Prince William has congratulated Rob Burrow and Kevin Sinfield for their outstanding efforts to raise awareness of Motor Neurone Disease (MND) this morning as he met the pair at Headingley Stadium in Leeds.
The pair were awarded CBEs in the New Years Honours list and William presented the medals to the pair this afternoon before chatting to the fundraising duo.
At one point the Prince of Wales joked about his unflattering nickname “One Pint Willy” that Mike Tindall recently revealed on Rob’s podcast Seven.
Rob made a subtle reference to the nickname during the afternoon, which prompted William to say: “It was you who got the nicknames out of him – he apologised to me about that. When I saw him, I said Mike, when you’re not going to mention your nicknames doesn’t mean you mention mine, it’s not fair’. I’m sure it’s quite fun with Mike.”
Rob and Kevin have raised millions of pounds for research and support for those with MND, following Burrow’s diagnosis with the disease in December 2019.
The news came just two years after retiring from his position as scrum half at Leeds Rhinos, for whom he played throughout his entire professional career.
Since his diagnosis Rob has inspired nearly £15 million of fundraising activity, including over £8.5 million raised by his friend and former teammate, Sinfield.
The Prince of Wales chatted to the sporting duo about the their playing days at Leeds Rhinos where they played alongside each other from 2001-2015.
Burrow and Sinfield won seven Grand Finals, two Challenge Cup Finals at Wembley, and three World Club titles together.
In 2020, Sinfield embarked on his first fundraising challenge, the ‘7 in 7’, which saw him run seven marathons in seven days and raise over £2 million.
Every year since then, Kevin has undertaken endurance challenges, including the inaugural Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon in May 2023 and the ‘7 in 7 in 7’ challenge, running seven ultra marathons across seven cities in seven days later the same year.
This afternoon William heard more about Burrows and Sinfield’s efforst over the past four years to champion and support those impacted by MND across the UK and Ireland.
This included the new Rob Burrow Centre for MND, which is being built with the money raised from the fundraising. The Centre will be a purpose-built facility at Seacroft Hospital in Leeds and will see all the needs of an MND patient and their families met in one building.