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Rob Burrow funeral: Hundreds line streets to pay tribute to rugby league legend and MND campaigner


The funeral cortege passes through Featherstone town centre, West Yorkshire before the funeral for former Leeds Rhinos player Rob Burrow

Rob Burrow’s funeral was held at the Pontefract Crematorium on Sunday (PA)

Crowds gathered to pay their respect to Leeds Rhinos legend and MND campaigner Rob Burrow ahead of his funeral service on Sunday.

Burrow died at the age of 41 last month having been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in 2019, two years after his retirement from rugby league.

The funeral on Sunday afternoon was a private event at the Pontefract Crematorium in West Yorkshire but hundreds stood by the roadside to pay tribute.

People were in tears as they applauded while the hearse carrying his coffin drove past, while some members of the public threw yellow and white flowers on the windscreen.

Five cars led the cortege which slowed outside Featherstone Lions ARLFC’s ground where Burrow played rugby as a boy.

A wreath of white flowers spelling the words ‘Bro’ and ‘Son’ could be seen inside the hearseon one side, with ‘Dad’ on the other.

Rob Burrow died on June 2 after being diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in 2019 (PA Wire)

Five cars led the cortege for Rob Burrow’s funeral (SWNS)

A wreath of white flowers spelling the word ‘dad’ was seen in Rob Burrow’s hearse (SWNS)

Kevin Sinfield with his wife Jayne arrive at the Pontefract Crematorium (PA)

Burrow’s best friend and fellow MND campaigner, Kevin Sinfield, was among the mourners gathering at the crematorium ahead of the service.

Speaking ahead of the service, Gary Hetherington, Leeds Rhinos chief executive, revealed in the early stage of Burrow’s career he had doubts about his ability because of his height.

Burrow, who was 5ft 5in tall, was one of the smallest players in Super League.

‘He did prove himself big enough,’ Hetherington told the BBC.

‘He was big in heart, spirit determination and ability. An iconic sportsman.’

What is motor neurone disease?

Motor neurone disease (MND) is an uncommon condition that affects the brain and nerves. It causes weakness which gets worse over time.

There is no cure for MND but there are treatments to help reduce the impact it has on a person’s daily life.

MND can significantly shorten life expectancy and eventually leads to death.

MND mainly affects people in their 60s and 70s but it can affect adults of all ages.

The disease is caused by a problem with cells in the brain and nerves called motor neurones. These cells gradually stop working over time -the cause of this is unknown.

Burrow’s pre-recorded message to his friends and family, to be heard only after he died, was revealed on the BBC One special programme ‘There’s Only One Rob Burrow’ last month.

‘I’m a fighter, to be honest. I might not be able to tackle MND but I’ll certainly be swinging, I’m not going to give in, not until my last breath,’ Burrow said.

‘I’m a prisoner in my own body, that’s the way MND gets you. The lights are on but no one is home.’

Rob Burrow and his wife Lindsey arriving at Windsor Castle to receive his MBE in 2022 (PA)

Rob Burrow playing for England in 2013 (Getty)

As footage of his family and friends reacting to …read more

Source:: Metro

      

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