Pan Macmillan to publish Rob Burrow’s autobiography Too Many Reasons to Live in August 2021

Robin Harvie, Non-Fiction Publisher at Pan Macmillan, pre-empted World Rights to the biography of Rob Burrow, the former Leeds Rhinos legend who was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 2019. Too Many Reasons to Live was acquired from Ruth Cairns at Featherstone Cairns for a six-figure sum. 

Rob Burrow has been described as one of the greatest rugby league players of all time. At only 5’4″ tall and weighing 70kg at his peak he was, quite literally, half the weight of some other team mates. But during his time at Leeds he was the multiple winner of the Super League, Challenge Cup, World Cup Challenge, League Leader’s Shield and the Harry Sunderland man of the match Trophy in 2007 and 2011. When he retired, Rob was included in the ultimate Leeds Rhinos Dream Team.

In December 2019, shortly after retiring, Rob received the devastating news that he was suffering from the degenerative disease that attacks the nerve cells in the brain. When he made the news public it was received with an extraordinary outpouring of affection and support for Rob and his family. In 2020, the BBC followed Rob for a year and the resulting documentary My Year with MND has been watched by two million people so far. More recently, Rob’s former Leeds captain Kevin Sinfield ran seven marathons in seven days, raising nearly £3m for Rob and the Motor Neurone Disease Association. The 2020 Sports Personality of the Year Awards also featured a special segment on Rob. 

Too Many Reasons to Live is the extraordinary story of Rob’s life as the perennial underdog who has taken to his fight with MND with the same irrepressible courage as he took on his opponents on the pitch.

Robin Harvie says: ‘Books like Rob’s don’t come along very often. His is a story of extraordinary courage, inspiration, kindness and sheer bloody mindedness, and we are extremely proud to be working with Rob on his book.’

Rob Burrow comments: ‘I am really excited for my story to be told as it is a true underdog story.  Against all odds I became successful in a sport played by the biggest of men. The adversity gave me a fighting chance as I now face an impossible opponent, and my fight to stay alive!’

Ruth Cairns adds: ‘It’s difficult to convey quite how much Rob Burrow means to so many people. Rarely has a sportsman been more adored by his fans, and the courage he has shown this year has been testament to his extraordinary character. In these troubled times, this is a book that will provide inspiration for so many who are facing their own struggles, and I’m delighted that it’s found such a passionate home with Pan Macmillan’.

Too Many Reasons to Live will be published in HB, audio and eBook in August 2021.

Philip Howard Books can take pre-orders over the phone (ring Ros on 0113 225 9797), by email (philiphowardleeds@yahoo.co.uk), on twitter (@philiphowardbks), or via Facebook (philiphowardbooks) or Instagram (@philiphowardbooks) for click & collect, posting out or local delivery.