Rob Burrow’s sisters give heartbreaking account for the first time on the Leeds Rhinos legend’s MND diagnosis

November 2019 is a day that will forever be etched in the hearts of minds of the rugby league fraternity.

Rob Burrow, Leeds Rhinos, England and Great Britain legend, was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease after hanging up his boots in 2017.

Burrow’s family have been willing to document the hardships surrounding the disease as well as helping to drive the fundraising attempts for research into MND.

Now, Rob’s sisters, Claire and Jo, have set up a dancing event in the style of Strictly Come Dancing in a bid to raise over £100,000 which will go towards the £5 million needed for the Rob Burrow Centre for Motor Neurone Disease in Leeds.

A star-studded line up – including former Leeds prop Barrie McDermott – will don their dancing shoes for the night which will feature a dinner, raffle and auction and of course, the dancing.

But, for Joanne, remembering that fateful day when the family received the news of Rob’s diagnosis will live with her forever: “I remember my mum just cried out straight away, my dad fell to the floor,” Joanne told the Yorkshire Evening Post.

“He was just devastated and I went into overdrive, picked my dad up and phoned Claire. Rob was on his way back and we came together as a family.

Claire added: “It was six days before Christmas and he said for the kids we have to carry on, let’s just have a nice Christmas. That night he messaged dad and said ‘there will be no tears, stay positive and that is how we will deal with it’ and that is what we have done. He was not moping around and carried on as normal. He would go mad if he saw us upset, he would tell us off.”

The Burrow Strictly Ball has, however, had an incredible response and Joanne couldn’t be prouder of her brother.

Joanne added: “We didn’t expect the response on social media and the event to be so big. We really want to raise as much awareness for The Rob Burrow Centre for Motor Neurone Disease in Leeds. He wants to help other people and said that very early on.

“Rob is well known and has love and support but he is always talking about the postman or people in factories, people that are not in the public eye. He wants this for them and more needs to be done – as a family we have been surprised about that.”

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5 months ago

Rob burrows center seems funny when he has the Hart of any center good luck with all that you do