Burrow wishes finalists well for Coral Challenge Cup Final

Leeds Rhinos legend Rob Burrow has thanked the hundreds of well wishers who have sent him messages of support in recent weeks and wished his former club and Salford Red Devils all the best for the Coral Challenge Cup Final at Wembley next Saturday, 17th October. 

Burrow, a Challenge Cup winner with Leeds in 2014 and 2015, was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in December 2019. Fans on social media have spoken about the possibility of Burrow either leading the Rhinos out or presenting the trophy to the winning captain. 

However, Covid restrictions at Wembley have meant that there will be no one presenting the trophy to ensure social distancing. For a number of weeks, the RFL and Leeds Rhinos have been speaking with Burrow about his involvement as part of the Challenge Cup Final Day however Burrow has said he will be enjoying the action from home on Saturday afternoon live on BBC One. 

Burrow commented, “I would like to thank the club and the RFL for all the support they have offered me and the kind invitation to be part of the Challenge Cup Final. However, I’ve decided to stay and watch the game at home, like millions of other Rugby League fans around the country, with my family. I would like to wish both teams the best of luck for a special day.”

Leeds Rhinos Director of Rugby Kevin Sinfield commented, “Having spoken with Rob and his wife Lindsey, I know It has been overwhelming to see the support Rob and his family have had from the general public in recent weeks especially with everything else that is going on in people’s lives. 

“I know from having played alongside him, that playing in the Challenge Cup Final and running out at Wembley was one of the biggest highlights of his career and he hopes everyone savours the moment, despite the fact that fans can not be there. Rob is anticipating a fantastic Final and is looking forward to sitting down with his kids to enjoy it.”

Rob Burrow: My Year with MND

Make sure you tune in to BBC Two on Monday, October 12 from 1900-1930, BBC Two or on the BBC iPlayer to watch this moving documentary follows Rob Burrow as he shows the same spirit in his fight against motor neurone disease as the one which made him a hugely-admired rugby league star.

His family and friends – including former team-mates Kevin Sinfield and Barrie McDermott – also give their moving insight into this remarkable man. Burrow was prompted to raise awareness for research into the condition, including regular appearances on BBC Breakfast, after a meeting with former Scotland rugby union legend and fellow motor neurone disease sufferer Doddie Weir.

Burrow was diagnosed with the degenerative disease, for which there is no cure, barely two years after ending his stellar playing career by helping Leeds Rhinos to a record-extending eighth Super League Grand Final in autumn 2017. As the disease takes its toll physically, Burrow speaks of his determination to live as normal a life as possible and explains how his rugby career has prepared him for the challenge.

You can also watch the documentary on BBC One on Saturday 17th October from 1315 in the build up to the Coral Challenge Cup Final from Wembley.