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RUGBY LEGEND ROB BURROW DIES AT 41 AFTER FIVE-YEAR BATTLE WITH MND

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Rugby legend Rob Burrow dies at 41 after five-year battle with MND 

Rob Burrow has died at the age of 41 after his heroic fight against the degenerative neurological condition Motor Neurone Disease. His former team Leeds Rhinos shared a heartfelt statement: "It is with deep sadness that we announce the death of our beloved son, husband, father, brother and friend.

"Rob has always been a true inspiration throughout his life whether that was on the rugby league 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 outpouring of love and support that rob and the whole burrow family have received over the last four and half years meant so much to Rob."

Rob Burrow© PA Wire
Rob Burrow and wife Lindsey with son Jackson© Sunday Mirror

They added: "In particular, the rugby league family and the mnd community have rallied around rob to inspire him, thank you for your support. For those who knew Rob throughout his life, his determination and spirit in the face of mnd over the last four and half years came as no surprise. Rob never accepted that he couldn't do something, he just found his own way of doing it better than anyone else. He will continue to inspire us all every day. In a world full of adversity, we must dare to dream." 

Rob's friends and family were quick to share their messages of condolences to his wife Lindsey and his children Macy, Maya and Jackson. Emmerdale star Lisa Riley wrote: "Rob you are the truest meaning of HERO. You will be one of the best angels-shining pure goodness forever. Our thoughts and prayers goes especially to Lindsey and the children. Lindsey we send you strength and love REST IN PEACE-MAY WE FEEL YOUR SHINING LIGHT" 

Lisa Riley and Rob Burrows© lisajaneriley/Instagram

Broadcaster Dan Walker, who interviewed Rob for the BBC, also said: "He was the little fella who made a massive impact on the pitch and an even bigger one off it. Rob Burrow taught us so much in the way he dealt with his MND diagnosis and inspired millions with his continued determination and desire to make a difference for others. 

“Sending all my love to Lindsey and their kids, his sisters, his mum and dad and all those who will miss him so much.”

OK! previously spoke to Rob and Lindsey at their home in Pontefract, Yorkshire, where Lindsey told us about their vow to never give up hope. She told us how defiant Rob had declared: “No more tears. MND is my toughest opponent and I’ll fight it with every last breath.”

She added: "Just before Christmas of 2019, we told the kids. I took a breath and said, 'Doctors are doing everything they can, but Daddy won’t get better.' Maya said, 'Why are you telling us this? It’s boring!' That gave us a giggle. But Macy was upset. She cried and said, 'I don’t want Daddy to die.' I wanted to be Rob’s carer – I won’t let another person take care of my husband. However overwhelmed I am, I’m stubborn. 'I’ll help you up the stairs,' I swear to Rob. Even if it kills me. We won’t give in.”

The former rugby player won the Helen Rollason Award at BBC Sports Personality Of The Year© Getty

Following the heartbreaking news of Rob's passing, the MND Association also took to social media to express their sorrow: "We're deeply saddened to learn of the death of our patron Rob Burrow CBE. Since his MND diagnosis in 2019, Rob has played a vital role in raising awareness and money to support our work. We will be forever grateful. Our thoughts are with Rob's family, friends and fans." 

TV personality Piers Morgan also shared his condolences, writing: "What incredibly sad news. A remarkable man who fought wretched Motor Neurone Disease with such courage, fortitude and determination. He raised so much money, and so much awareness, and helped so many other people. RIP Rob."  

Story by Indigo Stafford & Dan Marsh

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