Rugby league legend Rob Burrow CBE passes away at 41

LEEDS Rhinos have confirmed the passing of their former player, Rob Burrow CBE, at the age of 41.

Burrow, who had been living with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) since his diagnosis in December 2019, died peacefully at Pinderfield’s Hospital, surrounded by his loving family.

Rob Burrow’s courageous fight against MND captivated and inspired the nation. His story of resilience and strength in the face of such a debilitating illness shone a spotlight on the disease, raising awareness and significant funds for research and support.

Rob Burrow and Kevin Sinfield. Photo by SW Pix

Burrow’s entire professional rugby league career was spent with Leeds Rhinos, where he emerged as a pivotal figure in the club’s golden era. A tenacious and dedicated player, Burrow’s fearless performances earned him immense respect and admiration within the sport. He joined the Rhinos’ Academy and made his debut in 2001, swiftly becoming a cornerstone of the team.

His illustrious career was marked by numerous accolades and milestones. In 2004, Burrow played a crucial role in ending Leeds Rhinos’ 32-year wait for a Championship win. This triumph was the first of eight Grand Final victories for Burrow, with standout performances in the 2007 and 2011 finals earning him the Man of the Match award. His sensational try in the 2011 final remains celebrated as one of the greatest ever scored in a Grand Final.

Burrow’s legacy at Leeds Rhinos is cemented by his 492 appearances, making him fifth on the club’s all-time list. He scored 196 tries, amassing a total of 1,103 points. His international career was equally distinguished, earning 15 caps for England and participating in five tests for Great Britain, including a Man of the Series performance in 2007.

Beyond his sporting achievements, Burrow’s battle with MND saw him and his family open their lives to the public to highlight the impact of the disease. His efforts resulted in two award-winning documentaries, a bestselling autobiography, and a widely acclaimed podcast. In recognition of his contributions, Burrow was awarded a CBE by HRH Prince William in January 2023 at Headingley Stadium.

Together with his former teammate and close friend Kevin Sinfield, Burrow inspired nearly £20 million in fundraising efforts across the UK and Ireland. Notably, over £6 million was raised for the construction of the Rob Burrow Centre for MND in Leeds, ensuring a lasting legacy for those affected by the disease.

The Burrow family expressed their gratitude to the staff at Pinderfield Hospital for their compassionate care during Rob’s final days. In honour of Rob’s remarkable contributions, the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Rob Burrow Centre for MND at Seacroft Hospital will proceed as planned on Monday, as per Rob’s wishes.

The family has requested privacy during this difficult time. Fans and well-wishers wishing to pay their respects to Rob can visit the South Stand at Headingley Stadium, with gates open from Sunday evening.

Rob Burrow’s legacy extends beyond his impressive career on the field. His relentless spirit, both in his sporting life and his fight against MND, will continue to inspire and uplift countless individuals. The rugby community, and indeed the entire nation, mourns the loss of a true hero.


One Reply to “Rugby league legend Rob Burrow CBE passes away at 41”

  1. So sorry for your loss,he was such a humble loveable man….so sad,but his name will go on forever and for what he stood for….RIP…..blessings to his family and friends..

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