Rugby league great Burrow diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease

London (AFP) –


Rob Burrow, who won an astonishing eight Super League Grand Final winners medals with Leeds Rhinos, has bene diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease, he revealed on Thursday.

The 37-year-old -- who also won three World Club Challenges and two Challenge Cups in 17 years with Leeds -- is presently the Rhinos reserve team head coach.

The father of three children under the age of eight said he was prepared to confront the challenge that lay ahead.

"Regrettably, I am confirming that I have been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease," said Burrow, capped 15 times by England and on five occasions by Britain.

"I would like to thank everyone for the support I have received already since being given my diagnosis.

"I know I have a big challenge in front of me, but knowing that I have the love and support of so many people will give me inspiration and strength.

"I am very positive about the situation and intend to battle the condition as I still feel fit and well.

"I would like to ask for privacy at this time so I can adjust to the battle I have ahead and spend time with those closest to me ahead of Christmas and New Year."

Burrow, for whom Leeds announced they were setting up a fund to support him in his treatment and his family, is the latest sports star to be diagnosed with the disease.

Former Scotland rugby union international Doddie Weir was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in 2017 whilst the same disease claimed the life of former Rangers defender Fernando Ricksen in September.

Motor Neurone Disease -- which affects the brain and the nervous system -- causes weakness which gets worse over time and is almost always fatal.

There is no cure, though treatment is available to reduce its impact on daily life.