A petition launched to grant Kevin Sinfield a knighthood has received 30,000 signatures.
Sinfield, famously known as ‘Sir Kev’ by Leeds Rhinos supporters, completed his seven marathons in seven days last week.
The challenge has seen over £2.5 million so far raised for the Motor Neurone Disease Association and Sinfield’s iconic team-mate Rob Burrow, who was diagnosed with the disease a year ago.
Sinfield has received worldwide acclaim for undertaking the challenge, in which he completed every run within three hours and 48 minutes.
The BBC has strongly promoted Sinfield’s story and he was their first studio guest on BBC Breakfast when he appeared on the programme on Wednesday.
Sinfield finished in second place to Andy Murray in the voting for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year contest in 2015 and he will be featured in this year’s programme this Sunday night.
Now, calls to knight Sinfield are gaining pace after his extraordinary efforts.
Speaking to League Express shortly after completing his final run, he said: “The support has been incredible, but this is all about Rob and a group of friends and team-mates who had wonderful times together. Now one has hit a rough patch and we’re coming out to help.
“Sometimes, you just need to help a mate, and that’s what we’re trying to do. In its simplest terms, we’ve been on seven runs. I’m really proud of the team, they’ve been outstanding.
“I’ve heard so many different stories of how horrific this disease is. I knew how cruel it was anyway and I’ve seen it first hand with Rob over the last eleven months, but this amount of money will make a huge difference and change a lot of things hopefully.
He continued: “I remember the car journey up to Scotland when we went to see Doddie Weir within a couple of days of his diagnosis and we talked about what our team would do for him and a magic number we’d get to, to make sure his family were safe and comforted and he wouldn’t have to worry about those things moving forward, so he just had to worry about enjoying his family. What the last week does is ensure that happens, which is really important to us, especially leading into Christmas.
“To be able to send him the text the other night and tell him what we talked about on that dark day in December, that we’d do that and more, gives us, as friends, great satisfaction.”
The petition can be seen here: https://www.change.org/p/crown-estate-give-kevin-sinfield-a-knighthood
The above content is also available in the regular weekly edition of League Express, on newsstands every Monday in the UK and as a digital download. Click here for more details.