Prince William visited Headingley to present Leeds Rhinos and rugby league legends Kevin Sinfield & Rob Burrow with their CBEs.
They were made CBEs in the King’s New Year Honours list for their services to Motor Neurone Disease (MND) following their herculanen fundraising efforts since Burrow’s diagnosis in 2019.
More than £15 million has been raised by the efforts of Sinfield, who has taken on a range of phenomenal physical and mental challenges, including his most recent effort – seven marathons in seven cities in seven days last month.
Rugby league royalty Rob Burrow & Kevin Sinfield officially receive CBEs from Prince of Wales: ‘I never set out to be an inspiration’
The Prince of Wales met the pair at Leeds’ home ground, where they both made their name on the pitch in helping the Rhinos to win eight Super League titles.
Kevin’s wife Jayne, Rob’s wife Lindsey and Rob’s children Jackson, Maya and Macy were all present to greet the Prince.
“The most amount of thank yous and congratulations for all the inspirational work you’ve done Rob, you’ve been amazing and everyone’s so proud of you,” the Prince of Wales told Burrow, shown on BBC Breakfast.
“We’ve been following your case and all the money you’ve been raising, and you’re changing people’s lives with MND.”
Burrow was typically humble in his response to being called an inspiration.
He said: “I can honestly say that I never set out to be an inspiration, I just wanted to try and help other people in a similar situation to me. I’m just trying to live my best life with the cards that I’ve been dealt.
“I wouldn’t be here without the love and support of my wife Lindsey. She is stronger than any rugby player I ever played against.
“It is an honour to accept on behalf of the whole MND community. Days like today allow us to keep the spotlight on the disease and continue to raise awareness and, hopefully, funds to fight the disease and support those who are living with MND and their families.
“It was wonderful that His Royal Highness was able to come to Headingley to see us and very much appreciated. It was lovely to talk to him and for me to meet my family.”
Calls for knighthoods continue to flood in from rugby league community
Sinfield and Burrow were previously awarded OBE’s in 2021, though missed out on the chance of being honoured together after Burrow was taken ill.
There remain calls for the pair to be knighted among universal praise on X, formerly known as Twitter.
BatCavePhil: “What a true friendship these two have, almost twins joined at the hip. Truly well deserved!”
Haynesy71: “Fantastic, but it should have been a knighthood..these guys are immense.”
StephenHampson: “What a guy and what a friend. When he said that Rob would have done the same for him. Shows the friendship. Brilliant to see.”
Sbatte17: “For all those commentating it should be a knighthood. I’m sure it bothers you more than Kevin. He has done everything he can to help his friend. That’s really all that matters to him.”