Leeds Rhinos have unveiled plans to erect a statue of Rob Burrow and Kevin Sinfield at Headingley.
The statue will feature the club’s record-breaking captain embracing his team-mate Burrow during the fund-raising match at Headingley 18 months ago which helped raise funds for the former scrum-half in his battle with motor neurone disease.
The pair appeared in 12 victorious finals together during a glorious period in the club’s history but, rather than featuring a trophy or even a rugby ball, Leeds say the statue will illustrate the camaraderie, bond and love between them.
That bond was best demonstrated when Sinfield ran seven marathons in seven days and raised over £2million for the MND Association.
The Rhinos recently unveiled the first statue at Headingley in tribute to former star player John Holmes, which has pride of place at the back of the South Stand, and the plan is for the Sinfield and Burrow statue to sit in the corner of the stadium looking down on to the pitch.
Sculptor Steve Winterburn, who created the John Holmes statue as well as the rugby league heroes statue at Wembley Stadium, has made preliminary models of the potential new statue, although no commission has yet been placed.
Leeds chief executive Gary Hetherington said: “I think Rob and Kevin perfectly encapsulate everything we hold special about the sport of rugby league and their records on the field alone would merit a statue here at Emerald Headingley.
“However, they have both transcended not just rugby league but sport to become national figures because of Rob’s battle with MND and Kevin’s unstinting support of his friend.
“They were part of a special group of players and this statue acknowledges that bond.
“We were proud to unveil the first statue in the 130 years of Emerald Headingley earlier this year with the John Holmes statue and I am sure this too will become an iconic and artistic addition of our wonderful home.”
Bob Bowman, chief operating officer of the Leeds Rhinos Foundation, said: “As we saw with the John Holmes statue, it is fantastic to have this opportunity to bring another piece of public art to Emerald Headingley Stadium.
“Kevin and Rob are such inspirational figures for young and old supporters and I am sure many will be keen to show their support for the campaign.”
Leeds have appealed to fans to help raise the £100,000 needed to fund the statue. They can donate online at virginmoneygiving.com/fund/Brothersinarms.co.uk.