disease.

Since Burrow’s death, donations have flooded in to his official fundraising page to support his family, whilst Leeds Rhinos have shared links to donate to the two charities closest to his heart – the MND Association Rob Burrow Fightback Fund and the Rob Burrow Centre for Motor Neurone Disease Appeal.