Artist inspired by Leeds Rhinos legends Rob Burrow and Kevin Sinfield raises 5-figure sum for MND charities

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A West Yorkshire artist has raised more than £27,000 for motor neurone disease charities through the sale of paintings inspired by Leeds Rhinos legends Rob Burrow and Kevin Sinfield.

Brent Sheldon, a Rhinos fan, began putting paintbrush to canvas after Burrow was diagnosed with the terminal illness in 2019 and described the reaction to his work as “unbelievable”.

One painting of Burrow and Sinfield embracing after a game at Headingley, raised a staggering £10,000 in a charity auction.

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“Back in January, 2020, after I attended the Rob Burrow/Jamie Jones-Buchanan fundraising game at Headingley, I was moved to try and do something to help,” Sheldon explained.

Brent Sheldon's painting of Rob Burrow with his children Jackson, Macy and Maya. Picture by Brent Sheldon.Brent Sheldon's painting of Rob Burrow with his children Jackson, Macy and Maya. Picture by Brent Sheldon.
Brent Sheldon's painting of Rob Burrow with his children Jackson, Macy and Maya. Picture by Brent Sheldon.

“I'm a lifelong Leeds fan and I'd watched Rob's whole career at the Rhinos. He'd given so much to the club and the fans and brought so much success, it was the least I could do to try and raise funds for his original appeal.”

Sheldon recalled: “I decided I would paint an artwork of Rob making the break to score his most famous try, against St.Helens in the 2011 Grand Final.

“Just as I started working on the painting we had the first lockdown in the pandemic and we were suddenly all at home and I then began this amazing journey.”

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Brent Sheldon with one of his paintings of Rhinos legends Rob Burrow and Kevin Sinfieldf. Picture by  Brent Sheldon.Brent Sheldon with one of his paintings of Rhinos legends Rob Burrow and Kevin Sinfieldf. Picture by  Brent Sheldon.
Brent Sheldon with one of his paintings of Rhinos legends Rob Burrow and Kevin Sinfieldf. Picture by Brent Sheldon.

Sheldon’s first three works, including one of Burrow entering the field for his final game at Headingley and another featuring the scrum-half and his teammate Danny McGuire lifting the Super League trophy, raised more than £1,800.

Since then, several have been sold at charity events, raising four-figure sums for MND causes.

“It has been an amazing journey these last few years and I've met some really great people,” Sheldon said.

“I didn’t think my artwork would be so well received and it's great I can use my creative skills to make a difference.

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Some of Brent Sheldon's artwork on display at a charity event. Picture by Brent Sheldon.Some of Brent Sheldon's artwork on display at a charity event. Picture by Brent Sheldon.
Some of Brent Sheldon's artwork on display at a charity event. Picture by Brent Sheldon.

“As things currently stand, from all the paintings that have been auctioned and the prints I have sold, we have managed to raise over £27,000 for MND charities and the Rob Burrow Centre for MND appeal.

“I'm currently working on the next painting of Rob for another MND fundraising event in November at Headingley Stadium.”