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Rob Burrow, Rugby League Star and Inspirational Fundraiser, Dies at 41

Rob Burrow, Rugby League Star and Inspirational Fundraiser, Dies at 41

Rob Burrow, the former rugby league star for Leeds Rhinos and an inspirational fundraiser, has died at the age of 41 after battling motor neuron disease (MND). Burrow’s quiet strength and relentless campaigning captured the hearts of many after his diagnosis in 2019.

Burrow, along with his wife Lindsey and friend and former teammate Kevin Sinfield, raised nearly £20 million to combat MND. Their efforts included more than £6 million to build the Rob Burrow Centre for MND in Leeds, aimed at providing a better quality of life for those living with the disease. MND is a degenerative disease with no cure, leading to muscle weakening and affecting a person’s ability to walk, talk, eat, drink, and breathe. Despite his diagnosis, Burrow and his family publicized his condition to raise awareness and funds.

On the rugby field, Burrow was known for his agility and skill, making 492 appearances for Leeds Rhinos, 15 for England, and five for Great Britain. He was an integral part of Leeds’ “golden generation,” winning eight Super League Grand Finals, two Challenge Cups, and three World Club Challenges. His diminutive stature earned him the nickname “Mighty Atom.”

Prince William, who presented Burrow and Sinfield with their CBE honors, called Burrow “a legend of Rugby League” and praised his heart and determination. Sinfield, who completed numerous endurance challenges to raise funds, described Burrow as “the toughest and bravest man I have ever met.”

Burrow and his wife released two documentaries, “My Year with MND” and “Living with MND,” to highlight the daily challenges of living with the disease. Lindsey also shared her experiences in a memoir, “Take Care,” emphasizing the role of carers. Flowers, shirts, and scarves were left outside Headingley Rugby Stadium as fans paid tribute. British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Labour Party leader Keir Starmer both expressed their condolences and praised Burrow’s legacy in raising awareness for MND.

Rob Burrow leaves behind his wife Lindsey and their three children, Maya, Macy, and Jackson. His remarkable journey from a celebrated rugby player to an inspirational figure in the fight against MND has left an indelible mark on the world.

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