Rob Burrow final message – ‘We must still dare to dream’

Rob Burrow said “we must still dare to dream” in his final message to the world.

The ex-rugby league player died aged 41 after a four-and-a-half-year battle with motor neurone disease (MND).

The father of three urged people to “be brave” and fight whatever personal battles they might be facing.

His final message was signed off “Rob Burrow, over and out”.

Burrow, who began fundraising and campaigning to raise awareness of MND after his diagnosis, said he hoped to have successfully “left a mark on the disease”.

In his final message, played as part of the documentary There’s Only One Rob Burrow on BBC One and iPlayer, Burrow said: “I hope one day we find a cure and live in a world free of MND.

“By the time that you watch this I will no longer be here.

“I am just a lad from Yorkshire who got to live out his dream of playing rugby league.

“As a father of three young children I would never want any family to have to go through what my family have since my diagnosis.

“I hope I have left a mark on the disease.

“I hope it shows to live in the moment.

“I hope you find inspiration from the whole story.

“My final message to you is whatever your personal battle be brave and face it.

“Every single day is precious.

“Don’t waste a moment.

“In a world full of adversity we must still dare to dream.

“Rob Burrow, over and out.”

Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon
Rob Burrow with his wife Lindsey Burrow (Danny Lawson/PA)

In a moving tribute released on Monday, his wife, Lindsey Burrow, described him as “loving, kind and caring” and vowed to keep his legacy alive.

“I am unbelievably proud of the campaigning he’s done to raise awareness and the millions of pounds that have been raised in his name for MND charities,” she said.

In Leeds, the groundbreaking of the Rob Burrow Centre for MND at Seacroft Hospital went ahead as planned at Burrow’s request, with his family saying he “would be looking down and smiling”.

Burrow’s close friend and former team-mate Kevin Sinfield attended the ceremony, along with Burrow’s parents Geoff and Irene Burrow, and his sisters Joanne Hartshorn and Claire Burnett.

Applause broke out around St James’ Park on Monday night before the start of England’s friendly against Bosnia-Herzegovina when Burrow’s face appeared on the big screen.

Burrow spent his entire rugby league career with Leeds Rhinos and helped them win eight Super League titles.

Two years after his retirement in 2017, Burrow revealed his MND diagnosis.

He was made an MBE in the 2021 New Year Honours list for his services to rugby league and the MND community and was promoted to a CBE in the 2024 New Year Honours.