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Kevin Sinfield and Rob Burrow miss out on knighthoods but are awarded in New Year Honours list

Rugby League and Motor Neurone Disease campaigning heroes Rob Burrow and Kevin Sinfield have been awarded CBE’s in the New Year Honours list and both have spoken about their pride at representing the MND community.

Sinfield was awarded an MBE in 2014 in recognition for his outstanding playing career and subsequently an OBE in 2021 for his work in raising awareness and funds for those impacted by MND. Sinfield’s friend and former team mate Rob Burrow was diagnosed with MND in December 2019 and since then has used his own battle with the disease to give a voice to all those living with MND. Burrow was awarded an MBE in 2021 in recognition for his work for the MND community.

The friends will now both receive the CBE and hope to have a joint investiture after plans for them to receive their 2021 awards together were scuppered when Burrow was taken ill.

Commenting on the award, Sinfield, whose latest challenge in December once again raised over £1 million, said, “When you think what we have done over the last few years, it is not about getting honours, it is about the MND community. I feel like I’m the one getting singled out but it’s been a real team effort from everybody. I can’t do it on my own, I need everybody to do their bit and it’s been an incredible journey.”

Since Burrow’s diagnosis fundraising inspired by Burrow, led by Sinfield and his four epic annual challenges, has raised over £15 million, which includes the inaugural Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon in 2023 when the image of Sinfield carrying Burrow across the finish line went viral on social media around the world.

Many people will be disappointed that the duo have again come short of knighthoods again. Sinfield was dubbed “Sir Kev” throughout his career and since he started fighting for more MND funding there have been widespread and this will generate some disappointment.

However, this is an excellent moment for the duo who deserve all the credit they get for the increased funding in the fight against Motor Neurone Disease and their recognition highlights the need to keep going.

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