ITV Coronation Street stars mourn loss of rugby legend Rob Burrow who inspired storyline

Daniel Brocklebank attending the British Soap Awards 2019
-Credit: (Image: Lindsey Parnaby/PA Wire)

Coronation Street actor Daniel Brocklebank has been comforted by his partner as he publicly expressed his grief over the passing of rugby legend Rob Burrow, who inspired his current storyline on the soap.

Leeds Rhinos, the former team of the ex-rugby league star, confirmed his death at the age of 41 on Sunday (June 2), following a long fight with motor neurone disease.

The club announced that he "passed away peacefully" at Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield, close to his home, surrounded by his loved ones, after falling ill earlier this week. The Burrow family, through the rugby league club, expressed their gratitude to the hospital staff for "their compassion and caring for Rob in his final days".

Burrow, who was awarded an MBE in the 2021 New Year's Honours for his contribution to rugby league and for raising awareness of motor neurone disease, was diagnosed with the condition two years after retiring in 2017. The MND Association stated that Burrow "used every opportunity to raise awareness of the disease".

In a statement released on Sunday, Leeds Rhinos said: "It is with deep sadness that we announce the death of our beloved son, husband, father, brother and friend.", reports the Manchester Evening News.

"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."

"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."

Coronation Street has paid tribute to rugby league legend Rob Burrow following the news of his passing. Burrow and his wife Lindsey had visited the set of the popular soap as part of their work on an MND storyline involving characters Paul Foreman, played by Peter Ash, and Billy Mayhew, portrayed by Daniel Brocklebank.

The soap shared a photo of the couple on set with Daniel and Peter, saying: "We are very sad to hear of the passing of Rugby league legend Rob Burrow. Rob was an inspiration to so many throughout his battle with Motor Neurone disease, raising both funds and awareness of this life limiting illness.

"We had the pleasure of welcoming Rob and his wife Lindsey to the cobbles last year to meet Peter Ash and Dan Brocklebank and to discuss our MND storyline. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time."

Daniel, who is also an ambassador for the MND Association after losing his grandfather to the disease, shared the same picture on his Instagram page, writing: "I'm absolutely devastated to hear that the legend and MND warrior Rob Burrow has passed today. I send love and positive vibes to Lindsey, Robs incredible wife and also their beautiful children.

"It's been a privilege to get to know them over the last few years. As an ambassador for the @mndassoc we'll keep fighting.

"Together we WILL find a cure for this evil disease. Sleep easy Rob."

His partner, musician Jordan Coulthard was quick to show his support, stating: "And this my darling is why you're doing what you're doing. To tell the story that needs to be told and to spread awareness to something so important.

I am so proud of you and the work I see you do at home, behind the scenes. You should be so proud of yourself. Goodnight Rob."