May 07, 2021
The Leeds Rhinos stalwart and his wife Lindsey look back at his storied career and share their heartfelt journey since he was diagnosed with motor neurone disease
Rob Burrow: ‘I’ve had such a wonderful life. I want to make the most of the time I have left’
Rob Burrow can no longer talk and yet, on a rainy bank holiday evening at home in Pontefract, he answers another of my questions about life and death. It feels almost magical as his familiar Yorkshire voice fills the room even though Burrow is smiling gently rather than moving his lips. “I don’t think you ever know your inner strength until you get told you are dying,” says the former Leeds Rhinos rugby league international who is a prisoner in his own body. “I would never have known I could be this positive when getting the news.”
The 38-year-old, who won eight Grand Finals and 20 international caps during a long and memorable career, has a ravaging form of motor neurone disease. He and his wife, Lindsey, who has been with him since they started going out at the age of 15, received the shattering diagnosis in December 2019. The prognosis was bleak because Burrow was told his life expectancy, while declining rapidly from an incurable disease, would be unlikely to stretch beyond two years.
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