Inside Rob Burrow and Kevin Sinfield's beautiful friendship after Leeds Rhinos legend's tragic death

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It was a relationship that captured the hearts of the nation.

As the country mourns the tragic loss of rugby league legend Rob Burrow, the legacy he built with former teammate and Kevin Sinfield lives on.

It was an enduring symbol of friendship, when Rob - who had been diagnosed with MND four years earlier - was carried over the finish line of the Leeds Marathon by best friend Kevin in 2023. Together, they have worked tirelessly to boost the profile of the debilitating and life-limiting condition.

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As well as raising a phenomenal amount of money for MND charities, they inspired countless people to come together as a result of their bond which has come to represent a beacon of hope in difficult times. In total, the pair’s efforts resulted in more than £15 million being donated to charity. This includes £5.85 million for a new state-of-the-art MND centre that will be named after Rob in Seacroft - with construction having started this week.

It was confirmed last Sunday that Rob had sadly died after a four-and-a-half year battle with the incurable disease. Millions of people will have watched the inspiring work he did with Oldham-born Kevin following his diagnosis. Having known each other for many years - Kevin joined the Rhinos when he was just 13, while Rob was only 12 - the bond that they shared only seemed to get stronger.

Kevin Sinfield with Rob Burrow after completing his Extra Mile Challenge of 101 miles in under 24hrs.Kevin Sinfield with Rob Burrow after completing his Extra Mile Challenge of 101 miles in under 24hrs.
Kevin Sinfield with Rob Burrow after completing his Extra Mile Challenge of 101 miles in under 24hrs.

Last year, they published 'With You Every Step: A Celebration of Friendship', which featured inspiring quotes about their experiences. At the time, Kevin said: “We’re really proud to have written it. I’d like to think it will inspire people to build friendships and look after each other a little bit better.”

It came just months after the heartwarming moment in which they crossed the finish line of the Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon together in 2023. Speaking soon after, Kevin said: “No one anticipated it to have the effect it did. We’d always planned to cross the finish line together. It was a moment for me and Rob to share. But there were 12,000 other people there sharing that moment with us. The feeling in Leeds was incredible on that day.”

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It’s not the only challenge that Kevin has taken on to support his friend. Last month, he announced his fifth challenge to raise money for the MND Association which will see him run 31 miles every day for a week, starting in Liverpool on December 1.

Previously, his dedication to the cause saw him run an ultra-marathon every day for seven days in seven different cities. While he took on the ‘7 in 7 in 7’ challenge, Kevin wore the number seven on his shirt - as it’s the number that Rob wore throughout his career.

Both Rob and Kevin were awarded a CBE in the New Year’s Honours List for their incredible charity work, which was presented to them last year by Prince William. Ultimately, their work demonstrated the profound impact of genuine friendship, which people are unlikely to forget any time soon.

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