Dewsbury Rams' Sam Day raises £1900 for MND Association in support of Leeds Rhinos legend Rob Burrow
Dewsbury Rams hooker Sam Day has raised close to £2000 for the MND Association after being touched by the BBC documentary which highlighted the struggles of former Leeds Rhinos star Rob Burrow.
The Leeds legend was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in December 2019, just two years after his retirement.
Day ran a marathon last weekend inside three hours and 38 minutes, alongside offering raffle tickets at the cost of £2.50 each with a prize of £200 up for grabs, in support of Burrow.
The winner of the raffle donated their prize back to Day, who has been able to donate £1900 to the MND Association.
Day started his run from his home in Ossett and covered the streets of Horbury, Denby Dale, Middlestown, Tingley and Wakefield before ending at Ossett rugby club.
“I think most people saw the short documentary on Rob Burrow last week and I think it probably touched everyone in the rugby league community,” said the 26-year-old Wakefield-born player.
“I thought I could do something, so last weekend I thought I would try and run a marathon.
He continued: “I ended up raising £1900. I did it as a raffle and the winner donated the £200 prize back.
“I started off selling 300 tickets at £2.50 each and they sold out within the first day. I upped it and just tried to sell as many tickets as possible, so I ended up selling 750 tickets.
“My phone just blew up in the first day, I didn’t expect it to be honest.
“Everyone was messaging me saying if they won they wanted to donate the prize back, so everybody got behind it.”
Having been born in Wakefield, Day grew up supporting Wakefield Trinity
However, his Dad is a Leeds Rhinos fan, meaning he spent plenty of his childhood watching Burrow in action for Leeds. Day has always looked up to Burrow, as, despite his size, he reached the pinnacle of rugby league in his playing days.
“I watched Rob Burrow since I was a young kid,” he said.
“I am small, and so was he, so you would always look at him and think if he could play, then you have got a chance.
“My Dad is a Rhinos fan, I grew up in Wakefield so I was a Wakey fan but my Dad used to take me to the Rhinos and I would watch him there.”
Day was joined by two of his friends for the second half of his marathon, spurring him on to finish in under four hours.
Matty Wildie, of Leigh Centurions, and Matthew Tebb, who plays for amateur side Thornhill Trojans but has had a spell with Hunslet, ran alongside Day as he completed the run.
“They were a massive help for me getting around the second part,” added Day.
“I think I was a bit faster because I had them with me.”
A Rams statement added: “Dewsbury Rams is extremely proud of hooker Sam Day who has raised a fantastic amount for the MND Association.”