Leeds Rhinos legend Rob Burrow, 37, has revealed he has been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND).
MND is a degenerative condition that affects the function of nerves in the brain and spinal cord function, there is currently no cure. The condition has been in the news in a sporting sense more often lately following diagnoses to Scotland Rugby Union Legend Doddie Weir, and former Liverpool, Bradford City, and Bolton Wanderers full-back Stephen Darby.
Woah. Tough news.— Joe Urquhart (@JoeUrquhartYEP) December 19, 2019
What a top, top bloke and ambassador he has been for the city of Leeds with the Rhinos. No doubt people will rally round him and he’ll meet this head on. https://t.co/vY7awR5M6c
Burrow won everything as a Leeds Rhinos player, including eight Super League Grand Final wins, two Challenge Cup wins, and three World Club Challenges. A great return from a 16 year career at the top of the game, making 492 appearances with 196 tries and 1,103 points. The fifth most appearances of anyone in Rhinos history. He stood out on the pitch mostly for his tremendous ability, but also for his smaller size - standing at only 5’ 5”.
He also won five caps for England, and 15 for Great Britain - scoring a combined 16 tries and 106 points in total - including a Man of the Series performance as Great Britain defeated New Zealand 3-0 in a test series in 2007.
I can’t believe the news. I’m certain all associated with Rugby league and the wider sporting world are in shock at the news too. #leeds #rhinos #rugbyleague Love for you and all the family #robburrow— Darren Butterfield (@DazButt) December 19, 2019
Following his retirement, Pontefract born Burrow has been working as coach of the Rhinos reserve side.
Burrow said on the Leeds Rhinos website: “Regrettably, today I am confirming that I have been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease. I would like to thank everyone for the support I have received already since being given my diagnosis. I know I have a big challenge in front of me but knowing that I have the love and support of so many people will give me inspiration and strength. I am very positive about the situation and intend to battle the condition as I still feel fit and well.
“I would like to ask for privacy at this time so I can adjust to the battle I have ahead and so that I can spend time with those closest to me ahead of Christmas and New Year.”
The best wishes from everybody at the Tigers go to Rob and his family. We’ll be doing what we can as a club to help support the fundraising campaign. https://t.co/F4jNscnaA1— Castleford Tigers (@CTRLFC) December 19, 2019
If you wish to help out Rob Burrow and his family (the money in Rugby League isn’t anywhere near the same level as football), a fundraising page has been set up for him which is linked below in the tweet from Leeds Rhinos. The Rhinos have also announced that Jamie Jones-Buchanan’s testimonial match is January will now be a joint fundraiser for the two Rhinos legends.
Following today's announcement that Rob Burrow has been diagnosed with motor neurone disease a fund will be set up to support Rob in his treatment and his family of three young children under eight.— Leeds Rhinos (@leedsrhinos) December 19, 2019
Here is how you can support that now