Prince William honours Rob Burrow as 'legend with a huge heart' following his tragic death

Prince William and Rob Burrow as the latter received his CBE
-Credit: (Image: PHIL NOBLE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

The Prince of Wales has honoured the late Rob Burrow, a Rugby League icon who passed away at 41, as a man with a "huge heart" and a legend of the sport.

He remarked: "He taught us, in a world full of adversity, we must dare to dream." Rob Burrow, former England star, lost his fight with motor neurone disease. The Leeds Rhinos stalwart hung up his boots in 2017 and was diagnosed with MND two years later.

Prince William expressed on social media: "A legend of Rugby League, Rob Burrow had a huge heart. He taught us, 'in a world full of adversity, we must dare to dream.' Catherine and I send our love to Lindsey, Jackson, Maya and Macy. W".

Burrow courageously shared his diagnosis on December 19, 2019, and over the next few years, he captured the hearts of the nation through his fundraising work for MND, raising millions for a new care centre alongside ex-teammate Kevin Sinfield, reports the Mirror.

In recognition of his contributions to rugby league and the MND community, Burrow received an MBE in the 2021 New Year Honours. His struggle and the effects on his family were poignantly documented in the BBC's award-winning 'Rob Burrow My Year with MND'.

In 2021, Burrow and fellow MND sufferer Stephen Darby were part of a group which went to Downing Street to urge the Prime Minister to inject more cash into finding a cure. It was a bid that would eventually prove successful after the Government agreed to make £50million available for research.

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Close friend Sinfield - his former captain with Rhinos - picked up the fundraising baton from Burrow as the Leeds great's condition worsened, and he would take the millions raised by the duo close to the £20million mark by taking on numerous challenges, including the remarkable feat of running seven marathons in seven days.

In May 2023, Sinfield carried Burrow over the finish line at the inaugural Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon after pushing his great friend for the 26.2 miles. Burrow's MBE was promoted to a CBE in the 2024 New Year Honours, but his death due to the illness was confirmed on June 2.

"Our thoughts today are with Rob's wife Lindsey, children Macy, Maya and Jackson, family and friends and the rugby community," a statement from the MND Association read.

The statement continued: "It is testament to the strength of feeling people have for Rob that the support in his name has never wavered.

"The MND Association is incredibly grateful to Rob and his family for helping to raise awareness of MND, and funds for the Association, by sharing the details of their journey and by inspiring so many people both within the MND community and the wider public."

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