Rob Burrow's moving final message before his death

Rob Burrow raised millions of pounds for MND awareness
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)

Rugby League star Rob Burrow, whose private funeral will be today, delivered a touching final message in the weeks leading up to his death.

The 41-year-old former Leeds Rhinos star, who had been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in 2019, died in June, having inspired everyone with his courage and way of coping with the debilitating condition and raising millions to help raise awareness of it. His funeral this July 7 - the date of the Rhinos' annual day of celebration for the player who contributed to their eight Super League triumphs - will be a private ceremony in Pontefract, although crowds are expected to line the route to the crematorium.

In a poignant message before his death, the star urged people to "be brave" and "live in the moment" and expressed his belief in daring to dream, reports The Mirror. This message was shared during a BBC tribute to him.

Read more: Fans' tribute to Rob Burrow at St James' Park Keep up to date with all the latest breaking news and top stories from the North East with our free newsletter

As he approached the end of his life, he humbly described himself as "just a lad from Yorkshire who got to live out his dream". Yet, to millions, Rob was far more, due to his tireless efforts campaigning for MND charities adds the report.

His moving statement included an appeal for scientists to discover a cure for MND. Despite his condition, he managed to continue communicating using an eye-gaze machine which meant words he focused upon could be vocally reproduced by a computer programme.

Through this, he delivered his final message in the BBC documentary, saying: "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 experience what mine has since my diagnosis.

"I hope I have made a lasting impact on the disease. I hope my story encourages people to live in the moment and find inspiration."

He added: "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."

The message was shared with the consent and support of his family and it is believed that his wife Lindsey was at his side when he delivered it. The BBC Breakfast-produced documentary, called There's Only One Rob Burrow, received personal approval from the man himself before his death.

Rob had been committed to MND fund-raising and advocacy work, aiming to raise disease awareness and enhance care and research efforts. He was honoured with an MBE in the 2021 New Year Honours list for his contributions to rugby league and the MND community and he later received a CBE in the 2024 Honours list.