RUGBY League icons Rob Burrow MBE and Kevin Sinfield OBE have been recognised for their incredible efforts to support the Motor Neurone Disease community with an invitation to become patrons of the MND Association.
Rob and Kevin, along with their teammates, backroom staff and supporters at Leeds Rhinos, have worked tirelessly to fundraise and raise awareness of MND since Rob’s diagnosis in December 2019. As a result, Kevin was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list to recognise his incredible fundraising efforts. And thousands of people have taken on fundraising challenges inspired by Rob and the club’s efforts, with the current total standing at nearly £3 million.
To mark their inspirational support, the MND Association invited Rob and Kevin to become patrons, the most high-profile role the charity can offer to a volunteer to acknowledge significant support and commitment. Existing patrons of the charity include Professor Sir Colin Blakemore, Chris Broad, Benedict Cumberbatch, Baroness Finlay, Charlotte Hawkins, Eddie Redmayne and Jeremy Vine.
MND Association Chief Executive Sally Light said:
“Our Board of Trustees was unanimous in the decision to invite Rob and Kevin to join the MND Association as patrons. The strength, courage and friendship shown by both men over the last 18 months have captured the heart of a nation, not just the MND community, and has resulted in a huge increase in awareness of motor neurone disease and vital support for our work.
“It has been a privilege to work with them over the last 18 months, and we are very much looking forward to developing that relationship in their new role as patrons.”
“It is a huge honour to be invited to become a patron of the MND Association, and I am delighted to accept. I have seen first-hand the incredible work the charity does with those living with MND and their families and loved ones. Personally, I would like to thank everyone who has taken part in the countless fundraising activities over the last eighteen months to help raise funds to support the MND community and vital research.”
“I would like to thank the Association for inviting Rob and me to become patrons. I have been so touched by the many stories I have heard from within the MND community, and I am committed to continuing my support to them for as long as it takes to find a breakthrough. For those who knew Rob during his rugby career, he was always an inspiration, but he has taken that to a new level to motivate thousands of fundraisers to raise nearly £3 million in his name. So on behalf of all of them, I would like to say a massive thank you to Rob and his family for the encouragement they give us all.”
To celebrate becoming a patron, Kevin Sinfield took to the streets of Saddleworth again on 7th July, setting off at 7am to run another marathon inspired by his friend Rob. You can support him on his JustGiving page.
You can listen to Kevin talking about his work with the Association on the first episode of our new podcast – MND Matters. Find out more on the website www.mndassociation.org/podcast.