Tom Holroyd reveals Rob Burrow inspiration as young Leeds Rhinos star follows trodden path

Leeds Rhinos prop Tom Holroyd says the presence of club legend Rob Burrow inspired his team to victory over Huddersfield Giants at an emotional Headingley on Thursday night.

Burrow was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in December 2019 and given two years to live, but his spirits were visibly lifted by the wonderful reception he was given at a club where he remains much loved.

The iconic former scrum-half was back at his spiritual home last night with his beloved wife, Lindsey, daughters Macy and Maya, and son, Jackson to launch his autobiography, Too Many Reasons to Live .

Shortly before kick-off, Burrow emerged from the tunnel alongside Lindsey to thunderous applause on all four sides of the stadium.

Holroyd, who was coached by the 38-year-old in the Headingley youth ranks, told Rugby League Live: “We spoke about Rob before we went out to play and that has been quite a common them for a lot of our games.

“Obviously he’s such a massive part of Leeds Rhinos but, not only that, he’s helped a lot of us younger lads individually.

“He means a lot to us and him being there against Huddersfield spurred us on to go out there and put on a good team performance.”

Burrow can no longer speak and uses a specially-designed voice app to communicate.

Holroyd, who hails from Halifax and joined Leeds as a 14-year-old, added: “Rob has been there all the way through my journey at Leeds Rhinos, from scholarship to academy and then first-team.

“He’s been quite a big part of it and, as Under-19s, we got to the 2018 Academy Grand Final with Rob as our coach.

“In December 2020, players 2018 Academy squad climbed the Lake District’s Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England, to show support for Rob and raise money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

“How important has Rob’s influence been on my career? Massive.

“He’s guided me through, along with a lot of other people, but Rob has been one of the main characters in my story and I owe a lot to him.”

After the 18-12 win over Huddersfield, Richard Agar’s team gathered together at the front of the famous South Stand terrace in front of supporters who held aloft a huge banner inscribed with the words ‘There’s Only One Rob Burrow’.

Holroyd, 20, added: “That’s a memory that will last a lifetime and said everything about the love and respect that Rob has from the Leeds fans and all the players too.”

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