Rob Burrow pays emotional tribute to ‘my MND hero’ Doddie Weir at Sports Personality awards

“What a fantastic guy he was. I don’t think I would be here today without meeting him less than a week into my diagnosis.”

Burrow received the award alongside his friend and former Rhinos team-mate Kevin Sinfield, who received a special award in recognition of his MND fundraising efforts.

“I am inspired to keep going by my friend Kevin Sinfield, the guy who made the impossible possible,” Burrow added.

“My family as a whole have put their life on hold to care for me, especially my beautiful wife Lindsey and my amazing kids.

“Lindsey did not expect to sign up for this but she puts me first and foremost I’m not here without a sacrifice. This is for all the MND warriors out there, we will not stop (trying) to find a cure.”

Sinfield raised more than £7million by running seven marathons in seven days in 2020 and ran a further 300 miles from Edinburgh to Manchester to raise even more cash last month.

He was presented with his award by Weir’s son Hamish.

Sinfield said: “Rob is probably the most inspirational bloke in the UK at this moment in time. He has inspired us all to be better friends.

“The connections you make throughout your playing career, the camaraderie, the friendships you get, (they) don’t just stop when the whistle goes.

“What our team witnessed in November (for the most recent charity initiative) was a nation that cared about the MND community.

Doddie used to say quite a lot that MND isn’t incurable, it’s just under-funded. We’ve got to keep fighting.

“It brought communities together and made sure the MND community had hope for the future.

“Doddie used to say quite a lot that MND isn’t incurable, it’s just underfunded.

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“We’ve got to keep fighting. These people need us, the families need us, and everybody on this stage and our team who are in the audience tonight will keep banging the drum and doing our best.”

Health Secretary Steve Barclay said last week he was fast-tracking £50m of funding for MND research after the Government was criticised for failing to release the promised money.

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