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RFL confirm intention to ‘celebrate’ Rob Burrow on Challenge Cup Final day

Rob Burrow

It was confirmed yesterday that Rob Burrow had sadly lost his battle with Motor Neurone Disease and passed away aged 41. The RFL have now confirmed that plans have started to consider “how best to remember” the Leeds Rhinos legend.

Those plans will culminate in a celebration of Burrow’s life on Saturday at Wembley when the Men and Women’s Challenge Cup Finals take place. Burrow’s beloved Leeds Rhinos will be partaking in the Women’s Final, where they will take on St Helens and hope to avenge last year’s defeat.

Leeds Rhinos confirmed news of Burrow’s passing on social media, posting:”It is with deep sadness that the club can confirm that former player Rob Burrow CBE has passed away, aged 41.”

The club’s statement would continue: “Rob has always been a true inspiration throughout his life whether that was on the rugby field or during his battle with MND (Motor Neurone Disease).

“He never allowed others to define what he could achieve and believed in his own ability to do more.”

The sport’s governing body has now also paid tribute to Rob Burrow and confirmed their intent to ensure he is celebrated on Saturday at Wembley, a stadium where Burrow was himself successful on two occasions in 2014 and 2015.

RFL set to pay tribute to Rob Burrow

When someone as inspirational and wide-reaching as Rob Burrow passes away, words are seldom enough to describe or pay tribute to honour them in the right way. Despite that, many have tried including royalty, fellow sportspeople and also those who knew him.

Former teammate and good friend, Barrie McDermott, was one of many to post a touching tribute with McDermott labelling Burrow as an “inspiration to all who were lucky enough to meet him”.

The RFL have also posted: “Rob Burrow was an outstanding Rugby League player, for club and country. Since December 2019, his courage and humanity – allied to that of his family, friends and former Leeds Rhinos team-mates, led by Kevin Sinfield CBE – has transcended sport.

“We send our love, support and sympathy to Lindsey, the children, Geoff and Irene, and the rest of his family – and we pay tribute to a Rugby League hero.”

Simon Johnson, the Chair of the Rugby Football League, then offered his own condolences before confirming plans are in motion to ensure that Rob Burrow is celebrated and remembered on Saturday at Wembley ahead of the Challenge Cup Final.

Johnson said: “This devastating news has united all in Rugby League in sadness and the many others who have been touched and inspired by the courageous response of Rob, his family and friends since his diagnosis in December 2019.

“We will take a little time as a sport to consider how best to remember Rob, and to celebrate his life, at our Challenge Cup Finals Day at Wembley Stadium next Saturday, when Leeds Rhinos will play St Helens in the Betfred Women’s Challenge Cup Final.

“We had already committed earlier this year that the Player of the Match in the men’s Betfred Super League Grand Final will receive the Rob Burrow Award – to be presented for the first time at Old Trafford this October.”

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