Rob Burrow: People across the world remember rugby league legend

Tributes have been growing at Headingley stadium. Credit: PA

Tributes are being paid across the country to former England international Rob Burrow who has died at the age of 41.

The former Leeds Rhinos rugby league star had a lengthy battle with motor neurone disease (MND) after his diagnosis in 2019.

Burrow has since helped raise millions for MND charities.

Lindsey Burrow 'incredibly proud' to call Rob Burrow her husband

Lindsey Burrow has released a statement which said her family "will continue to keep Rob's legacy alive".

Mrs Burrow said: "I was incredibly proud and fortunate to call Rob my husband. I am unbelievably proud of the campaigning he’s done to raise awareness and the millions of pounds that have been raised in his name for MND charities.

"My priority is to make Rob proud, and to bring our three children up as Rob would want and ensure their happiness and well-being.

She added: "We will continue to keep Rob’s legacy alive. We will continue to ‘bang the drum’ and do our best to try and help others."

Mrs Burrow thanked medics who have cared for her husband following his diagnosis in 2019.

She said: "Although we knew this day would arrive, I am somehow still feeling at a loss for words that our loving, kind and caring husband and father has departed. However, we take comfort from how much people’s love and continued support meant to Rob through his most vulnerable times."

Her statement ended: "He was simply the best."

'There's only one Rob Burrow': Whole rugby league community remember 'legend of the game'

Clubs and players from across the UK and the world have been remembering the impact Burrow had on the sport.

Burrow made 492 appearances for Leeds Rhinos and won eight Super League championships during his career.

Despite being 5ft 5in tall, he has been described as a "giant" of the game.

Hull FC first-team player Tom Briscoe, who called Burrow a team-mate earlier in his career, said he was an "inspiration on and off the field."

Burrow celebrates after the final whistle during the Betfred Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford, 2017. Credit: PA

While former Hull FC's head of emerging talent Francis Cummins recalled his time playing alongside Burrow.

“Being the underdog all his life, Rob has always had to prove people wrong, but you look back on his career and see how many times he’s done that, and popped up at the big moments when his team needed him," he said.

"He was brave, he was quick, and he had the x-factor.

“His mental toughness was huge and that says a lot about his character. The strength of the man was incredible."

Meanwhile Hull KR said: "Rob was a true competitor on the pitch, and a warrior off it until the very end."There’s only one Rob Burrow."

'Superhuman, superman': Kevin Sinfield on his friend and former team-mate

Kevin Sinfield said he was “pretty heartbroken” as he paid tribute to his friend and former teammate Rob Burrow, calling him a “superhuman superman”.

Sinfield said the loss was “pretty raw still” as he attended a groundbreaking ceremony for the Rob Burrow Centre for MND at Seacroft Hospital in Leeds on Monday.

Fighting back tears, he said: “I wish he could have seen the outpouring of love.

“I think we all lose special people but it’s very, very rare you lose someone who’s so special to so many different people.

“He’ll leave a massive hole and I know there will be a lot of people out there who are heartbroken this morning at the news from yesterday.

“What’s really important is Rob Burrow continues to live forever. I’m sure the MND community and everyone who’s supported us previously will make sure that Rob’s name is at the forefront of everything we do going forward.”

Sinfield played for Leeds Rhinos alongside Burrow, and the pair went on to raise millions of pounds for motor neurone disease.

He said Burrow was “a superhuman superman in a game of big, strong athletes”.

“Then to come here today and see some of the fruits of Rob’s work, he was so proud of this and we’ve heard they’re going to try and build it in record time now, because that’s what Rob did, he broke records.

“He wanted people to have a better outlook on life, he wanted people to have hope, he wanted to find a cure for this disease.”

Sinfield carried his friend Rob Burrow over the line at the Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon, 2023. Credit: PA

'He was an actual legend of the city' says boxer Josh Warrington

Leeds fighter Josh Warrington has paid tribute to Rob Burrow by laying a glove alongside tributes at Headingley stadium.

Warrington said: "I put on there 'it's not the dog in the fight, it's the fight in the dog' and that man surely epitomises that."

Warrington said the ex-player was "short and sweet, an absolute legend [with] a massive heart."

"He's represented us little fellas well and [he was] an actual legend of the city."

The two-time featherweight champion has previously showed support for Rob Burrow when he wore Burrow's number 7 on his shorts during a fight against Mauricio Lara at Wembley.

Minute's silence held outside Headingley Stadium

The Leeds Rhinos team have held a minute's silence next to the tributes which have been building outside the grounds.

The Leeds Rhinos team held a minute silence outside Headingley Credit: ITV News

Leeds Rhinos squad hug Rob Burrow's parents outside Headingley

Rob Burrow's parents were greeted by players as they arrived at Headingley stadium to lay flowers.

Credit: ITV News

Burrow family and Kevin Sinfield attend ground breaking ceremony for new Rob Burrow Centre for Motor Neurone Disease in Leeds

Members of the Burrow family were at an event to mark the start of work on the new £6 million centre, one day after the ex-rugby player's death was announced.

Burrow had spearheaded the charity appeal for a new state-of-the-art purpose built care centre for people living with the disease.

Kevin Sinfield, who has taken on mammoth fundraising challenges for the appeal was also at the ground breaking ceremony.

Geoff Burrow (left), Rob Burrow's father, and Kevin Sinfield at the ground breaking ceremony at the new £6 million Rob Burrow Centre Credit: PA
Geoff Burrow (third from left) was at the ground breaking ceremony at Seacroft Hospital Credit: PA

'He never stopped shining': Former team-mate says people should take inspiration from Burrow's spirit

Jamie Jones-Buchanan pays tribute to former Leeds Rhino teammate Rob Burrow Credit: PA

Jamie Jones-Buchanun was a team-mate of Burrow's throughout his glory days at Leeds Rhinos.

He told Good Morning Britain that Burrow was at the "centre" of the team.

He said: "He was the spirit that enabled us to go out and just fight for each other.

"That courage that came through visible expression on the field never stopped shining. In fact, it shone exponentially in the second chapter of his life where the physical element of Rob Burrow was completely robbed from him through no fault of his own."

He added: "It didn't stop him from shouting any louder. I think every moment when we wake up we have got to take inspiration from that."

Jones-Buchanan said Burrow "carried on going no matter what MND threw at him" and that thanks to Burrow's fundraising there are "thousands of lives" which have been changed.

He said: "Both Rob and Kev through what they did in the media raising money and awareness through crazy challenges have left a lasting legacy."

People leave floral tributes at Headingley Stadium

After the announcement of Burrow's death on Sunday night, hundreds of people have visited Headingley Stadium to pay their respects.

Flowers, shirts and candles have been building outside the grounds.

Shirts with Burrow's former number '7' have been left outside the grounds Credit: PA
Credit: PA

'I will miss you my little mate': Kevin Sinfield pays tribute to friend Rob Burrow

Keving Sinfield has taken on several challenges to raise money for MND charities following his former team-mates diagnosis.

In a statement, Sinfield said: "The world has lost a great man and a wonderful friend to so so many.

"You will continue to inspire me every single day. I have lost a dear friend and I will never forget the special times we shared both on and off the pitch. I would always say that you were pound for a pound the toughest player I ever played alongside, however since your diagnosis you were the toughest and bravest man I have ever met."

The statement ended "I will miss you my little mate."