Sinfield raises over a million for motor neurone disease research with 101-mile challenge

Former Leeds Rhinos captain Kevin Sinfield says he has been overwhelmed by the response to his latest fundraising challenge with donations exceeding a million pounds.

Sinfield originally set out to raise £100,000 for motor neurone disease (MND) support and to help build a new centre for patients and their families in Leeds, after his former teammate Rob Burrow was diagnosed with the condition in 2019.

Ex-England rugby league international Sinfield, who is now defence coach at rugby union club Leicester, has run from the Tigers' Welford Road ground to Headingley - the length of almost four marathons - non-stop inside 24 hours.

The journey, which has been split into seven-kilometre segments, was originally planned to cover 100 miles, but actually measures 101 with Sinfield once again proving he will always go the extra mile for Burrow Burrow arrived, who arrived at the stadium this morning to congratulate his friend at the finish line.

The challenge is in aid of MND research, after Rob Burrow was diagnosed in 2019.

Money raised from the run will be divided between the MND Association and the Leeds Hospitals Charity appeal to build a new care centre in Leeds that will bear the name of the former Great Britain number seven.

Kevin Sinfield receives physiotherapy at the eighth stop at Bulwell Forest Golf Course in Nottingham. Credit: PA Images

Sinfield was given a send-off in Leicester by the Coldstream Guards and received good-luck messages from Alan Shearer, Ian Wright and Mo Farah.

41-year-old Sinfield is in regular contact with his former team-mate Burrow, and says he is in his thoughts throughout.

Kevin Sinfield (left) hugs Rob Burrow after the testimonial match at Emerald Headingley in 2020. Credit: PA Images

"That's what teams do, we stick together," he said. "We still look after each other, that's the great thing about rugby.

"I've said it before, when someone is in a bit of bother, a bit of strife, the Batman sign goes up and the group will come, that's probably the strength of that group of players.

"That's rugby, isn't it? Perhaps not all teams have it but ours did."

In December 2020, Sinfield helped raise over £2.7million by running seven marathons in seven days and has already smashed through his initial target of £100,000 for his latest challenge.