Tearful Rob Burrow thanks packed stadium after motor neurone disease diagnosis

Leeds Rhinos great Rob Burrow thanked fans for their support at a sell-out benefit game following his diagnosis with motor neurone disease.

The tearful 37-year-old carried his young son Jackson onto the Headingley pitch as he donned the Leeds shirt one final time in front of 20,000 fans.

The match against Bradford Bulls - which Leeds won 34-10 - was initially planned as a testimonial for Burrow's former teammate Jamie Jones-Buchanan but was made a joint event after news of his diagnosis emerged.

Motor neurone disease (MND) is a rare degenerative condition that affects roughly one in every 50,000 people in the UK each year. A social media appeal led by Burrow has raised more than £230,000 through Virgin Money Giving.

It is a life-threatening condition and for half of those diagnosed their life expectancy is three years from the start of symptoms, although conditions are more likely to develop when people are in their 60s.

Burrow was a scrum-half for Leeds Rhinos - also representing England and Great Britain - before retiring from rugby league in 2017. He has three young children, all of whom accompanied him onto the pitch on Sunday.

Burrow thanked the fans at Emerald Headingley Stadium, telling the stadium: "You don't know how much it means. No words can ever come close to describing how I feel."

Kevin Sinfield, Burrow's former captain, said: "What Rob's facing is going to be one hell of a challenge but I think what's pretty clear is that he's not going to do it alone, there's going to be an army of rugby league fans alongside him every step of the way.

"And on behalf of the club, and on behalf of Rob and his family, I can only thank them for that because they've made a real difference to him."