Leeds Rhinos legend Rob Burrow shares emotional final words in heartbreaking BBC documentary

Rob Burrow, the courageous former Leeds Rhinos star and MND campaigner, recorded a deeply moving final message for his supporters before he passed away, encouraging them to "be brave", "live in the moment" and to continue "to dare to dream".

The touching speech was broadcast as part of a BBC tribute to the rugby legend who sadly died on Sunday. In his final days, Rob, with characteristic humility, described himself as "just a lad from Yorkshire who got to live out his dream", but to many, he was an inspirational figure far beyond the rugby pitch due to his relentless work for MND charities.

He also called on scientists to keep searching for a cure for the devastating disease. Despite battling MND, Rob continued to communicate and share his thoughts using an eye-gaze machine, which enabled him to speak by selecting words on a screen that were then voiced by a computer.

Rob Burrow
The last photo of former professional rugby star Rob Burrow shows him smiling alongside his family before his tragic death at age 41 -Credit:Danny Lawson/PA Wire

In his poignant last words featured in the BBC documentary, Rob expressed his hope for a future without MND: "I hope one day we find a cure and live in a world free of MND. By the time that you watch this I will no longer be here. I am just a lad from Yorkshire who got to live out his dream of playing Rugby League," reports the Mirror.

He also shared his personal reflections on the impact of his diagnosis, especially as a father: "As a father of three young children I would never want any family to have to go through what my family have since my diagnosis. I hope I have left a mark on the disease. I hope it shows to live in the moment. I hope you find inspiration from the whole story."

"My final message to you is whatever your personal battle be brave and face it. Every single day is precious. Don't waste a moment. In a world full of adversity we must still dare to dream. Rob Burrow, over and out."

Rob's wife Lindsey paid a touching tribute to her husband
Rob's heartbroken wife, Lindsey, shared an emotional tribute to her husband after his passing -Credit:PA

The touching words were part of a poignant message that likely moved many viewers to tears, recorded with the blessing and knowledge of his family. It's understood that his wife Lindsey was by his side when he delivered this heartfelt speech.

The documentary titled 'There's Only One Rob Burrow' was produced by BBC Breakfast with the full support of the Burrow family. It intimately explores Rob's life both on the rugby field and beyond, and received Rob's personal approval before his untimely passing on Sunday, 2 June, at the age of 41.

Rob dedicated his entire rugby league career to Leeds Rhinos, contributing to their eight Super League titles. His diagnosis of Motor Neurone Disease came in 2019, just two years after he hung up his boots following a remarkable 17-season career.

Following his MND diagnosis, Rob became a fervent fundraiser and advocate, working tirelessly to raise awareness for the disease and to enhance care and research efforts. His extraordinary contributions to rugby league and the MND community earned him an MBE in the 2021 New Year Honours list, and he was further honoured with a CBE in the 2024 New Year Honours.

Burrow is remembered as one of the greatest rugby league players of all time
Rob was a rugby player for Leeds Rhinos before he got diagnosed with MND in 2019 -Credit:AFP via Getty Images

The new 30-minute documentary showcasing his illustrious career and advocacy work premiered on BBC One tonight, with an extended 45-minute version set to be released on BBC iPlayer later in the week.

Earlier in the day, Rob's wife Lindsey Burrow described him as "loving, kind and caring" and pledged to continue his legacy, following the announcement of his passing. In her heartfelt words, Lindsey shared with Leeds Rhinos: "I was incredibly proud and fortunate to call Rob my husband."

She expressed immense pride in his advocacy work, stating: "I am unbelievably proud of the campaigning he's done to raise awareness and the millions of pounds that have been raised in his name for MND charities."

Lindsey extended her gratitude to the Rugby League community for their overwhelming support: "I would like to thank the Rugby League community and everyone for their outpouring of love and support since Rob's diagnosis. I truly appreciate every message of support, and fundraising that has been done."

Determined to honour Rob's memory, she said: "My priority is to make Rob proud, and to bring our three children up as Rob would want and ensure their happiness and well-being. We will continue to keep Rob's legacy alive. We will continue to 'bang the drum' and do our best to try and help others."

Despite anticipating this difficult time, Lindsey confessed: "Although we knew this day would arrive, I am somehow still feeling at a loss for words that our loving, kind and caring husband and father has departed."

Finding solace in the support they received, she added: "However, we take comfort from how much people's love and continued support meant to Rob through his most vulnerable times. He was simply the best." Rob leaves behind his beloved wife Lindsey and their three children; Jackson, Maya, and Macy.