Artist with MND designs special Leeds Rhinos shirt in memory of Rob Burrow

  • Video report by Chris Dawkes

Leeds Rhinos will wear a special shirt designed by an artist with motor neurone disease (MND) for their first game since the death of Rob Burrow.

The Rhinos face Leigh Leopards in their opening match of the new Super League season at Headingley Stadium on Friday – less than three weeks after club legend Burrow died from MND.

On what is also MND Awareness Day, the team will take to the field in a shirt designed by artist Cath Muir, from Richmond, North Yorkshire, who was diagnosed with MND ten years ago.

It features an image of Burrow alongside his friend and former teammate Kevin Sinfield, along with the slogans "it's all about friendship" and "together shoulder to shoulder".

The shirt features an iconic image of Rob Burrow alongside his friend Kevin Sinfield.

Muir said: "Rob made such a big difference to the MND community since his diagnosis. He bravely came out and told the world about his diagnosis with MND.

"Suddenly people were learning about this horrendous disease that takes everything from you."

Muir, who was a painter before her diagnosis, is now unable to use her hands to hold a brush.

Instead she paints with a machine controlled by her eye movement.

She said: "I started a long job of learning how to use my eye gaze to paint. I gave up many times, but eventually succeeded. Last year I did a calendar and sold 300 of them, raising £2,500 for MND."

An image painted by Cath Muir of Rob Burrow and Kevin Sinfield features on the shirt. Credit: ITV News

The artist said she was inspired by the friendship between Burrow and Sinfield to paint an image which she gave to Sinfield during one of his fundraising challenges last year.

He said: "You know when you receive gifts like this, they're so special when you realise the time and effort that have gone into creating it.

"It was a wonderful drawing and that had taken Cath nine hours to put together."

Muir has raised almost £100,000 for MND research since her diagnosis. She has completed physical challenges, such as a coast to coast bike ride and now uses her artwork to continue to raise funds.

The shirt features Cath’s a blue cornflower, a symbol of hope for people from the MND community because of its fragile appearance but hardy nature.

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