Home Entertainment Rob Burrow’s final TV appearance: Moment rugby star is awarded gold Blue...

Rob Burrow’s final TV appearance: Moment rugby star is awarded gold Blue Peter badge alongside best friend Kevin Sinfield for their ‘inspirational’ MND work and ‘showing the true meaning of friendship’ before his death aged 41

26
0


This is the moment Rob Burrow was awarded a gold Blue Peter badge alongside his best friend Kevin Sinfield in his last TV appearance before his death.

The former Rugby League star, who passed away yesterday at the age of 41, went on the CBBC programme where he was praised for his ‘inspirational’ fundraising work to raise awareness of Motor Neurone Disease (MND).

Presenters on the show said that Rob and Kevin, who together have raised more than £15million since 2019 including during what is thought to have been their last public appearance together at last month’s Leeds Half Marathon, have showed the ‘true meaning of friendship’.

In the show Rob and Kevin put budding rugby players through their paces in a series of training exercises before being given the prestigious gold badges.

The episode the pair appeared in aired for the first time on CBBC on Friday, May 31, just two days before it was announced that Rob had sadly passed away  after his five year battle with the illness.

Rob Burrow and Kevin Sinfield appeared on Blue Peter last month where they received gold badges in recognition of their charity work

Rob Burrow and Kevin Sinfield appeared on Blue Peter last month where they received gold badges in recognition of their charity work

The pair were praised for their 'inspirational' fundraising efforts and for showing the 'true meaning of friendship' by host Joel Mawhinney

The pair were praised for their ‘inspirational’ fundraising efforts and for showing the ‘true meaning of friendship’ by host Joel Mawhinney

Kevin told the host that both of them used to watch Blue Peter growing up so they were 'honoured' to receive the awards

Kevin told the host that both of them used to watch Blue Peter growing up so they were ‘honoured’ to receive the awards

Rob, pictured here with his wife Lindsey and friend Kevin ahead of the Leeds Marathon last month, passed away at the age of 41 over the weekend

Rob, pictured here with his wife Lindsey and friend Kevin ahead of the Leeds Marathon last month, passed away at the age of 41 over the weekend

In the programme host Joel Mawhinney introduced the pair, saying: ‘We think their efforts have been nothing short of inspirational and because of that we’re here to surprise them with Blue Peter’s highest accolade – the gold badge.’ 

Rob and Kevin took part in filming for the show earlier this year, appearing alongside children from Leeds Modernians who were delighted to see their heroes.

The group asked questions about their playing careers at Leeds Rhinos, with Kevin remeniscing: ‘I had to sit next to him every day in the changing rooms. He never stopped talking!’

When asked about his fundraising efforts alongside Rob, including running seven ultra-marathons in seven days, Kevin joked: ‘Well it’s Rob’s fault.’

‘We tried to raise a load of awareness on MND and some funds to try and find a cure. and help families out there. I think when you’re passionate about something then you find the energy and enthusiasm to have a go at something like that.’ 

In response Joel said: ‘What you have done for MND is genuinely inspirational. It shows the true meaning of friendship, so we have something really special for you.’

Two of the youngsters who had been put through their paces by Kevin and Rob then ran over and presented the pair with their gold badges.

After being awarded his gold badge, Kevin said: ‘We both grew up watching Blue Peter so to have one of these is very nice.   

‘We know how prestigious they are and we’re really honoured, thank you very much.’

In a statement issued afterwards, Rob added: ‘Thank you for this special award, to be awarded a Blue Peter Gold badge alongside my friend Kevin Sinfield is a great honour and I will be sure to wear it with pride.’

