Rob Burrow’s ex-Leeds teammate’s heartwarming visit as legend battles MND

An ex-teammate of Rob Burrow paid him a poignant visit as the Leeds Rhinos legend continues his fight with Motor Neurone Disease (MND).

Stevie Ward, who played with Burrow at the Rhinos, took to Instagram to share a photo of the pair and write some heartwarming words about the 39-year-old.

Burrow played 493 times for the club and also won 15 England caps, as well as playing five Tests for Great Britain. A winner of eight Super League titles, three World Club Challenge trophies and two Challenge Cups, he publicly revealed in December 2019 he had been diagnosed with MND.

His work since in raising awareness of the disease has touched many, and he was awarded an MBE in early 2021 while the documentary Rob Burrow: My Year With MND was nominated at the National Television Awards in September.

Ward, who retired last January due to a long-standing concussion injury, was a teammate of Burrow at Leeds from 2012 to 2017.

On Friday he posted an image of him paying his friend a visit, appearing to play a song for him on a guitar.

"Absolutely buzzing after seeing Rob. Every time I go I end up taking a surprise," wrote Ward, 27.

"It goes from a Jacksonville Jaguars jacket that meant a lot to us both (that I found deep in my parents loft), to turning up as David Brent with a guitar.

"It felt like the “good old days”. Going into the changing rooms feeling tired and like life was an EFFORT but it would only take five minutes of being with Rob to feel like the only effort was to try stop laughing and get serious about rugby.

"The difference is now Rob couldn’t tell me when to shut up and stop playing the guitar."

The post exceeded 2,600 likes in four hours.

Also present was George William, sports broadcaster and mental health speaker, who replied to the post with: "Brilliant few hours and so good to see you in such good form too my friend."

Other followers of Ward were also touched by the post, with antdil19 saying: " Literally the best thing I’ve seen all week, maybe year. Proud of ya stevie lad," while richjackson40 wrote: "Absolutely made my day to see this!!"

Last month, Burrow committed to spearheading a campaign for Leeds Hospitals Charity, who are looking to raise £5m to build a new MND centre.

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