Standout moments as Leeds Rhinos celebrate life of Rob Burrow with unforgettable tribute

Aaron Bower
Rob Burrow tributes

There were incredibly emotional and poignant scenes on Friday night as Leeds Rhinos celebrated the life of one of their greatest-ever players, Rob Burrow.

The life of Burrow, who passed away earlier this month at the age of 41, was celebrated in fitting fashion by the Rhinos – and Sky Sports – who put on a wonderful pre-match, hour-long tribute for one of rugby league’s all-time greats.

Love Rugby League was in attendance: here were some of our standout and simply unforgettable moments on a night when the sport came together to pay tribute to Burrow.

Danny McGuire tribute

One of McGuire’s closest friends, Danny McGuire, was in attendance alongside dozens of Burrow’s former team-mates: and he took the time out to speak to Love Rugby League before kick-off about the occasion.

“He would have hated this,” McGuire smiled. “He wasn’t fussed for the limelight, Rob. I remember him getting asked to do Sky a few times and he wasn’t fussed for it.

“He’d much prefer to go home and spend some time with his family.He’d be a bit embarrassed I think but he’d love the legacy a night like this has created. All my memories here are amazing moments of him causing havoc against opposition teams, and being an unbelievable player.

“I’m going towards the way of it’s a night of celebration. There’s 80 team-mates here and the grieving process comes in stages, and I’m more celebrating the special moments we shared together.

“That’s what I want to remember, even the last few years. It happened, there’s no shying away from that, and it’s been amazing, the legacy he’s created. But it’s the tours we went on, the pre-season trips, the schoolboys at under-11s, they’re all the things that are important to me.”

Geoff Burrow’s Sky Sports appearance

Undisputedly the most emotional moment of the entire night came pre-match when Burrow’s father, Geoff, spoke with Sky Sports.

His interview was incredibly emotional, with Geoff sharing his memories of bringing Burrow to his first rugby league game – against the opposition Leeds played on Friday, Leigh. He deservedly got the biggest round of applause from the packed Headingley crowd.

Brothers in arms

The emotional moments were plentiful pre-match. Another poignant moment came in the moments directly before kick-off, when the 70 or 80 former team-mates of Burrow’s assembled on the pitch ahead of a minute’s silence.

The likes of McGuire, Ali Lauitiiti, Adrian Morley, Gareth Ellis and Danny Buderus were in attendance as well as so many others. Dozens of them stood shoulder to shoulder with their arms linked in a moment of solidarity and togetherness for Burrow. It epitomised what he meant to the people he shared a field with.

Brodie Croft’s celebration

The match itself was an afterthought, without question. But how fitting it was that the Rhinos were able to win and put on a showing that Burrow would have certainly been proud of.

The game’s outstanding player? Half-back Brodie Croft, who scored two sensational tries, and after his first which put Leeds 6-0 ahead, he made a number seven gesture towards the camera in another show of solidarity for the great man.

The number 7 delivers

Fittingly, the final word goes to Leeds’ number seven – as Matt Frawley’s try put the game beyond doubt. Symbolic.

READ NEXT: Leeds Rhinos legend Rob Burrow’s 7 greatest rugby league moments ahead of Headingley tribute match