Rob Burrow's tearful dad, Geoff, shares emotional memories of his son in touching tribute before Leeds Rhinos' game against Leigh - after rugby legend's death aged 41

Leeds Rhinos great Rob Burrow passed away in hospital surrounded by family Burrow, who died aged 41, was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 2019His father, Geoff, addressed an emotional crowd during a tribute at Headingley

Rob Burrow's father, Geoff, has shared emotional memories of his son after the rugby league legend's death at the age of 41 earlier this month.

Burrow died surrounded by his family at Pinderfields Hospital near his home in Yorkshire on June 2, five years on from his motor neurone disease diagnosis.

Leeds Rhinos, the club Burrow spent his entire 17-year career with and who announced his tragic passing, staged a tear-jerking tribute at Headingley on Friday.

Burrow's name and a large yellow number seven adorned the pitch while Rhinos players wore a blue and orange jersey for the Super League fixture against Leigh.

The touching pre-match event, which coincidentally took place on Global MND Awareness Day, also saw Burrow's father address the capacity crowd.

Rob Burrow's father, Geoff, shared emotional memories of his son after his passing this month

Rob Burrow's father, Geoff, shared emotional memories of his son after his passing this month

Mr Burrow broke down in tears as he described the rugby league legend as a 'lovely lad'

Mr Burrow broke down in tears as he described the rugby league legend as a 'lovely lad'

Burrow, who played for Leeds Rhinos for 17 years, died surrounded by his family in hospital

Burrow, who played for Leeds Rhinos for 17 years, died surrounded by his family in hospital

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'It's a very emotional night especially because Leeds against Leigh was the first home game I took Rob to,' Mr Burrow, whose voice cracked with emotion, said.

'He loved every minute.

'He was cheeky but he was a lovely, lovely lad. And I miss him so much.'

Burrow campaigned valiantly to increase awareness of MND, an incurable and debilitating illness, and raised more than £15million alongside his close friend and former Rhinos team-mate Kevin Sinfield in a bid to fund crucial research.

His final wish had been for construction to begin on a new £6m facility based in Leeds and designed to support the needs of people living with MND.

Burrow's name and a large number seven were emblazoned on the pitch at Headingley

Burrow's name and a large number seven were emblazoned on the pitch at Headingley

A large banner bearing an infamous quote from Burrow was laid out across the pitch

A large banner bearing an infamous quote from Burrow was laid out across the pitch

Shirts, flowers and scarves were left outside the ground as supporters paid their respects

Shirts, flowers and scarves were left outside the ground as supporters paid their respects

The Rob Burrow Centre for Motor Neurone Disease, which will cost around £6million, will help people living in and around Leeds who are battling MND. Pictured left to right: Rob's sister Claire Burnett, father Geoff, mother Irene and sister Joanne Hartshorne

The Rob Burrow Centre for Motor Neurone Disease, which will cost around £6million, will help people living in and around Leeds who are battling MND. Pictured left to right: Rob's sister Claire Burnett, father Geoff, mother Irene and sister Joanne Hartshorne

Mr Burrow dug the first hole on the site, watched on by the rest of his family and Sinfield, and admitted the poignant moment 'meant everything'.

On the centre, Mr Burrow added: 'We're glad, I wish he could have seen it open. But he will see it through Jackson and the kids, Lindsey. We're going to make him proud.'

As the teams emerged from the tunnel at Headingley, supporters in the East Stand held up blue and yellow placards adorned with Burrow's initials and shirt number.

Two large banners were also unfurled, one depicting his image and the second featuring his infamous quote: 'In a world full of adversity we must dare to dream.'

Sinfield, who is currently with England's rugby union team in Japan, recorded a pre-match video tribute that was shown on the ground's large screens.

He called Burrow 'his little friend' and 'the bravest and toughest man I've ever met'.

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