Rob Burrow’s wife ‘incredibly proud’ of husband

Rob Burrow’s wife ‘incredibly proud’ of husband

1 hour agoAndrew Barton & Grace Parnell,BBC NewsDanny Lawson/PALindsey Burrow says everyone has been left “deeply saddened” by Rob Burrow’s death

Rob Burrow’s wife, Lindsey Burrow, says she is “incredibly proud” of her husband and vowed to continue keeping his “legacy alive”.

Rugby league legend Burrow, 41, died on Sunday after battling motor neurone disease (MND) since 2019.

In a statement, Mrs Burrow said everyone was “deeply saddened by the loss of our devoted husband and father”.

Earlier on Monday, members of Burrow’s family oversaw the start of construction on an MND treatment centre named after him.

Burrow’s diagnosis came two years after he retired from playing, with his 17-year career with Leeds Rhinos and Great Britain including eight Super League Grand Final wins, three World Club Challenges and two Challenge Cups.

Burrow and Lindsey, who married in 2006, have three children – Jackson, Maya and Macy.

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Mrs Burrow wrote: “Although we knew this day would arrive, I am somehow still feeling at a loss for words that our loving, kind and caring husband and father has departed.

“However, we take comfort from how much people’s love and continued support meant to Rob through his most vulnerable times.”

She thanked the rugby league community and others for their “outpouring of love” since his diagnosis and praised the MND team in Leeds and staff at Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield.

Mrs Burrow concluded: “He was simply the best. Our hero.”

Kevin Sinfield said it was “so rare to lose someone so special to so many different people”

Before he died, Burrow told his parents and sisters he still wanted the ground-breaking ceremony at Seacroft Hospital in Leeds to go ahead.

His parents Geoff and Irene Burrow attended the event with their daughters Claire and Joanne, as well as Burrow’s close friend and former Leeds Rhinos teammate Kevin Sinfield.

The centre is being built using millions of pounds raised by Burrow and Sinfield.

PARob Burrow’s parents and sisters attended a ceremony to mark construction of a new MND centre in his name just a day after his death

Irene Burrow said her son had made it clear he wanted the planned event to take place on Monday.

She told the BBC: “He was asked, we were all there and he used his eyes.

“There was no hesitation whatsoever. He wanted it to go ahead today.

“As soon as they can get this done, the better for everybody.

“He’ll be watching today and we’ve pulled ourselves together, all of us, because that’s what Rob would have wanted.”

PAThe Burrow family said Rob was keen for construction to begin

Geoff Burrow added: “The centre is a breakthrough for people with MND, so it’s not the hell on Earth that it’s been.

“It’s going to be a good future for MND sufferers, we’ll make sure of it, Rob wants us to.”

Construction is expected to take a year to complete and the charity remains focused on raising the last £1m of its target.

Speaking after the ceremony, Sinfield said: “We all lose special people, but it’s very, very, rare you lose someone who is so special to so many different people.

“It’s pretty raw still. He’ll leave a massive hole.

“But what’s really important is that Rob Burrow continues to live forever and I’m sure the MND community and everyone who supported us previously will make sure that Rob’s name is at the forefront of everything we do going forward.”

‘We must dare to dream’

The Prince of Wales was also among those paying tribute, describing Burrow as a “legend of rugby league” who had a “huge heart”.

William said: “He taught us, ‘in a world full of adversity, we must dare to dream.’ Catherine and I send our love to Lindsey, Jackson, Maya and Macy.”

PAKevin Sinfield attended the construction ceremony on Monday

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who recognised Burrow’s MND campaigning with a ‘Points of Light’ award last year, said he was “honoured” to have spent some time with him.

“Rob was an inspiration to everyone who met him or who heard his incredible story,” Mr Sunak said on X.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer also paid tribute to Burrow and his “incredible legacy” on X.

“Rob leaves behind an incredible legacy in his work to raise awareness and advocate for those with Motor Neurone Disease,” Sir Keir said.

Kevin Sinfield speaks of ‘superhuman’ Rob Burrow’s legacy.

Burrow’s former Leeds Rhinos teammate Jamie Jones-Buchanan visited Headingley Stadium on Monday morning to pay his respects.

Fans had gathered at the Leeds stadium to lay flowers on hearing the news.

He said: “Rob was a shining light and the spirit of Leeds, to quote some of the tributes left at the statue of John Holmes.

“His legacy is one of courage, to do it for a mate with a mate, be brave, to stand up and fight for what you believe in and Rob did that both on and off the field and that will never leave this club, this city.”

He added: “Rob transcended sport and through the media he was able to get his message out of love, of altruism and benevolence.”

PA MediaJamie Jones-Buchanan visited Headingley to pay his respectsRob Burrow has died aged 41 after being diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 2019

Esther Wakeman, chief executive of Leeds Hospitals Charity, said: “We are heartbroken to hear that our patron, Rob Burrow, has sadly died.

“Rob was an inspiration, not only to the people of Yorkshire, but the entire nation, and across the world.”

The charity confirmed that £5.8m had been raised to build the specialist centre for people living with MND and their families.

PA MediaMembers of the public pay tribute and view flowers and messages left at Headingley

Ms Wakeman said the centre would be a place people would “look to and know it was part of Rob Burrow’s life”.

She added: “We still have £1m to raise, but we are confident that the community will continue to get behind this.

“This is something which will stand there for many years supporting patients and their families – and that’s what Rob wanted.”

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Relevant internet links

MND Association

Motor neurone disease

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