Kevin Sinfield surprised with beautiful artwork commemorating his inspiring friendship with Rob Burrow

The tale of these two continues to warm the hearts of the nation.

Danny Jones Danny Jones - 24th May 2023

Kevin Sinfield and Rob Burrow continue to inspire millions around the country and in the latest recognition of their motor neurone disease (MND) campaigning, the Leeds Rhinos legends were surprised with a truly beautiful piece of artwork in honour of their friendship.

On 14 May, the rugby legends left Brits weeping as they completed the inaugural Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon, with Sinfield pushing his best mate for 26.2 miles before carrying him over the finish line in his arms and planting a kiss on his cheek — one of the most emotional moments of the year.

The heartwarming sight captured the imagination and the entire country and, as it turns out, that of artist Charlie Mackesy who wanted to pay tribute not only to Sinfield for his incredible fundraising achievements but his truly special and inspiring friendship with Rob Burrow too.

Depicting the now iconic image of the Rhinos teammates and MND champions crossing the finish line, Oscar-winning artist, illustrator and children’s author — arguably best known for his short film, The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse — Sinfield was presented with the surprise painting on BBC Breakfast.

Kevin Sinfield being surprised with the stirring piece of artwork.

The Oldham lad was visibly moved by the gesture, stating that he was “blown away with the picture created by the artist Charlie Mackesy” and it’s not hard to see why — so is everyone else.


Sinfield has gone on to become not just a sporting icon but a national hero, raising over £4 million for MND research from the marathon alone and well over £7 million in total since his charity work began back in 2019 when Rob was diagnosed.

Appearing on the show after completing the Leeds Marathon named in his friend’s honour, Sinfield made sure to direct all the credit elsewhere, stating that “the Burrow family are a real inspiration for everybody”, adding that Rob’s wife “Lindsey has shown everyone what real love is.”


Speaking of the Burrows, they were also sent the artwork showing their dad being carried across the line by de facto family member, Kev, receiving several signed copies from artist Mackesy. Reacting to the surprise package, they simply said: “It’s very special because it’s a moment we’ll never forget”.

Lindsey and Rob Burrow’s kids were bowled over by the painting.

Sinfield has since written a book chronicling the remarkable journey he and Burrow have been on in an effort to raise money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA) over the past few years entitled, Kevin Sinfield: Going The Extra Mile.

Moreover, the accompanying documentary of the same name that ran alongside writing the book and aired back in February is also nominated for a National Television Award (NTA), as is Rob Burrow’s Living With MND film.


However, it’s no surprise that Sinfield urged viewers to “please vote for Rob, everybody. Their story is incredible certainly across the UK but worldwide; they’ve shown everybody what living is and I think Lindsey has shown everyone what real love looks like”. We can’t stress how much these lot make us cry.

As for the painting itself, you can buy prints of it on Charlie Mackesy’s website HERE, with proceeds going to the MDNA. In fact, more than 16,000 copies have already been sold with over £30,000 raised for the cause in just 12 hours. Truly incredible stuff.

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Featured Image — Jon Kay (via Twitter)/Leeds Rhinos (via Instagram)/Charlie Mackesy (via Twitter)