Rob Burrow urges people not to “waste a moment” on the final message

Video explanation, Rob Burrow: The final message of a rugby legend

  • author, Grace Parnell and Tom Airey
  • Role, BBC Yorkshire

A final message from rugby league legend and motor neurone disease (MND) campaigner, Rob Burrow, urges people not to ‘waste a moment’ of their lives.

The speech was recorded for the BBC documentary ‘There’s Only One Rob Burrow’, which the former Leeds Rhinos star requested to take part after his death.

Burrow, who died Sunday at the age of 41, said he hopes there will one day be a cure for the degenerative condition.

He said, “My final message to you is to be brave, whatever your personal battle, and face it.”

“In a world full of adversity, we still have to dare to dream.”

Comment on the photo, Rob Burrow’s diagnosis came two years after he retired from playing rugby league

Burrow’s diagnosis in 2019 came two years after he retired from playing, with a 17-year playing career with the Rhinos and Great Britain including eight Super League Grand Final victories, three World Club Challenges and two Challenge Cups.

In a statement, his wife, Lindsey Burrow, described him as “simply the best” and said he was “our hero.”

“Even though we knew this day would come, I still feel a sense of loss at the words that our loving, kind, caring husband and father passed away,” she said.

“However, we are comforted by how much people continue to love and support Rob during his most vulnerable times.”

On Monday morning, members of Burrow’s family oversaw the start of construction work on the MND treatment center in Leeds named after him.

Burrow’s full letters say:

“I hope that one day we will find a cure and live in a world free of motor neurone diseases.

“By the time you see this, I won’t be here anymore.

“I’m just a lad from Yorkshire who has managed to fulfill his dream of playing rugby league.

“As a father of three young children, I would never want any family to go through what my family has gone through since my diagnosis.

“I hope I have left a mark on the disease.

“I hope it shows that I’m living in the moment.

“I hope you find inspiration from the whole story.

“My final message to you is whatever your personal battle is, be brave and face it.

“Every day is precious.

“In a world full of adversity, we still have to dare to dream.

“Rob Burrow, over and over again.”

Comment on the photo, In May, Burrow’s wife Lindsay and former teammate Kevin Sinfield took part in the Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon.

After being diagnosed with MND, Burrow and his friend and former colleague Kevin Sinfield raised more than £15 million for charity in less than five years.

He was awarded an MBE in the 2021 New Year Honors List for services to rugby league and the MND community and was promoted to a CBE in the 2024 New Year Honors List.

The father-of-three died on Sunday at Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield.

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