Leeds Rhinos: Burrow to auction Grand Final boots for charity

Rob Burrow salutes the Rhinos fans after this year's Grand Final triumph. PIC: Bruce Rollinson
Rob Burrow salutes the Rhinos fans after this year's Grand Final triumph. PIC: Bruce Rollinson
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LEEDS RHINOS legend Rob Burrow is auctioning his last pair of playing boots for charity.

Burrow donned the footwear for the Betfred Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford 10 days ago, when Rhinos beat Castleford Tigers 24-6.

Rob Burrow's Grand-Final-winning boots.

Rob Burrow's Grand-Final-winning boots.

It was the club’s – and Burrow’s – eighth Super League title triumph and the final game of his glittering career before he joins Rhinos’ backroom staff.

He came off the bench in the second half and put in the kick which set up Leeds’ final try for Danny McGuire.

The Grand Final was his 492nd appearance for Leeds, the fifth-most in the club’s history.

Now, rather than hang up his boots, Burrow is selling them, via online auction site ebay, to raise funds in aid of the Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome Support Group, of which he is a patron.

Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome (RTS) is a condition characterized by short stature, moderate to severe intellectual disability, distinctive facial features and broad thumbs and first toes.

It can also lead to heart and kidney defects, dental problems and obesity and those affected have an increased risk of developing various types of cancer.

Burrow has supported the charity in the past by donating man-of-the-match prize money and hopes auctioning his Grand Final boots will raise both money and awareness.

“A family friend is affected by RTS,” Burrow said. “He is a big Leeds supporter and comes to all the games.

“The RTS group is something I have been involved with over the years and I thought this was a nice way to do something for them. It’s a small charity and they don’t get much money. I was at one of their lunches the other day and I was going to do it then, but I thought it might raise more money if I did it on ebay.”

Burrow said the size-seven boots are unique. He added: “I only wore them once, in the final.

“I bought them specially, hoping I’d be able to do this with them. I am retired now, so they are my last boots – and they are winning boots as well.

“I can autograph and personalise them and I’ll meet whoever buys them if they want a photo.”

The auction will continue until Sunday and bidding has already reached £530.

Meanwhile, Burrow says the fact he is now officially retired “hasn’t sunk in yet”.

He said: “At the moment it just feels like the end of the season and I’m doing what everyone else is doing, spending time away from it.

“I’m being a full-time dad, doing the school run and things like that. When they say ‘rest and recovery’ this is the opposite – it’s tougher than the business end of the season.

“That’s why I wanted to finish in good shape – it is hard being a dad, running after the kids and I want to be able to do that.”

Pre-season training begins on November 11 and Burrow has already started preparing for his new role as head of academy and scholarship coaching.

The 34-year-old former scrum-half, who made his Super League debut in 2001, admitted: “I think it will start to sink in when things get going again and I am coaching and when the players are back training and I’m not.

“I will appreciate turning up on the first day back to coach and not get flogged.”