Kevin Sinfield on the moment he carried Rob Burrow over marathon finish line
Alison and Craig spoke exclusively to English Rugby Union coach Kevin Sinfield on the emotional moment he carried his former teammate Rob Burrow over the Leeds Marathon finish line.
Kevin - who raised over £8 million for MND - said, “It was an incredible day raising money, 12,500 people ran in Rob’s name… and the first time we’ve been able to do a big event together and was put together under the banner of friendship, and it was a brilliant day.”
Rob Burrow, together with his wife Lindsey - who assisted with the technology to help him communicate - said, “The Marathon was one of the most important and special events I’ve done and meant so many things to so many people.
“But for me, it was about friendship and crossing the finish line with my mate Kev will live with me forever and it created a platform to raise funds and awareness for MND charities, and I hope that the next one is as memorable.”
Lindsey added, “They are an example of true friendship and Kev’s been there from day one with Rob and I think Rob would’ve found it quite tough without Rob’s friendship, and that image of them crossing the line kind of symbolises that friendship.
“Kev is such a role model to us all. He’s so inspirational and what he’s done for Rob has just been incredible. Everybody needs a friend like Kev and we’re just so grateful for the friendship and support that he has given.”
Explaining how the hot weather affected their marathon finish, Kevin said, “We wanted a nice moment to finish and the plan was to get Rob out of the chair, and I suppose get some weight through his feet, but we realised during the marathon that it has taken its toll on all of us.
“It was a really hot day and Rob got uncomfortable at times in the chair as well - it was the first time we’d gone that distance and that meant we had to get him out of the chair a fair bit, but actually I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
“It was a beautiful moment, certainly for me, and I hope Rob feels the same. We’ve had some incredible moments on the field together and they've been really important in our friendship but some really tough moments, but to get to do that together was brilliant.”
He went on to add how together with Rob and Lindsey other sport players have given the MND community hope. Kevin said, “This band of brothers if you like from professional sport have shifted the dial for a community and these are the toughest people you’ll ever meet. The people I meet who have got MND are so tough and have such humour, they are the best of us…”
Rob added, “I’ve been blown away by the amount of money that has been raised and the support I have received since my diagnosis three years ago. There are so many kind people and I have a great deal of love for them… it took me to get MND to see just how many wonderful people there are and how much people care. I’m a positive person who lives life to the full and this really helps with my fight against MND.”
Smiling, Rob added, “I’ve officially retired from marathons so it depends what Kevin has in mind! I know he has an amazing team with him and it depends what's in his head… sorry to say I won’t be involved but good luck to them!”
Kevin went on to say, “I will continue to raise funds for MND for the rest of my life. I’m passionate about it, I’m in it. This is a big part of who I am now. Whether that is a bit more private and behind the scenes… but it will continue. I’d love to think we’d go again.”
Kevin's new book, The Extra Mile is out Thursday 25th May.