Inspirational Rob Burrow MBE awarded Honorary Doctorate by Leeds Beckett University

Former professional rugby player Rob Burrow MBE has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Leeds Beckett University.

Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 1:59 pm
Updated Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 2:02 pm
Rob is one of the most respected players of all time at Leeds Rhinos. Born in Pontefract, he first played the sport for Featherstone Lions amateur rugby league club before joining the Leeds Rhinos Academy.
Rob is one of the most respected players of all time at Leeds Rhinos. Born in Pontefract, he first played the sport for Featherstone Lions amateur rugby league club before joining the Leeds Rhinos Academy.

Rob played his entire career with Leeds Rhinos and won every honour with the club. He has added a new honour to his collection – that of Honorary Doctor of Sport Science.

Speaking about the Honorary Doctorate, Peter Mackreth, Dean of the Carnegie School of Sport, said: “Rob has inspired athletes and the public in Leeds, Yorkshire and throughout the country.

"Not only a competitor on the field who gave his all for the team, he is selflessly taking on his newest challenge head-on, to improve the lives of those living with Motor Neurone Disease.”

On receiving the award, Rob said: “It is a huge honour and privilege to be awarded an honorary doctorate from Leeds Beckett University. I am very grateful for the support of everyone at the university”.

Rob is one of the most respected players of all time at Leeds Rhinos. Born in Pontefract, he first played the sport for Featherstone Lions amateur rugby league club before joining the Leeds Rhinos Academy.

He rose through the Academy and made his professional debut in 2001 and in his first season scored seven tries in 17 games proving to be one of the most exciting players and being voted as Super League Young Player of the Year. He spent his entire career, 17 seasons, with Leeds Rhinos.

Rob also represented England and Great Britain internationally for a decade, joining the England team in 2003. In 2007, he triumphed in the Great Britain side who claimed a Series whitewash over New Zealand. His inspirational performances led to him deservedly being named Player of the Tournament.

He announced his retirement in 2017 and began his coaching career the next year as Under 18s Academy Head Coach at Leeds Rhinos.

In December 2019, Rob was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease. He has since channelled his energies into working tirelessly to raise awareness and funds to support others who are living with the disease.

Honorary Doctorates at Leeds Beckett are conferred on individuals whose achievements reflect the values of the university or on individuals who have made a positive impact on Leeds or on the region.

Since 1982, the university has each year recognised individuals who have excelled in their chosen field or made a significant contribution to public life with an Honorary Award.

Rob received the award from Sir Bob Murray CBE, Chancellor of Leeds Beckett University and Professor Peter Slee, Vice Chancellor of Leeds Beckett University in an online ceremony attended by his family.