Prince William Honors Rugby Player Rob Burrow, Dead at 41

Prince William honored Rob Burrow after the former professional rugby player died at age 41.

Prince William shared a heartfelt tribute in memory of Rob Burrow following the former professional rugby player’s death at age 41.

Burrow “passed away peacefully” at a hospital in England while “surrounded by his loving family after becoming ill earlier this week,” his former team, the Leeds Rhinos, announced on Sun., June 2. The father of three was battling motor neurone disease (MND), a rare neurological disease also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

The Prince of Wales, who awarded Burrow a CBE in January 2023, reflected on the athlete’s life in a Sunday post on X, formerly Twitter.

“A legend of Rugby League, Rob Burrow had a huge heart,” William’s tweet said. “He taught us, ‘in a world full of adversity, we must dare to dream.’ Catherine and I send our love to Lindsey, Jackson, Maya and Macy.”

Burrow’s former teammate, Kevin Sinfield, also shared a heartbreaking statement about the passing of his longtime friend.

“You will continue to inspire me every single day,” Sinfield’s statement said in part. “I have lost a dear friend and I will never forget the special times we shared both on and off the pitch. I would always say that you were pound for pound the toughest player I ever played alongside, however since your diagnosis, you were the toughest and bravest man I have ever met.”

Burrow spent all of his professional career playing for the Rhinos, a team that remembered him as a “hard working and dedicated player” whose “performances made him one of the most respected players in the Rhinos ranks.” He won eight Grand Final wins with the team before retiring in 2017.

In late 2019, Burrow, then 37, was diagnosed with MND. Through the years that followed, Burrow raised money to support research about the disease, which has no cure.

The Rhinos invited fans of the late Rugby star to donate to the charities that were “close to Rob’s heart” or to support his wife and children by donating to the family’s GoFundMe fundraiser. The team also offered fans an opportunity to “pay their respects” to Burrow at Headingly Stadium. By Sunday evening, a photo the team shared on X showed that several people had stopped by to leave jerseys and flowers in Burrow’s memory.

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