“The amount of people he has inspired has been truly incredible” – Former England and GB captain Jamie Peacock on Rob Burrow, Kevin Sinfield, ultra marathons and more

“He has never moaned once about the cards he has been dealt, he and his family have been so dignified and inspirational.”

It has been a bad year for many people but what we have seen is community spirit, people’s strength of character and the will to help others.

And in Rugby League, since the shock diagnosis of Leeds Rhinos legend Rob Burrow last year with Motor Neurone Disease, that has been seen more than ever.

Hundreds of former players, hundreds of other sports men and women have rallied for Burrow to help him in his fight and campaign to raise awareness.

One of those is former team mate and England captain Jamie Peacock MBE, who raised £50,000 alongside friend Simon Dent by doing an ultra marathon towards Burrow’s incredible campaign earlier this year.

The pair will link up again in a few months time for another charity, Greenhouse Sports.

Peacock, who played for Rhinos more than 270 times is well in to his training, but is well versed on what the challenge takes.

And he is taking inspiration from former team mate Kevin Sinfield’s seven marathon challenge and the incredible strength showed by the battling Burrow and his family.

“What Kev did was incredible,” said Peacock.

“I’ve run marathons before but to get consistent times like he did was phenomenal.

“When I go and give motivational talks with lots of different people, people from all walks of life say they have been inspired by Rob.

“The amount of people is incredible, truly incredible.

“Everyone has a bad story this year, but you put that into context when you see what Rob has gone through.

“He has been unable to get treatment, unable to go to places with his family that may be for the last time.

“He has never moaned once about the cards he has been dealt, he and his family have been so dignified and inspirational.”

Peacock and Burrow – @JamiePeacock10

Peacock is set to ramp up the miles for his ultra challenge in the coming weeks.

He and friend Dent are raising money for a charity that puts sports coaches into schools in deprived areas, something the inspirational speaker is keen to address.

The challenge will take place from Bristol and Peacock will have an old saying from a Rugby League legend in the back of his head to keep him going.

“Steve Prescott who was in Rugby League once told me, ‘it’s not a challenge unless it is challenging’.

“We’ve run the one before through Storm Alex for Rob and MND, and this isn’t as high but it is longer in distance.

“The charity is one I’m passionate about. The charity puts coaches into deprived areas and schools.

“For me, junior sport has taken a battering over the last ten months. Like a lot of things the Government doesn’t understand what things look like on the ground.

“Sport can be such a good vehicle for kids in deprived areas. It helps with life skills away from home, gives them something to focus on, and it can re-engage them with education.

“So that’s why we are doing it.”

Peacock is still involved in Rugby League on the commercial side of things, working for Leeds Rhinos a club where he is remembered fondly.

It has been the union code that has been in the public spotlight recently, with a number of former professionals set to launch a legal case against the governing bodies over issues with dementia and head injuries.

Peacock believes the rules and issues around this in the league code changed long ago, and the sport is in a good place now.

He added: “I think Rugby League protocols have changed a lot in the last five to seven years.

“20 years ago you wore concussion as a badge of honour, but there was a real shift and now it is taken seriously.

“The rules are in place, and the game has a fine balance between player safety and changing the game.”

Peacock and Dent after their previous ultra marathon – @JamiePeacock10

Peacock has long left the field now, but believes in general sports people should still use their name and their position for good, much like what he is doing through his charity work.

“I like to do the right things, and these things are the right ones to do,” added the former England and Great Britain captain.

“If you have a position like I have, then you should do something with it.”

Over 100 of Burrow’s former team mates and opponents are now doing that according to Peacock.

Rather than having a support network of old players around him that are simply there to say, ‘we support you’, Peacock insists scores of them have stepped up to raise money and awareness of MND.

And they are showing no signs of stopping anytime soon.

“It isn’t just team mates standing there and saying, we support you mate,” added Peacock.

“They are all doing things to raise awareness and raise money.

“We had a gala dinner earlier this year and managed to get the Brownlee brothers, Josh Warrington and Gareth Southgate there, they all said yes straight away.

“I think that is the measure of the main and how well respected he is.”

Click here to donate to the latest fundraising effort.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: