Rob Burrow recorded family messages before he died

Rob Burrow, his wife Lindsey and their three children Jackson, Maya and Macy, pose for a photograph
Rob's wife Lindsey says he leaves behind an "incredible legacy". [Burrow family photo]

Motor neurone disease (MND) campaigner Rob Burrow recorded a series of messages for his children that will be played at special moments in their lives as they grow up, his wife has revealed.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Lindsey Burrow said she “could not put into words” how proud she was of the Leeds Rhinos, Great Britain and England rugby league star.

Lindsey says that, as the face of MND, Burrow had left an incredible legacy and “made the world a better place to be”.

Her family was inundated with messages of support when he died, including a “heartfelt” message from Prince William, she said.

Burrow was 41 when he died on 2 June. In a video released after his death, he urged people not to "waste a moment" of their lives.

Rob and Lindsey Burrow married in 2006 after first meeting as teenagers and had three children, Jackson, Maya and Macy.

Burrow's final public message, recorded on a machine that tracks eye movements and converts them into text, was seen and heard by millions as part of the BBC documentary There’s Only One Rob Burrow.

But Lindsey has revealed he also left some private messages for his family.

“I know Rob has left messages on there for the children. At the minute it’s too raw to go and look through the machine but there are birthday messages on there, there are messages for the future”.

Lindsey says she received messages of support from across the world following her husband's death, including a personal message from Prince William who said he was giving his tribute "as a parent".

“It was really heartfelt to me and the children and his words will stay with me forever," she told BBC Breakfast.

Burrow's MND diagnosis came two years after he retired from playing. His 17-year career with the Rhinos, England and Great Britain included eight Super League Grand Final wins, three World Club Challenges and two Challenge Cups in more than 400 appearances between 2001 and 2017.

 Prince of Wales William meets former rugby league player Rob Burrow to congratulate him for raising awareness of Motor Neurone Disease, during his visit to the Headingley Stadium in Leeds on January 11, 2024
Burrow was appointed a CBE for his services to rugby league and the MND community - and Prince William paid a special visit to award the honour. [BBC]

After Burrow’s death, Prince William, said in a statement that Burrow would be remembered as a "legend" with "a huge heart".

Burrow and his former team-mate Kevin Sinfield were both made CBEs in the 2024 New Year Honours. The pair helped to raise more than £15m for MND charities since Burrow's diagnosis.

Lindsey’s interview on BBC Breakfast is aired on World MND Awareness Day and ahead of Leeds Rhinos' first home game since her husband’s passing.

They face Leigh Leopards in a sell-out match at Headingley that will give rugby league fans the opportunity to remember Burrow.

The club's players will wear a specially-designed kit that features an image of Burrow and Sinfield on the back.

For every replica shirt bought by fans, a donation of £10 will be made to the Leeds Hospitals Charity appeal for the Rob Burrow Centre for MND.