Rob Burrow's wife Lindsey shares his final wish, it sums him up - Ruck

Rob Burrow’s wife Lindsey shares his final wish, it sums him up

Leeds Rhinos and Great Britain rugby league legend Rob Burrow has passed away.

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Burrow, aged 41, had been battling motor neurone disease (MND) since his diagnosis in late 2019.

This diagnosis came two years after he retired from a distinguished 17-year career, during which he won eight Super League Grand Finals, three World Club Challenges, and two Challenge Cups.

The Rhinos announced Burrow’s death, honoring their former scrum-half and hooker as “a true inspiration throughout his life, both on the rugby league field and during his battle with MND.”

The Prince of Wales remarked that Burrow would be remembered as a “legend” with “a huge heart.”

Burrow’s legacy endures through the Rob Burrow Centre for Motor Neurone Disease, which is planned for construction at Seacroft Hospital in Leeds.

In an interview on BBC Breakfast, Phil Daly, a close friend of Burrow, said: “We will have the groundbreaking today, as per Rob’s wishes. We spoke to Lindsey on Friday, and that’s what he wanted. We can’t waste a day, and Rob wouldn’t want us to waste a day, so we start today.

“This is not a reflection of the NHS staff who cared for Rob—they did an excellent job—but the current facilities are inadequate. When you’re given that diagnosis in the existing conditions, it makes the situation even more challenging.”

Six rugby stars diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease

This is a list of notable people who have or had motor neuron disease, a group of rare neurodegenerative disorders that selectively affect motor neurons, the cells which control voluntary muscles of the body. 

#1. Rob Burrow – England

On 19 December 2019, it was publicly revealed Burrow had been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND).

On 30 December 2020, Burrow was appointed MBE in the 2021 New Years Honours List for his services to Rugby League and the Motor Neurone Disease community.

On 16 March 2021, Burrow was awarded the Honorary degree of Doctor of Sport Science by Leeds Beckett University.

Sadly, he passed away on June 3rd 2024.

#2. Doddie Weir – Scotland

n June 2017, Weir announced that he had been diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND), the announcement coinciding with global MND Awareness Day. In August, he spoke about plans to set up a foundation named ‘My Name’s Doddie’ in order to “raise funds for research into a cure for MND and to provide grants to people living with the condition”. In November, accompanied by his three sons, he walked the match ball on to the pitch at Murrayfield for the Autumn international test match between Scotland and the All Blacks.

A tartan was designed by Weir in collaboration with Berwickshire-based clothes firm ScotlandShop, in a bid to raise cash for his motor neurone disease research charity. The tartan features colours from the teams he played for: black and yellow of Melrose, blue and white of Scotland, and black of the former and white of the latter are also intended as a reference to his seven years with Newcastle Falcons. My Name’s Doddie: The Autobiography was published on 25 October 2018 through Black & White Publishing.

On 31 October 2018, Weir appeared on BBC One’s The One Show, where he stated that his charity had now raised over £1 million.

In January 2020 Weir confirmed his involvement in a clinical trial aimed at finding drugs that could slow, stop or reverse the progression of MND.

On the evening of 26 November 2022, his family announced that he had died of motor neuron disease, aged 52. A memorial service was held at Melrose Parish Church on 19 December, with audio from the service relayed to Melrose RFC’s ground The Greenyards.