Rob Burrow and Kevin Sinfield get the royal treatment with Prince William visit

RUGBY League legends Rob Burrow and Kevin Sinfield met Royalty as the Prince of Wales visited Headingley last week.

The former Leeds teammates were both made a CBE in the New Year’s Honours List after generating more than £15 million for the fight against motor neurone disease.

And in a surprise move as part of the planned visit to the stadium, they each received their honour in person from Prince William, who explained: “While you’re in your home, in Leeds, surrounded by your family and friends, I thought this was a good day.”

Burrow, 41, revealed he was suffering from MND in December 2019, since when close friend Sinfeld, 43, has provided unwavering support and staged a multi-marathon-running campaign to raise both funds and awareness of the illness.

Prince William said to Burrow: “The most amount of thank yous and congratulations for all the inspirational work you’ve done Rob, you’ve been amazing and everyone’s so proud of you.”

Father-of-three Burrow, who speaks through a tablet computer which he controls using his eye movements, told Prince William: “My children have been practising their curtesy and talking about meeting you all week.”

Burrow also jokingly referenced the ‘One Pint Willy’ nickname ex-rugby union star Mike Tindall gave Prince William.

Tindall talked about it while appearing with wife Zara, the prince’s cousin, on fellow Yorkshireman Burrow’s podcast.

Pince William responded: “You got the nickname out of him, he apologised to me about that!”

Prince William told Sinfield: “It’s amazing what you’ve done. The groundswell you’ve created in terms of fundraising and looking after each other and for MND is huge.

“It’s been incredible. Just make sure you look after your knees, your hips, and everything else.”

Meanwhile Sinfield is to join forces with fellow former Rhinos star and League Express columnist Garry Schofield to support Paul Gill, another ex-Leeds player who is fighting MND.

The pair, who like Burrow, also played for Great Britain, will host a special ‘Golden Boot Evening’ for 65-year-old Gill, who made 47 appearances for the Headingley club, some of them alongside Schofield, in the 1980s.

It will take place at Gill’s local, Clayton Conservative Club in Bradford, in September and follows a Rugby League night held there in October which was hosted by Schofield and attended by ex-Leeds players Dave Heron, Dave Ward, Mark Conway and Dave Creasser and raised more than £10,400.

Gill, who coached well-known community club Clayton, will be guest of honour when Bradford face Leeds in a pre-season derby match at Odsal on Sunday, January 28.