Ex-soldier diagnosed with MND meets his footballing heroes and receives a special message from Kevin Sinfield

Soldier with MND meets Manchester United players and receives special message from Kevin Sinfield

Jordan Pilkington, a former soldier and lifelong football fan, was recently surprised by the club with a visit by some of his favourite players, as well as a special message from motor neurone disease champion, Kevin Sinfield.

Diagnosed with MND whilst serving in the British army back in 2020, age just 22, Jordan Pilkington’s life has been turned upside down by the condition, having to leave the service and renovate his home to make his remaining time as comfortable as possible.

Naturally, he was over the moon when he was given the chance by Manchester United’s Disabled Supporters Association to meet some of his footballing heroes. There’s no rivalry that could make you think this is anything other than lovely.

However, he was not prepared for what came next and neither were we:

The former soldier couldn’t help but burst into tears after this emotional and inspiring message from Kevin Sinfield.

After meeting a number of Man United players, captain Harry Maguire was given the honour of delivering another surprise to Jordan as he hit play on a video from another one of his idols, Kevin Sinfield.

Speaking to the 26-year-old via a tablet, the ex-player turned coach and incredible MND fundraiser told Jordan: “I’ve heard your story, I’ve heard all about you and you are an amazing guy. Just like my mate Rob, you’ve inspired everyone who knows you with your fight courage and bravery.

“You are a true champion. I’m going to send you my t-shirt that I ran the Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon in on Sunday, but don’t worry, it’s been washed.”

The Leeds Rhinos legend went viral along with bestie Burrow again last weekend after lifting his former teammate out of his wheelchair and carrying him across the finish in one of the most heartwarming moments you’ll ever see in sport.

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He closed his message by stating, “Let’s keep banging the drum for MND. As the great Doddie Weir [a fellow former rugby union star who sadly passed away from the condition in November 2022] always said, ‘MND isn’t incurable, it’s just underfunded’. Keep fighting, keep smiling my friend”.

If you weren’t crying already then we defy you to not be after watching that all the way through.

Now three years on from his diagnosis and still fighting, Jordan is making the most of however long he has left, with a fundraiser set up by one of his fellow troops back in 2020 to help pay for adjustments around his home. Though limited to a wheelchair, he has been raising money for MND ever since.

Both of these men are absolute icons, as is the wonderful Rob Burrow. You can still do your bit to help them by donating to the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA) HERE.

Featured Image — BBC Sport/JustGiving

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