Armley artist goes viral after incredible Rob Burrow painting as star praises "amazing" gift
Rob Burrow said a painting he was gifted by 'The Armley Artist' will take "pride of place" at his home - as the artwork went viral on social media.
Brent Sheldon said it was an "honour and a privilege" to paint the artwork - showing Burrow alongside his family - before taking it to his parent's home last week.
Burrow and his parents were overjoyed when they saw the artwork, said Brent, who works as a Design Technician by day at Co-op Academy Priesthorpe in Pudsey.
Brent has been painting on and off for "many years" under the guise of 'The Armley Artist'.
He is a lifetime Leeds Rhinos fan and has watched Rob Burrow s whole career at Leeds.
After attending a fundraiser game following the player's MND diagnosis, Brent said he knew he had to help.
He has since auctioned off many of his artworks via his Twitter page - raising thousands of pounds for charity.
After being gifted the painting, Rob Burrow tweeted: "It will take pride of place in my house.
"Thanks so much.
"You are super talented and more importantly, a lovely man.
"It is an absolute amazing image for my kids to look back on."
The post has since racked up thousands of likes and shares.
Brent told the YEP the reaction to his work has been unbelievable.
He said: "I've been painting on and off for many years but more seriously over the last six years or so.
"My background is over 20 years in print but following a couple of redundancies I ended up working as a design technician at Coop Academy Priesthorpe six years ago and the school hours then gave me the scope to commit more time to my artwork.
"I'm a lifelong Leeds Rhinos fan and have watched Rob Burrow's whole career at Leeds so it was very sad when he was diagnosed with MND and after I attended the fundraiser game at Headingley in January 2020 I just felt that I had to do something to help raise money for him and his family.
"I knew that I wouldn't be able to run marathons like Kevin Sinfield!
"So I thought I would paint some artworks to auction off via my Twitter page.
"I started the first of a set of three paintings in March 2020 just as we went into the 1st lockdown and the reaction to this was unbelievable and Rob got in touch with me and then retweeted the posts so it went viral!
"The painting was of Rob on his way to scoring the most famous grand final try ever in 2011.
"The 2nd painting I did was a very poignant image of Rob coming onto the field in the fundraiser game - basically his last ever game and this was again unreal with the reaction across my social media.
"The 3rd painting is of Rob and Danny McGuire holding the grand final trophy in their final game together in 2017, two very popular players for Leeds and heroes of mine."
Towards the end of 2020, Brent was asked if he could paint of mural of Burrow at New College Pontefract.
He added: "While I was there in November, Rob came along with his family to see the mural and sign the three paintings.
"He was overjoyed to see the paintings and the mural and it was really good of him to give up his time.
"I was also able to get Danny McGuire to sign the painting with him on and with this we were then able to get more money raised.
"The three paintings were auctioned off and we raised £1737 for Rob's official fundraising page from the sale of these."
Brent wanted to give Burrow something back for all of his support.
He said he decided to paint him a special painting with his family and children.
Brent said: "I know how much his children mean to him and the image is an edit from a photo taken after the fundraiser game and it is just such a special moment.
"The reaction to this painting has been mind blowing as I think it has touched the hearts of many people.
"My post on Twitter has had nearly half a million views and over a thousand likes which is incredible!"
More of Brent's work can be found on @armleyartist Twitter.