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Rugby Player Kevin Sinfield Completes Seven Marathons In Seven Days And Raises More Than £1.5m For Motor Neurone Disease Research

by : Niamh Shackleton on : 07 Dec 2020 18:11
Rugby Player Kevin Sinfield Completes Seven Marathons In Seven Days And Raises More Than £1.5m For Motor Neurone Disease ResearchPA/Just Giving

Rugby player Kevin Sinfield has successfully raised more than £1.5 million for charity by completing seven marathons in seven days.

Sinfield, former captain of the Leeds Super Rhinos, finished his final marathon today, December 7, and ran more than 183 miles in total.

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Sinfield took on the challenge in a bid to raise money for Motor Neurone Disease charity MND Association after his former-teammate and close friend Rob Burrow was diagnosed with the disease last year at the age of 37.

Upon his diagnosis, Burrow, a father-of-three, was told he had one to two years to live. The condition occurs when specialist nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord stop working properly, affecting muscle activity in a person’s body.

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Following Burrow’s diagnosis, Sinfield wanted to raise £77,777 for the MND Association – a nod to the number seven shirt Burrow wore for Leeds Rhinos during his 17-year rugby league career.

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Arguably a hefty number to reach, Sinfield has completely smashed his initial target, officially hitting the £1 million mark today, on the day he finished his final marathon in Saddleworth, UK. Burrow and his family were there to greet him as he crossed the line.

At the time of writing, the fundraiser has surpassed £1.5 million and has received donations from more than 66,000 people.

Speaking about the support he received, Sinfield told BBC Sport, ‘I’m overwhelmed. It’s unbelievable and I’m so happy we got it done. After the first day I did worry we’d bitten off more than we could chew, but the donations and the support just fuelled us. It’s overwhelming’.

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The 40-year-old explained how his wife asked if he’d do it all again if someone offered to double the money already raised, to which he said ‘absolutely’. He continued, ‘I’m busted and broken now, but it’s what mates do: they look after each other’.

Speaking of his friend’s amazing fundraiser, Burrows said:

Kev, from day one, has always been a role model for me, and someone who I hold in the highest regard. I hope you know I’d do the same for you, it means everything to me.

Meanwhile, Sinfield described his former Leeds Rhinos teammate as a ‘champion and a real inspiration’.

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Many people took to social media to congratulate Sinfield on his achievement. James Milner, a Liverpool footballer, tweeted, ‘Huge congratulations to Kevin Sinfield on completing 7 marathons in 7 days to raise funds and awareness for the @mndassoc. An incredible achievement and over £1m raised for a fantastic cause’.

BBC presenter Dan Walker also tweeted, ‘Just give the man a knighthood. Incredible stuff from Kevin Sinfield. Once a captain, always a captain.’

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If you’d like to donate towards the fundraiser, you can do so here.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

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Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: Sport, Marathon, News

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BBC Sport
  1. BBC Sport

    Rob Burrow: Kevin Sinfield raises £1m-plus in marathon challenge for MND research