Leeds legend Rob Burrow dies aged 41

Rob Burrow celebrates during his time with Leeds Rhinos
Rob Burrow won eight Super League titles with Leeds Rhinos [PA Media]

Leeds Rhinos and Great Britain rugby league great Rob Burrow has died.

Burrow, who was 41, had lived with motor neurone disease (MND) for nearly five years after being diagnosed in late 2019.

The diagnosis came just two years after he retired from playing, following a stellar 17-year career that included winning eight Super League Grand Finals, three World Club Challenges and two Challenge Cups.

Burrow's death was announced by Leeds Rhinos, who called their former player "a true inspiration throughout his life whether that was on the rugby league field or during his battle with MND".

In 2022, Burrow was honoured with the Helen Rollason Award at BBC's Sports Personality of the Year ceremony, along with ex-Leeds team-mate Kevin Sinfield.

Burrow was given the award for relentless fundraising and raising awareness of MND while battling the illness himself.

Burrow spent his entire club career with Leeds and made more than 400 appearances between 2001 and 2017.

One of the most successful rugby league players in history, Burrow was made an MBE in the 2021 New Year Honours for his services to the sport and for his work in the MND community.

Burrow and his great friend Sinfield were both made CBEs in the 2024 New Year Honours. The pair have helped to raise more than £15m for MND charities since Burrow's diagnosis.

Leeds said of Burrow: "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 a half years meant so much to Rob.

"In particular, the rugby league family and 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 a half years came as no surprise.

"Rob never accepted that he couldn't do something. He just found his 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."

In February, it was announced that the player of the match award at this year's Super League Grand Final will be renamed after Burrow, the first player to win the trophy twice, in 2007 and 2011.

More to follow.