Rob Burrow paid tribute to the late Doddie Weir, his family and Kevin Sinfield as he was presented with the Helen Rollason Award.
Burrow, 40, picked up the award at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2022 dinner for his relentless fundraising and raising awareness of MND.
He said: I’m totally overcome by this award due to the amount of amazing people that have won this before, in particular my MND hero Doddie Weir.
— Dan Walker (@mrdanwalker) December 21, 2022
“What a fantastic guy. I don’t think I would be here today without meeting him less than a week in to my diagnosis. I will accept this award on his behalf.
“I am inspired to keep going by my friend Kevin Sinfield, the guy who made the impossible possible.
“My family as a whole who have put their life on hold to care for me, especially my beautiful wife Lindsey and my amazing kids.
“Lindsey did not expect to sign up for this but she puts me first and foremost, I’m not here without her sacrifice.
“Lastly to all the MND warriors out there we will not stop, we will find a cure thanks for your help.”
Burrow and Sinfield have captured the hearts of the nation for their incredible friendship, Burrow’s bravery and Sinfield’s superhuman fundraising efforts.
Since Burrow’s diagnosis, Sinfield has raised more than £7m for charity.
In November, he ran seven ultra marathons in seven days, completing the challenge at half time of the World Cup final.
The former Leeds captain was presented with a special BBC award at the SPOTY evening.
He said: “From the start this has been a big team effort.
“Everyone has got behind what we have tried to do. Rob is probably the most inspirational bloke in the UK. He has inspired us to be better friends. In sport and certainly in rugby, the connections you make, the friends don’t just stop when the whistle goes.
“Sport is powerful enough to bring communities together. What we have witnessed is a nation that cares about the MND community.”
Sinfield has recently appointed to the coaching staff of the England rugby union team, following a successful spell with Leicester Tigers.
Since the event, Burrow’s father Geoff revealed that Rob’s disability van had been targeted by mindless vandals.
Well oh well – my family went out, with my wonderful Son Rob, for a lovely meal at Rockello’s in Glasshoughton Castleford tonight.Unfortunately a disgrace of a person decided to scratch all over Rob’s Disability van 🥲how low are some people hey ! Sleep well you scum of a person
— Geoff Burrow (@burrow_geoff) December 23, 2022
The family had been out for an evening meal in Castleford and came back to damage to the van, particularly where Rob is wheeled in to it.
They have been inundated with offers to pay for the repairs and businesses willing to carry out the work for free.