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Wakefield Trinity boss Daryl Powell pays tribute to Rob Burrow

Kevin Sinfield (r) with Rob Burrow after completing his Extra Mile Challenge of 101 miles in under 24hrs.

Wakefield Trinity head coach Daryl Powell has paid a touching tribute to rugby league legend Rob Burrow.

Speaking the day after his passing, Powell spoke to BBC West Yorkshire, and said: “You just feel like he’s out of pain now. You’ve seen him for the last five years, it’s just been really difficult.

“There’s a warrior on the field and he’s obviously been a warrior off it.”

Rob Burrow was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in 2019, and was eventually unable to move his body enough to speak without using a machine, but he went through life with a smile, and used his condition to make a real change.

Powell continued: “I remember seeing him as a young man, coming through the scholarship, and just thought: ‘wow, this kid’s gonna be anything he wants’… and he turned into that player, and then he showed he’s just he’s been a champion all the way through.”

Indeed, he had a spectacular career, spending it all with Leeds Rhinos, where he won Super League eight times, the Challenge Cup twice and the World Club Challenge three times.

He and Powell worked together in the early 2000s, when Powell was head coach for the Rhinos.

He was also handed his debut by Powell.

Rob Burrow: a remarkable individual

Kevin Sinfield, Rob Burrow and Danny McGuire for Leeds Rhinos

Credit: Imago Images

His incredible drive, alongside his talent, eventually helped him on his way to becoming one of the most decorated individuals in rugby league history as part of a dynasty at Headingley.

After his career, however, Burrow continued to inspire people, campaigning for those with MND, and even has the ‘Rob Burrow Centre‘ under construction now, for people with MND.

“Really tough for everybody in rugby league, and obviously for his family.

“He’s been incredibly well brought up by his parents and then he’s obviously instilled all of that in his family.

“I just hope they can all be at peace, but know that he’s been inspirational to so many people.

“An unbelievable man who epitomises everything that’s good in life I think.”

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