Jamie Jones-Buchanan’s emotional tribute to Rob Burrow: ‘We’ve got to take inspiration’

Aaron Bower

Jamie Jones-Buchanan has paid tribute to close friend and former Leeds Rhinos team-mate Rob Burrow with a touching tribute: insisting Burrow has changed thousands of lives for the better.

Burrow passed away at the age of 41 following a short illness, and a well-publicised fight against Motor Neurone Disease since being diagnosed in December 2019. Together with Kevin Sinfield, the pair led fundraising efforts which have meant almost £20million has been raised to support the MND community.

And Jones-Buchanan told Good Morning Britain in a heartfelt tribute that the world should take inspiration from his former Leeds Rhinos team-mate’s spirit and desire.

He said: “We had a real strong bond for a long time, a very diverse group of individuals with Rob being at the centre of that. We always kept that spirit, he was the spirit that enabled us to go out and fight for each other.

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“And that courage, that came through physical expression on the field and it shone exponentially in the second chapter of his life when the physical element of Rob Burrow was completely robbed from him through no fault of his own.

“But it didn’t stop him from shouting any louder, and he did. Every moment when we wake up, we’ve got to take inspiration from that.

“In a world that’s full of anxiety where people don’t want to have the courage to speak and fight for what’s right for fear of what other people might think of them, Rob never did that. He just carried on going no matter what.”

Jones-Buchanan also insisted that thanks to Burrow, there are thousands of individuals who will now see the benefit of his incredible fundraising – with ground set to be broken on the new Rob Burrow Centre for MND at Seacroft Hospital on Monday.

“Thanks to Rob’s life, a life well fulfilled, there’s thousands of people whose lives have been changed for the positive.

“That’s what sport does, it changes lives through the power of sport, through the audience. Both Rob and Kev, for what they’ve done in the media raising money and awareness through crazy challenges, have left a lasting legacy. Rob lived a huge life fulfilled.”

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