Two books inspired by Rob Burrow and Kevin Sinfield’s friendship to be released

Sinfield carried his former rugby teammate Burrow, who has MND, over the finish line at a marathon in Leeds so they could complete it together.

Charlotte McLaughlin
Thursday 20 July 2023 00:01 BST
Rob Burrow and Kevin Sinfield (Danny Lawson/PA)
Rob Burrow and Kevin Sinfield (Danny Lawson/PA) (PA Wire)

Rob Burrow and Kevin Sinfield will collaborate on two upcoming Macmillan Children’s Books that are inspired by their friendship.

The two former Leeds Rhinos rugby players are friends and in an emotional moment back in May, Sinfield carried Burrow out of his specially adapted wheelchair so they could both complete a marathon in Leeds.

Sinfield has also raised more than £8 million for motor neurone disease (MND) charities by doing a series of marathons including the inaugural Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon this year following his ex-teammate being diagnosed with the condition in late 2019.

The first book, With You Every Step: A Celebration Of Friendship, will be published this year and is set to explore “universal truths and celebrate kindness, empathy, resilience and love”.

UK Illustrators will reproduce the heartfelt words of the two former teammates through black line artwork in the adult and children’s gift book, which will see some of its proceeds donated to help people with MND.

England rugby union defence coach Sinfield said: “I believe the connections and interactions we have with people, especially friends and family, are the most valuable things in life.

“To create a book based around friendship, we hope it will help many parents, not just fathers, connect with their children and provide an insight into what true friendship is.

“I’m thrilled to be working with Macmillan Children’s Books on this, and I hope children across the world get to experience the friendship that Rob and I share.”

A children’s picture book, Try, which will be published during the first half of 2024, will be a story celebrating “affectionate male friendship – showing young readers, but especially young boys, that friendships can be based on love and vulnerability, and that there are many ways to be strong”.

Burrow said: “Whether it’s Pooh and Piglet or Sherlock and Watson, great friendships abound in literature.

“True friends like Kevin are always with their friends even when times are tough. I used to love reading bedtime stories to my three children, usually multiple times because they would try and delay their bedtime.”

He added that he was “delighted” to “bring the message of friendship to many”.

Hannah Ray, publishing director at Macmillan Children’s Books, said: “Rob and Kevin are extraordinary men, and the strength of their devotion to one another is inspirational.

“Their personal story of friendship and courage, love and determination has touched millions. I am incredibly proud that we will be publishing this pair of very special books.”

With You Every Step: A Celebration Of Friendship will be published on November 9 2023.

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