BY early today (Tues), Kevin Sinfield’s astonishing marathon running for Rob Burrow and the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA) had topped an amazing £1,747,000 . . . quite a coup when considering that Sinny and his team had targeted a “mere” £77,777 when setting out on the challenge to run seven marathons in seven days.
It was a case of “all the sevens” because ‘7’ was the number always worn by little half-back Burrow during his illustrious rugby league career before he was struck down by this horrible disease.
After completing the near 200-mile challenge at the end of his seventh and final marathon in and around Saddleworth yesterday, the Rugby League and Leeds Rhinos legend, already honoured nationally with an MBE, said he was humbled and “blown away” by the nationwide response to his appeal.
He was inspired to do it by the courage and positivity of his former Leeds team mate and good friend Rob Burrow, who is battling the cruel disease of motor neurone, for which there is still no cure after years of research.
Rob’s illness — and the continuing support for him by the wider rugby league community and his former team mates at Leeds Rhinos particularly — has been covered extensively by national radio, TV, and written media.
Sinfield and Sky Sports rugby league pundit Barrie McDermott, two proud Oldhamers, have figured prominently in our sport’s big drive to raise awareness of motor neurone, Barrie Mac in his triple role as friend, former team mate and Sky commentator and summariser.
“Hopefully, these funds will be used to help families deal better with this dreadful disease, but ultimately the hope is to find a cure. I don’t know what this money can achieve but it should be a good starting point.”
It goes without saying that Oldham RLFC, and everyone at the club (chairman, coaching staff, players, match-day staff, sponsors and supporters) congratulate Kevin on his personal achievements in the fight to help his good pal and extend those sincere sentiments to others who are and have been collectively linked together in directly doing their best for this great cause.
Rugby League is known throughout the sporting world for its willingness to look after its own and for its tenderness and enthusiasm in putting rugby rivalries on one side when a worthy cause requires support.
The money raised in this instance is absolutely staggering at a time when, across our nation, finances are tight because of Covid and its restrictions.
Well done Sinny, a legend of our sport.
Image via SWPix