Kevin Sinfield hugs Rob Burrow at Headingley stadium
Rugby league legends Kevin Sinfield and Rob Burrow embraced in emotional scenes as hundreds of supporters turned out for the latest leg of an epic endurance challenge.
The former Leeds Rhinos teammates were reunited at Headingley stadium in Leeds on the penultimate day of Sinfield's attempt to run seven ultra marathons in seven days to raise money for motor-neurone disease (MND) research.
Sinfield was given a rapturous welcome as he ran through the crowd towards Burrow, who was with wife, Lindsey.
Bending down to hug his friend, who has MND, Sinfield said: "Sorry I'm all sweaty and I smell... love you."
Asking the crowd to quieten down, the 42-year-old then fought to compose himself as he addressed them.
'We love you Kev'
He said: "I think you all understand what we're doing and why we're doing it. I know you're all stood side to side with us just like we tried to do for Rob, Lindsey and the family.
"Our team can't thank you enough... we'll find a cure for this disease. I don't know when but we all keep fighting together. We'll get there."
Sinfield set off from Edinburgh on his so-called "7-in-7" challenge on Sunday. He is aiming to run seven ultra marathons in seven days.
Averaging 37 miles (60km) a day, he has passed through Northumberland, Tyneside and Teesside on his way to North Yorkshire.
Crowds greet Sinfield at a garden centre in Leeds
He began day six by running from York Minster to Langlands Garden Centre, on the A64 north of Leeds, where hundreds of people cheered his arrival.
"We think that MND beacon is shining brighter than ever," he told supporters.
After leaving Headingley, Sinfield ran to Bradford, where he finished the day at Bradford City's Valley Parade stadium, where he met former City player Stephen Darby, who also has MND.
Sinfield was on course to pass his target to raise £777,777 – a nod to the number seven shirt Burrow wore as a player – by the end of Friday.
He is due to finish his final ultra marathon at Old Trafford in Manchester at half-time of Saturday's Rugby League World Cup final.
Burrow was diagnosed with MND – a rare condition affecting the brain and nerves – in 2019. He has since carried out a high-profile campaign to raise awareness of the disease as well as money for research.
Burrow: 'Kev's a beacon of hope'
His father, Geoff, told ITV News Sinfield had already done enough in his son's name.
Burrow said: "I agree with my dad. He has done enough for everyone. I’m not surprised at the money he has raised because he is a beacon of hope for everyone who has their own problems. Once he has made up his mind he will see it through."
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