Rob Burrow pictured in what is thought to be his last public appearance alongside wife Lindsey, daughters Macy and Maya and his friend Kevin Sinfield at the Leeds Half Marathon on May 12

Rob Burrow pictured in what is thought to be his last public appearance alongside wife Lindsey, daughters Macy and Maya and his friend Kevin Sinfield at the Leeds Half Marathon on May 12

His friend Kevin Sinfield paid tribute to him and said he would miss his 'little mate' after his death at the age of 41. Pictured: Rob and Kevin Sinfield during their time together at Leeds Rhinos

His friend Kevin Sinfield paid tribute to him and said he would miss his ‘little mate’ after his death at the age of 41. Pictured: Rob and Kevin Sinfield during their time together at Leeds Rhinos

Rob, who raised millions for MND research and treatments after his diagnosis, passed away on Sunday surrounded by his family. Pictured: Rob with his wife Lindsey at Windsor Castle where he was awarded an CBE in April last year

Rob, who raised millions for MND research and treatments after his diagnosis, passed away on Sunday surrounded by his family. Pictured: Rob with his wife Lindsey at Windsor Castle where he was awarded an CBE in April last year

Rob was diagnosed with MND in 2019 and spent five years battling the illness before passing away

Rob was diagnosed with MND in 2019 and spent five years battling the illness before passing away 

In receiving the award they joined the likes of King Charles, the late Queen Elizabeth, David Beckham, Sir David Attenborough, Sir Paul McCartney and Marcus Rashford among those who have a Blue Peter gold badge.

Rob’s death at the age of 41 over the weekend sparked an outpouring of sadness with best friend Kevin and the likes of the Prince and Princess of Wales joining in the wave of tributes to his larger than life character.

Kevin released an emotional statement shortly after his passing was announced in which he said he would miss his ‘little mate’. 

He said: ‘Today was the day that I hoped would never come. The world has lost a great man and a wonderful friend to so so many. You fought so bravely until the end and became a beacon of hope and inspiration, not only for the MND community but for all those who saw and heard your story. 

‘My love and thoughts go out to your beautiful family, Lindsey, Macy, Maya, and Jackson, to your lovely parents Geoff and Irene, sisters Joanne and Claire and your wider family and friends.

‘You will continue to inspire me every single day. I have lost a dear friend and I will never forget the special times we shared both on and off the pitch. I would always say that you were pound for pound the toughest player I ever played alongside, however, since your diagnosis, you were the toughest and bravest man I have ever met.

‘The last 4 and a half years you showed the world what living and loving looked like and this was always done with the biggest smile on your face.

‘I will miss you my little mate. All my love, Kev.’

The official X account of Prince William and Princess Kate earlier posted a touching message and expressed their condolences to the brave legend’s family.

The post read: ‘A legend of Rugby League, Rob Burrow had a huge heart.

The Prince of Wales (right) met Burrow, his wife Lindsey and their children Maya (left), Macy and Jackson in January of this year. The Prince and Princess posted a tribute last night

The Prince of Wales (right) met Burrow, his wife Lindsey and their children Maya (left), Macy and Jackson in January of this year. The Prince and Princess posted a tribute last night

The official X account of Prince William and Princess Kate posted a touching message and expressed their condolences to the brave legend's family

The official X account of Prince William and Princess Kate posted a touching message and expressed their condolences to the brave legend’s family

‘He taught us, ‘in a world full of adversity, we must dare to dream’. Catherine and I send our love to Lindsey, Jackson, Maya and Macy.’ It was signed off with a W for William.

The MND Association, a charity for which Rob and Kevin raised millions of pounds following his diagnosis, also paid tribute. 

In a statement it said: ‘In doing so much, he inspired support from so many. On the weekend of the Challenge Cup Final in October 2020, fans and supporters donated an incredible £70,000 to the MND Association.

‘Just two months later, Rob’s former captain Kevin Sinfield CBE took on the first of four incredible challenges raising more than £7 million for MND charities, including the MND Association.

‘Rob and Kev’s friendship made headline news around the world. Thousands of well-wishers, not just in rugby’s heartland, but across the country donated, took on fundraising challenges and pledged support in tribute to Rob’s bravery.

‘Rob’s contribution to rugby league and awareness of MND were recognised in the 2021 New Year’s Honours List when he was made an CBE and that same year Rob accepted the role of patron of the MND Association. Rob was subsequently awarded a CBE in the 2024 New Year’s Honours list.

‘It is testament to the strength of feeling people have for Rob that the support in his name has never wavered.

‘The MND Association is incredibly grateful to Rob and his family for helping to raise awareness of MND, and funds for the Association, by sharing the details of their journey and by inspiring so many people both within the MND community and the wider public.’

