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Kevin Sinfield commends immense support from ex-Leeds United and Liverpool footballer

The most recent and the toughest of Kevin Sinfield’s epic challenges to raise money and awareness for MND begins on Friday encompassing seven cities across the UK and Ireland, but the ex-Leeds Rhinos man has revealed which surprise Premier League footballer is one of the team’s biggest supporters.

Sinfield’s three challenges so far have seen him gain immense support from the wider public with the knowledge around Motor Neurone Disease having grown massively, something that he and the team are just as proud of as funds raised.

Making people aware of MND has been just as important a focus for Sinfield and his team who have become voices for the huge community of those combatting the neurological condition.

This week sees Sinfield begin his ‘Seven in Seven in Seven’ challenge, seven marathons, seven days and seven cities and he’s revealed that he expects Premier League footballer James Milner to get involved and show some support when the team head to Brighton for day six.

Speaking to the media Sinfield referenced attending Manchester United’s Carrington training ground last week during which he spoke to many of the players and staff, helping raise yet more awareness of the condition.

He explained how the players reacted, name-checking Milner for past support:  “It was really, really humbling to be at Manchester United on Wednesday and speak to players and staff and coaches about the work we’ve done. They’d seen it, they fully understand and are aware of what MND is and what it does now and that shows some of the impacts of what we’ve been able to do.

“Premiership footballers get a hard time but there’s some good people there who support and I’ll give an example, James Milner has been a massive supporter of what we’ve done years.

“He’s at Brighton now but during his time at Liverpool as well and certainly when we do the Brighton leg, James’ support and being part of the Darby Rimmer Foundation has been really important.

“There’s a number of wonderful figures across the footballing world who’ve supported Gemma Bonner, a famous England footballer as well as running every one of the challenges we’ve done so far and we’re hoping she’ll join us again so it’s been incredible the support we’ve had.”

The challenge that begins on Friday will be similar to the one he undertook in November last year, during which he finished his ‘Seven in Seven’ at Old Trafford, walking out onto the pitch at half-time of the Men’s World Cup Final between Australia and Samoa.

Recalling that moment, Sinfield told media:  “It was immense. To walk into a wonderful stadium, that I was fortunate enough to play at a number of times with Leeds, in front of 80,000 rugby league fans was very, very special.

“To feel the support of that stadium for the MND community was very powerful. Now we’ve got seven marathons, plus an extra mile each day, in seven different cities across the UK and Ireland. It’ll be our fourth challenge now as a team.

“It’s something I’m incredibly passionate about. I think it’s probably the reason I’m here today. If you go back in the journey, the reason I went into coaching was because of Rob and his journey, but I think we’ve found that we can make a small difference to a beautiful community’s lives, and we’ve been able to do that through raising awareness and funds.

“The intangible in all this is how we’ve been able to make people feel about this community and how the community feels about each other. We’re immensely proud of the work we’ve done.”

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