Pontefract's Rob Burrow to be made an MBE

Rob in action for Leeds Rhinos.Rob in action for Leeds Rhinos.
Rob in action for Leeds Rhinos.
Rugby hero Rob Burrow is to be made an MBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours’ List, it was confirmed this week.

The 38-year-old scrum half, who was born in Pontefract, enjoyed an illustrious career with Leeds Rhinos spanning 16 years, but it is his fight against Motor Neurone Disease (MND) that has catapulted him into the nation’s hearts over the past 12 months.

He said: “It is truly humbling to be awarded the MBE and I would like to thank everyone who has made this possible.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“2020 has taught us all to appreciate the gifts we have and it is my honour and privilege to accept this award on behalf of all the MND community.

Rob has been battling MND for 12 months.Rob has been battling MND for 12 months.
Rob has been battling MND for 12 months.

“I hope it gives people hope that we are not ignored and the drive for more research and support to end MND will not stop.”

He was diagnosed with the incurable disease in December last year and it has already robbed him of his ability to walk unaided.

The degenerative condition, which affects the brain and the spinal column, will almost certainly take his life but the married father-of-two has said he is determined to take his fight to the end.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Already a legend among the Rugby League community, his plight was highlighted in a tear-jerking documentary broadcast on the BBC in October which brought him to the world’s attention.

He has spent the past 12 months raising funds for the MND Association and raising awareness, for which will be made an MBE.

He starred in a testimonial rugby league game in January as Leeds Rhinos played Bradford Bulls and came on for the last few minutes.

Burrow’s friend and former team-mate Kevin Sinfield, now the Rhinos’ director of rugby, was inspired by his pal’s resolve and ran seven marathons in seven days to raise money for the MND Association.

Burrow wore the No7 at Leeds, so Sinfield’s initial fundraising target was £77,777, but has now passed £2.5 million.