Leeds Rhinos rugby league legend Rob Burrow dies aged 41 after suffering from motor neurone disease

Leeds Rhinos rugby league legend Rob Burrow dies aged 41 after suffering from motor neurone disease

Former England international Rob Burrow has died at the age of 41 after a lengthy battle with motor neurone disease.

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

He retired in 2017 and two years later it was revealed Burrow had been diagnosed with MND.

He raised millions to help build a new care centre for MND patients alongside former team-mate Kevin Sinfield.

Burrow’s death was confirmed by his former club Leeds on Sunday night.

A statement on the club’s’ official website read: “It is with deep sadness that we announce the death of our beloved son, husband, father, brother and friend.

“Rob has always been a true inspiration throughout his life whether that was on the rugby league field or during his battle with MND (motor neurone disease).

“He never allowed others to define what he could achieve and believed in his own ability to do more.

“The outpouring of love and support that Rob and the whole Burrow family have received over the last four-and-a-half years meant so much to Rob. In particular, the rugby league family and MND community have rallied around Rob to inspire him, thank you for your support.

“For those who knew Rob throughout his life, his determination and spirit in the face of MND over the last four-and-a-half years came as no surprise.

“Rob never accepted that he couldn’t do something. He just found his way of doing it better than anyone else. He will continue to inspire us all every day. In a world full of adversity. We must dare to dream.”

Born in Pontefract, Burrow progressed through Leeds’ academy despite his 5ft 5in frame to debut in 2001 and establish himself as a great of the sport.

The Prince of Wales paid tribute to Burrow, describing him as a “legend of Rugby League” who had a “huge heart”, adding: “He taught us, ‘in a world full of adversity, we must dare to dream’.”

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.

“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.”