LEEDS RHINOS legend Rob Burrow has maintained he is “fine with dying” after being diagnosed with motor neurone disease – but pledged to fight the incurable condition to try to see his children grow up.
One of rugby league’s greatest players, the scrum-half won eight Super League titles and played almost 500 games with Leeds before retiring in 2017.
Pontefract-born Burrow, 37, has three children all under eight and the England international, who now works as the coach of Rhinos’ reserve side, said: “The big thing is my family. I know they will be all right after [his death]. My wife is brilliant with the kids. I am fine with dying but it’s not being able to watch your kids grow up.
“So if there’s ever an incentive to be around for a while, I’ve got it.
“I’m inundated with people wanting to help, which has been humbling and overwhelming. I’m just going to try stuff. What’s the worst that can happen?”
The disease means messages from the motor neurones gradually stop reaching muscles. This leads them to weaken, stiffen and waste and those affected may lose the ability to walk, talk, eat, drink and ultimately to breathe.
Life expectancy varies but sufferers often die within three years of diagnosis.
Former Keighley Cougars prop Phil Stephenson died from MND last year aged 47 and ex-Sheffield Eagles player Nick Smith was just 38 when he passed away in 2017.
Former Hunslet forward Mark Burgess, the father of Burrow’s former Great Britain team-mate Sam Burgess, also died from the disease.