Kevin Sinfield and Rob Burrow’s friendship continues to warm the hearts of the nation and in the latest recognition of their MND campaigning, the Leeds Rhinos legends were surprised with a truly beautiful painting in their honour.
On 14 May, the local legends once again left the country in tears weeping as Sinfield pushed best mate Burrow around his inaugural Leeds Marathon before carrying him over the finish line in his arms.
Giving him a kiss on his cheek as they completed the full 26.2 miles, it was one of the most emotional moments of the year and has not only led to countless signs up to next year’s race already, but even inspired an award-winning artist to pay tribute to them.
Depicting the now iconic image of the Rhinos teammates crossing the finish line, Sinfield was surprised with a painting by Oscar-winning artist, illustrator and children’s author Charlie Mackesy, best known for his short film, The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse.
The Manchester-born rugby league legend turned England roach was visibly moved by the gesture, stating that he was simply “blown away” by the picture.
Sinfield has gone on to become not just a sporting icon but a national hero, raising over £4 million for MND research from the marathon alone and well over £7 million in total since his charity work began back in 2019 when Rob was diagnosed.
Appearing on BBC Breakfast after completing the marathon named in his friend’s honour, the 42-year-old insisted on directing all the credit to Rob and his family, hailing them as “a real inspiration for everybody”, adding that Rob’s wife “Lindsey has shown everyone what real love is.”
Speaking of the Burrows, they were also sent the painting of their dad being carried across the finish line, receiving several signed copies from Mackesy which and calling it “a moment we’ll never forget”. Rob also described it as “the best day of his life“.
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Sinfield has since written a book chronicling the remarkable journey he and Burrow have been on in an effort to raise money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA) over the past few years entitled, Kevin Sinfield: Going The Extra Mile.
Moreover, the documentary of the same name that ran alongside aired back in February and is also nominated for a National Television Award (NTA), as is Rob Burrow’s Living With MND film.
However, it’s no surprise that Sinfield urged viewers to “please vote for Rob, everybody. Their story is incredible certainly across the UK but worldwide; they’ve shown everybody what living is and I think Lindsey has shown everyone what real love looks like”. Great, now we’re crying again.
As for the painting itself, you can buy prints of it on Charlie Mackesy’s website HERE, with proceeds going to the MDNA. In fact, more than 16,000 copies have already been sold with over £30,000 raised for the cause in just 12 hours. Amazing.
Featured Image — Jon Kay (via Twitter)/Leeds Rhinos (via Instagram)/Charlie Mackesy (via Twitter)