Castleford Tigers' Oliver Holmes raises £17,000 for Rob Burrow and the MND Association by cycling 700km in seven days

OLIVER HOLMES has raised over £17,000 for Rob Burrow's fightback fund and the Motor Neurone Disease Association after cycling 700km in seven days.
Leeds Rhinos legend Rob Burrow. Picture: Allan McKenzie\SWpix.com.Leeds Rhinos legend Rob Burrow. Picture: Allan McKenzie\SWpix.com.
Leeds Rhinos legend Rob Burrow. Picture: Allan McKenzie\SWpix.com.

The Castleford Tigers forward was on his bike for 100km per day and admits he is "overwhelmed" by the support.

Pontefract-born Burrow was diagnosed with MND in December 2019 and the entire sport has rallied around the former Super League star, who won eight Grand Finals, two Challenge Cups, three World Club Challenges and lifted the League Leaders' Shield three times during a decorated career.

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Holmes completed his challenge on Monday and was greeted at the finish by friends, family and teammates.

Castleford Tigers forward Oliver Holmes. Picture: Isabel Pearce\SWpix.com.Castleford Tigers forward Oliver Holmes. Picture: Isabel Pearce\SWpix.com.
Castleford Tigers forward Oliver Holmes. Picture: Isabel Pearce\SWpix.com.

"I am a bit overwhelmed," he said.

"When I finished the majority of the lads from the team were there along with my family and friends.

"It raised a lot more than I thought so I am really happy and really pleased with everything."

Leeds Rhinos legend Kevin Sinfield was completing his own challenge at the same time as Holmes, running seven marathons in seven days for Burrow and the MNDA.

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Holmes was joined by friends and teammates for the majority of his challenge but rode on his own on the fourth day.

That proved his hardest 100km but knowing the efforts being put in by Sinfield and thinking of the challenges Burrow has faced since his MND diagnosis 12 months ago was enough to get him through.

He said: "The day when I was on my own and it was torrential rain all the way around, that was probably my hardest day mentally.

"I was tested on that day but thinking of Rob all the way round and what he is going through, and how great he has been throughout everything and spurred me on.

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"Everything Kev Sinfield is doing and how much money he has raised, that has been an inspiration throughout it all as well."

Castleford Tigers captain Michael Shenton was one of several teammates who greeted Holmes as he completed his gruelling challenge.

The Tigers stalwart paid tribute to his fellow Castleford player, adding: "He is very passionate, you can see that from the kind of performances he puts in on the field.

"Off his own back to do something like this for Rob Burrow and MNDA, it is a massive effort."

Holmes's fund-raising tally is still climbing and the donations page will remain open until early next week.