Members of the public pay tribute to Rob by leaving flowers and scarfs outside Leeds Rhinos' Headingley Stadium today

Members of the public pay tribute to Rob by leaving flowers and scarfs outside Leeds Rhinos’ Headingley Stadium today

People carrying flowers and a Leeds Rhinos shirt with Rob Burrow's former number 7 on it arrive at Headingley Stadium today

People carrying flowers and a Leeds Rhinos shirt with Rob Burrow’s former number 7 on it arrive at Headingley Stadium today

Work on the £6million centre in Leeds will commence one day after the tragic news of his passing. Pictured is concept art of the centre

Work on the £6million centre in Leeds will commence one day after the tragic news of his passing. Pictured is concept art of the centre

The proposed building (pictured) will have an east and west wing, with the central space designed as a community focused area with reading and quiet spaces

The proposed building (pictured) will have an east and west wing, with the central space designed as a community focused area with reading and quiet spaces

Following the news of his passing, it was confirmed that construction on a new MND centre in Leeds would begin today as planned with the blessing of Rob’s family.

Work was to begin on Monday with an appearance from the Burrow family and despite the news of his death last night, the charity has said construction will go ahead as planned.

Paul Watkins, director of fundraising at Leeds Hospitals Charity, said: ‘The family still want it to go ahead. That just shows how magnanimous and gracious they are.

‘All along they have thought about others.’

The build is expected to take about a year and the charity remains focused on raising the last £1million of their target.

Mr Watkins, 55, added: ‘We’ve raised £5.85 million of the £6.8 million centre and we will continue until we get there.

‘We’re just devastated at the news today. Rob’s work transcended the Rugby League community. At a time when he was most vulnerable he put himself out there.

‘Few people in the UK now don’t know what MND is, and a lot of that is because of Rob.

‘I was lucky enough to be in the room with him many times and fortunate enough to catch that glint in his eye or his smile. His smile would light up any room.

‘He was a joy to be around.’

The proposed building will have an east and west wing, with the central space designed as a community focused area with reading and quiet spaces.

WHAT IS MOTOR NEURONE DISEASE? 

Former rugby league player Rob Burrow was among several players diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND) in recent years.

Burrow, who has died aged 41, was just 37 and had three children under the age of eight with wife Lindsey when he made the announcement on December 19 2019 that he had MND.

Here are some key questions and answers about the degenerative disease:

What is MND?

It is a life-shortening neurological disease which affects the nerves that control movement so muscles no longer work, according to the MND Association.

The charity says these nerves – motor neurones – control muscle activity such as walking, speaking and swallowing.

But as they are attacked, the brain’s messages gradually stop reaching muscles, leading to weakness and wasting followed by breathing difficulties.

The MND Association says some people also experience changes to their thinking and behaviour.

– What are the early signs of MND?

The NHS says MND symptoms occur gradually so may not be obvious at first.

Early symptoms include weakness in ankles or legs, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing food, a weak grip, muscle cramps and twitches and weight loss.

– How is MND treated and can it be cured?

There is no cure for MND and the disease will progress over time, according to the MND Association.

How long people live with the condition varies but some survive for years, and even decades, such as Professor Stephen Hawking, who lived for more than 50 years after being diagnosed aged 21.

MND can be treated with occupational therapy, physiotherapy, a medicine called riluzole and medication to relieve muscle stiffness and help with saliva problems, the NHS said.

– Who does the condition affect?

According to the MND Association, up to 5,000 adults in the UK have the disease at any one time.

The organisation says it can affect any adult at any age, but it is more likely to occur in people over the age of 50.

– What causes MND?

The health service says it is caused by a problem with cells in the brain and motor neurones.

It is not known why these cells and neurones gradually stop working over time.

The NHS says having a close relative with MND – or a related condition called frontotemporal dementia – can sometimes mean you are more likely to get it, but in most cases it does not run in families.



Source link

Previous articleVIP charity auction boss who mingled with stars such as Harry Kane and Anthony Joshua is accused of suddenly shutting down firm – as charities say they’re ‘owed thousands’
Next articleJamie Jones-Buchanan ‘knew’ when he saw Kevin Sinfield’s face that his former teammate Rob Burrow had died – as he pays tribute to ‘brave’ MND campaigner

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here