Leeds have unveiled plans for a statue at Emerald Headingley to honour both Rob Burrow and Kevin Sinfield, as well as the club’s trophy-winning generation they were part of; fans can help raise funds for the £100,000 needed to make the statue a reality
Last Updated: 20/08/21 9:56pm
Rob Burrow and Kevin Sinfield are both set to feature in a planned statue at Emerald Headingley which will celebrate their individual legacies and Leeds Rhinos’ golden generation.
The statue, which would sit in the corner of the stadium looking down on the pitch, would feature Sinfield embracing Burrow at the end of the fundraising match played against Bradford Bulls in January 2020 just weeks after the latter had been diagnosed with motor neurone disease.
The pair played in 12 winning finals together for the Rhinos, while Sinfield has also been spearheading fundraising efforts in support of both his former team-mate and the MND Association – including running seven marathons in seven days last year.
As well as paying tribute to both of them, the statue is designed to honour the history-making Leeds teams they were part of too and Rhinos chief executive Gary Hetherington believes this planned statue is the perfect way to celebrate those legacies.
“I think Rob and Kevin perfectly encapsulate everything we hold special about the sport of rugby league and their records on the field alone would merit a statue here at Emerald Headingley,” Hetherington said.
“However, they have both transcended not just rugby league but sport to become national figures because of Rob’s battle with MND and Kevin’s unstinting support of his friend. They were part of a special group of players and this statue acknowledges that bond.
“We were proud to unveil the first statue in the 130 years of Emerald Headingley earlier this year with the John Holmes statue and I am sure this too will become an iconic and artistic addition of our wonderful home.”
Burrow makes emotional Headingley return
Headingley hailed the return of one of its favourite sons on Thursday as Rob Burrow and his family came to the ground to watch Leeds take on Huddersfield.
The news follows Burrow’s emotional first appearance at Headingley since that fundraising game in January last year, with both him and his family watching Leeds defeat Huddersfield Giants in Super League on Thursday night as he launched his autobiography Too Many Reasons To Live.
Sculptor Steve Winterburn, who created the Holmes statue honouring one of the club’s all-time greats which sits at the back of Headingley’s South Stand, as well as the iconic rugby league heroes statue at Wembley Stadium, has made preliminary models of the new statue, although no commission has been placed as yet.
Leeds Rhinos Foundation have, however, opened an online fundraising option for fans to help raise funds for the £100,000 target needed to make the statue a reality.
“As we saw with the John Holmes statue, it is fantastic to have this opportunity to bring another piece of public art to Emerald Headingley Stadium,” Bob Bowman QPM, chief operating officer of the foundation, said.
“Kevin and Rob are such inspirational figures for young and old supporters, and I am sure many will be keen to show their support for the campaign.”