Permanent Rob Burrow tribute to be put in place at Leeds Rhinos stadium

Rob Burrow, pictured in 2021, at Headingley Stadium
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)

Leeds Rhinos says the club will work to put a permanent tribute in place for Rob Burrow.

Beloved Rugby League star Rob tragically died last week at the age of 41 after battling motor neurone disease [MND], which he was diagnosed with four-and-a-half years ago. Throughout his journey with MND, Burrow became an advocate for the disease, raising funds and increasing awareness. His aim was to have successfully "left a mark on the disease".

In a touching last message released earlier this week Rob told those listening to "be brave" when facing their personal obstacles.

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He signed off with an emotional: "Rob Burrow, over and out."

Since his death, thousands have ventured to Headingley Rugby Stadium to leave their tributes and celebrate his life. Leeds Rhinos says now that after seven days of public mourning, more permanent plans will be put in place.

A spokesperson said the stadium will remain open until midnight on Sunday for well-wishers to pay their respects, but it is then asked that afterwards, tributes are paid with loved ones at home. They said: "We would ask you to have a moment of reflection with loved ones at home together to remember Rob and keep in your thoughts his family and all those impacted by MND.

"From Monday morning, 10 June, the club staff will start to lift and store safely the many shirts and mementoes that have been left in tribute to Rob from people around the country. This is to ensure that they do not get damaged by the weather and the site remains a fitting tribute to Rob. Each will be photographed and put into a book, copies of which will go to the family, one at the stadium and one to be housed in the new Rob Burrow Centre for MND.

"The club will make a decision, in conjunction with Rob’s family, how to use the shirts and items to form a permanent tribute at the stadium, most likely somewhere in the South Stand to recall where people came to remember Rob this week.

"Flowers that are no longer fresh will be lifted. Any wrappers will be recycled wherever possible whilst the flowers will be composted separately with the compost then added to the club’s existing Memorial Garden situated near Car Park A at the stadium. All notes on the flowers will also be photographed and added to the above books. The photographs will also be displayed on a digital gallery on the Leeds Rhinos website so visitors can read the many tributes to Burrow in the weeks and years ahead."

Rob Burrow and Kevin Sinfield cross the finish line of the 2023 Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon which started and finished at Headingley Stadium, Leeds
Tributes to Rob Burrow outside Headingley Stadium

The spokesperson added that well wishers can still visit the stadium throughout the next fortnight, with the South Stand open from 8am until 8pm each day for people to lay flowers around the base of the John Holmes statue. It has been asked that no more shirts or items of clothing are left so that the messages are captured.

Leeds Rhinos have already announced plans that their next home game against Leigh Leopards on June 21 will be a celebration of Rob's life. Fans will be allowed to take flowers and tributes on that day.

A spokesperson for the club said that Rob's funeral is expected to take place in early July, and there will be a chance for members of the public to pay tribute to Rob, with more details coming soon.

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