Rob Burrow joins Doddie Weir and Stephen Darby on BBC Breakfast for moving interview

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Leeds Rhinos legend Rob Burrow has spoken movingly about his friendship with fellow MND sufferers and sportsmen Doddie Weir and Stephen Darby, as well the love and support of his family.

Burrow joined former Scotland rugby union international Weir and ex-Liverpool player Darby for an emotional interview on BBC Breakfast this morning.

Burrow, accompanied by his wife Lindsey, was speaking through the computer which now helps him communicate.

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The 38-year-old former Leeds Rhinos player, who went on to coach at the club, was told before Christmas 2019 that he had the degenerative neurological condition, for which there is no cure.

Darby retired from football in September 2018 following his diagnosis, while Weir received his diagnosis in 2016.

Burrow told BBC presenter Sally Nugent: "Doddie and Stephen have become great friends through us all being in the same position.

"They have become uncle Doddie and my brother Stephen.

"I can't thank them all enough through sharing advice and showing me the path to go down.

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Rob Burrow with his wife and children (photo: Allan McKenzie/ Burrow with his wife and children (photo: Allan McKenzie/
Rob Burrow with his wife and children (photo: Allan McKenzie/

"Stephen texts me often and he checks in on me. He has been amazing with the tips he has given me and I've been in a much better position for it.

"Without these two, I think I would be feeling bitter and sorry for myself."

The trio were asked about their desire to help others with an MND diagnosis.

Burrow said: "I want to say that as I sit here now with limited use of my legs and arms, and I can't speak - I want people to know I feel as mentally strong as I have ever done."

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Burrow, who has three young children, spoke movingly about them.

He said: "As a guy, you have an unwritten rule of protecting your family - I will do that until the day I die and beyond hopefully.

"I've spoken a lot about my wife and how amazing she has been for me since I met her. She knows I can't function without her."

Nugent asked Burrow about what else he hopes to achieve.

Burrow replied: "I think that legacy means to have played a role in finding a cure. I only hope that it is in my lifetime but I'll be equally as pleased if it was not.

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"I hope that I leave a lasting impression on this horrible disease."

Weir added of his friend Burrow: "He's always got a lovely smile."

Nugent agreed, saying: "You have. You make us all smile, Rob, all the time."

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