Kevin Sinfield pays moving tribute to 'brave' best mate Rob Burrow

Across their numerous challenges, Sinfield has managed to raise more than £9million in honour of his friend
-Credit: (Image: PA)

Rugby league legend Kevin Sinfield has paid tribute to his great friend and former rugby teammate Rob Burrow calling him as a “beacon of hope and inspiration”.

Burrow’s family and former club Leeds Rhinos today (Sunday) announced the 41 year old had sadly died after a four and a half year battle with Motor Neurone Disease.

Following the announcement, Kevin Sinfield, who raised millions for charities alongside Burrow, has paid an emotional tribute to his former Leeds Rhinos team-mate describing him as a “beacon of hope and inspiration”.

READ MORE: The story behind the powerful Rob Burrow picture that moved a nation

He wrote in a statement: "Today was the day that I hoped would never come.

"The world has lost a great man and a wonderful friend to so many. You fought so bravely until the end and became a beacon of hope and inspiration, not only for the MND community but for all those who saw and heard your story.

"My love and thoughts go to your beautiful family, Lindsey, Macy, Maya and Jackson, to your parents Geoff and Irene, sisters Joanne and Claire and your wider family and friends.

Rob Burrow and Kevin Sinfield cross the finish line of the 2023 Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon -Credit:PA
Rob Burrow and Kevin Sinfield cross the finish line of the 2023 Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon -Credit:PA

"You will continue to inspire me every single day. I have lost a dear friend and will never forget the special times we shared both on and off the pitch. I would always say that you were pundits for pound the toughest player I ever played alongside, however, since your diagnosis, you were the toughest and bravest man I have ever met.

"The last four and a half years you showed the world what living and loving looked like and this was always done with the biggest smile on your face. "I will miss you my little mate. All my love, Kev. X""

In late 2020, Sinfeld ran seven marathons in seven days, raising £2.7million for MND charities following Burrow’s diagnosis.

He raised a further sum in excess of £1m in November 2021 with a 101-mile run inside 24 hours from his new club Leicester Tigers to Headingley, while his Ultra 7 in 7 Challenge the following November, seven back-to-back ultra-marathons, generated more than £1.4m.

Sinfield and Burrows then completed the inaugural Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon in 2023 after Sinfield pushed his friend for 26.2 miles.

Just a couple of metres before the end, an emotional Sinfield lifted Burrow out of his specially adapted wheelchair and the pair completed the course together in front of a cheering crowd at Headingley Stadium

Following the Leeds marathon Sinfield then went on to run seven ultra-marathons in seven different cities in as many days in December.

It's estimated that Sinfield and Burrow raised around £15million for MND charities in their fundraising attempts.