Leeds Rhinos icon Rob Burrow dies aged 41

Rob Burrow had a remarkable career with Leeds Rhinos, winning eight Super League titles, three World Club Challenges, and two Challenge Cups.

Leeds Rhinos icon Rob Burrow dies aged 41

Rob Burrow of runs into score a try during a Rugby League World Cup match against Fiji on November 9, 2013 in Hull, England.

By:
Vivek Mishra

Former England rugby league star Rob Burrow passed away on Sunday at the age of 41 after a lengthy battle with motor neurone disease.

Burrow had a remarkable career with Leeds Rhinos, winning eight Super League titles, three World Club Challenges, and two Challenge Cups.

His retirement in 2017 was followed by the devastating news of his diagnosis with motor neurone disease two years later.

A statement from Leeds expressed deep sadness at his passing, acknowledging Burrow’s role as a beloved son, husband, father, brother, and friend. Despite his illness, Burrow remained an inspiration, never letting others define his abilities or limit his aspirations.

Burrow’s impact extended beyond the rugby league field. He raised over £15 million to help build a new care centre for motor neurone disease patients, showcasing his commitment to supporting others facing similar challenges. His former teammate Kevin Sinfield joined him in this endeavour, highlighting their enduring friendship and shared determination.

Speaking after his diagnosis, Burrow emphasised his desire to maintain a sense of normalcy despite the progression of his illness. His courage and resilience were evident as he continued to fundraise and raise awareness for motor neurone disease charities.

By January 2021, Burrow had lost the use of his hands and arms, transitioning to using a wheelchair due to weakening leg muscles. However, he remained active in his advocacy work, symbolised by Sinfield pushing him over the finish line in the Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon.

Leeds Rhinos plan to honour Burrow’s legacy alongside Sinfield with a statue at Headingley stadium. Burrow’s contributions to both sport and charitable causes were recognised with honours, including an MBE in 2021 and a CBE in 2024.

Tributes poured in for Burrow, with the Rugby Football League praising his courage and humanity. The MND Association, of which Burrow became a patron in 2021, highlighted his inspirational impact on so many individuals.

Rob Burrow leaves behind his wife Lindsey and children Macy, Maya, and Jackson. His outstanding career, marked by 196 tries and 15 England caps, will be remembered alongside his enduring spirit and dedication to helping others.

(AFP)