Rob Burrow's family pay tribute with perfect statement after his death (2024)

Rob Burrow, one of rugby league's all-time greats who became a true hero across the planet with his work to raise awareness in the fight against Motor Neurone Disease, has sadly died at the age of 41

Rob Burrow's family pay tribute with perfect statement after his death (1)

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Rob Burrow celebrated at the 2023 Pride of Britain Awards

The family of Rob Burrow have paid a wonderful tribute to the rugby league legend following his death after a lengthy battle with motor neurone disease.

Burrow, who was diagnosed with MND in 2019, just two years after hanging up his boots following a magnificent playing career - helping Leeds Rhinos, his only club, to dominate the sport and win eight Super League titles - passed away on Sunday at the age of 41.

Over the past five years he has raised nearly £20million to fight MND, building a new care centre for MND patients alongside former team-mate Kevin Sinfield. He used every opportunity to raise awareness of the disease, even opening his life up in two moving BBC documentaries: My Year With MND and Rob Burrow: Living With MND.

He also joined the United To End MND coalition which successfully campaigned for a £50million Government investment in targeted MND research. Burrow was made an MBE in 2021, before being made a CBE earlier this year.

Burrow’s death was confirmed by his family and his former club, in a touching and wonderfully written statement, which echoed the high esteem within which he was held within the rugby league community and the wider world.

Their statement read: “It is with deep sadness that we announce the death of our beloved son, husband, father, brother and friend.

“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.

“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.

“In particular, the rugby league family and MND community have rallied around Rob to inspire him, thank you for your support. For those who knew Rob throughout his life, his determination and spirit in the face of MND over the last four and a half years came as no surprise.

“Rob never accepted that he couldn’t do something. He just found his way of doing it better than anyone else. He will continue to inspire us all every day. In a world full of adversity. We must dare to dream.”

Burrow’s wife, Lindsey, has also undertaken fundraising efforts for her husband, raising over £53,000 at the inaugural Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon in 2023, in which Sinfield and Burrow also participated.

Sinfield paid a touching tribute of his own, declaring: “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”

The motor neurone disease association have also offered their own tribute and insisted: “It is testament to the strength of feeling people have for Rob that the support in his name has never wavered.

“The MND Association is incredibly grateful to Rob and his family for helping to raise awareness of MND, and funds for the Association, by sharing the details of their journey and by inspiring so many people both within the MND community and the wider public.”

The Prince of Wales paid tribute on social media, declaring: "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.’ Catherine and I send our love to Lindsey, Jackson, Maya and Macy. W".

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak paid tribute, writing on Twitter: “Rob was an inspiration to everyone who met him or who heard his incredible story. I was honoured to spend some time with him last year. He drove a fundraising campaign that supports vital new research improving the care for others – not least through the creation of The Rob.”

Labour leader Keir Starmer said: "Extremely sad news. Rob leaves behind an incredible legacy in his work to raise awareness and advocate for those with Motor Neurone Disease. My thoughts are with his family and friends through this time.”

TV personality Piers Morgan added his thoughts, declaring on social media: "What incredibly sad news. A remarkable man who fought wretched Motor Neurone Disease with such courage, fortitude & determination. He raised so much money, and so much awareness, and helped so many other people. RIP Rob."

Rob Burrow's family pay tribute with perfect statement after his death (2024)
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