Here was Burrow – stricken but not defeated by Motor Neurone Disease – greeting Sinfield who had just run 101 miles in 24 hours to raise over £1.5m for the MND Association to fund research into the currently incurable condition and the Leeds Hospitals Charity.
And the special spirit between the Leeds Rhinos legends – so long best friends on and off the pitch – personified the very best of this city, county and country’s humanity and charity towards others.
As a captain and leader, Sinfield was renowned for going the extra mile. Now he was doing just that by running from Leicester, where he now coaches, to Leeds, where he has long been revered for his deeds.
Nearly a year after he ran seven marathons in as many days to raise over £2.7m, he hopes his latest superhuman effort will increase awareness still further about MND and boost fundraising for a new respite centre for sufferers, and their families, that will carry Burrow’s name.
That Sinfield set out on Monday hoping to raise £100,000, and surpassed this on a tide of goodwill and respect towards him, and his amazing support crew, was testament to an individual who is an original ‘northern powerhouse’.
And that he ran 100 miles, before hobbling a symbolic final mile with Burrow’s wife and daughter into Headingley, told all that you needed to know about Sinfield – or, as they say in these parts, Sir Kev. For, while it will be fitting if this sobriquet is formalised in the New Year honours, Sinfield will be the first to say that it’s not about him, or the title, but doing his best for Rob Burrow whose fortitude, and humility, two years after being diagnosed with MND, still inspires and humbles in equal measure.
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