Ex-Leeds Rhinos star Jamie Peacock will run 35-mile ultra-marathon in the Alps to raise £10,000 for Rob Burrow’s fund after former team-mate’s motor neurone disease diagnosis
- Rob Burrow’s team-mates have been raising money for the ex-Leeds Rhinos star
- Burrow was diagnosed with motor neurone disease and has raised £300,000
- Jamie Peacock is looking to raise £10,000 by running an ultra-marathon
- Peacock won every trophy on offer alongside Burrow in a stunning Leeds side
Rob Burrow’s former team-mates have gone the extra mile for the Leeds Rhinos legend since his diagnosis with motor neurone disease, but Jamie Peacock is taking things to another level.
Peacock, the most decorated player in Super League history with nine Grand Final victories, will run a gruelling 35-mile ultra-marathon in the Alps on September 19.
He aims to raise £10,000 for Burrow, whose plight since he was diagnosed has reverberated far beyond rugby league with a fund set up to support him approaching £350,000.
Jamie Peacock is running a 35-mile ultra-marathon in the Alps to raise £10,000 for Burrow
Former Leeds Rhinos star Rob Burrow has been diagnosed with motor neurone disease
Peacock won every trophy on offer alongside Burrow in an all-conquering Leeds side, culminating in their treble-winning campaign of 2015.
The 42-year-old said: ‘When Kevin Sinfield phoned me with the news of Rob’s diagnosis in December, I was in tears.
‘I was devastated, I couldn’t believe it. It was heartbreaking and just proves that life isn’t fair, so I wanted to do something for Rob. Running 57k on flat ground is a challenge but one I’d be quite comfortable doing because I’ve done three marathons before.
‘But to do it with over 3,000 metres of ascent will be brutal. My dad (Darryl) died of lung cancer seven years ago and when things get difficult on the slopes, I’ll be thinking of him and Rob.’
At 5ft 5in, Burrow is the smallest player in Super League history and one of the most iconic and respected.
Burrow is now fundraising and since going public with his diagnosis has raised nearly £350k
Men with whom he enjoyed so much success at Leeds – Sinfield, Peacock, Danny McGuire and Jamie Jones-Buchanan – have supported the 37-year-old closely since his diagnosis.
Peacock said: ‘People talk about being a band of brothers but it’s not just about winning trophies. It’s about pulling together when one of you faces difficult times and everyone who played with Rob in those successful teams has supported him.’
A gala dinner, attended by England boss Gareth Southgate, was held and a testimonial match for Jones-Buchanan against Bradford, televised live on Sky, doubled up as a fundraiser for Burrow.
Peacock won every trophy on offer alongside Burrow in an all-conquering Leeds Rhinos side
A capacity 19,560 crowd turned out and the aforementioned legends came out retirement with Burrow to make late cameo appearances on an emotionally fraught afternoon.
Peacock said: ‘Headingley could have sold out twice over and what stuck with me was how everyone stayed behind afterwards to hear Rob speak on the pitch with his three kids.
‘Not one person left after the game finished and I’d never seen that before. It was more emotional than any final I played in and I felt proud to be associated with the sport.
‘Rob transcends rugby league and not many people can do that. Just look at the amount of money that has been raised.’
Peacock’s plans to undertake the ultra-marathon along with friend and business associate Simon Dent could yet be disrupted by Covid-19, but there are contingency plans in place.
Peacock added: ‘If we have to quarantine then we’re going to see if we can get special dispensation. If we can’t get out there then we will do it a fortnight later on the South Downs, which has plenty of ascent and hills.
‘At the back end of my career I was as mentally tough as anyone who played the game. I pushed myself physically as hard as I could and I might need to again now.’