Rugby legend Rob Burrow delights fans on MND fundraising day at Doncaster Racecourse

Rugby ace Rob Burrow has been delighting fans on a fundraising day out at Doncaster Racecourse.

By Darren Burke
Friday, 28th January 2022, 2:42 pm

The ex-Leeds Rhinos star, who was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in 2019, was at Town Moor with his dad Geoff to help spread awareness about the condition for which there is no known cure and to raise funds for MND charities.

Among those lining up to meet the former scrum half was Doncaster woman Rose Roostan, who raised more than £1,200 for his charity by doing 100 squats for 30 days.

The race day also saw sponsors Sky Bet pledge a significant donation to motor neurone disease charities.

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Rob Burrow meets up with fan Rose Roostan at Doncaster Racecourse. (Photo: Karen Rumney).

Rob and his family are now helping Leeds Hospitals Charity, where he has received care, to raise money for a new unit.

Burrow said his vision for the centre was a "calming and tranquil sanctuary" and an escape from the "prison" of MND.

He made 493 appearances for the Rhinos and retired in 2017 but two years later was diagnosed with MND, a degenerative condition that affects nerves in the brain and spinal cord.

Since then he has documented his life with the disease and was appointed MBE in the New Year honours for services to rugby league and the motor neurone disease community.

He is regarded as a legend by Leeds Rhinos fans, where he spent his entire 17-year career, winning eight Grand Finals, three World Club Challenges and two Challenge Cups, as well as earning 15 caps for England.

Once completed, the Rob Burrow Motor Neurone Disease Care Centre will give patients access to a wide range of support.

On his diagnosis, the sports star said: "It was a bit of a shock. I'd not had any sort of prep for being told that you have something where there's no cure.

"It's one of the frustrations, the doctors and specialists don't know how you got it, and there's not much they can do.

"I'm going to get stuck into it, a bit like my career I was doubted and written off a few times so I'm really positive, taking the challenge and that's the best way to be."