Hundreds gather for Calderdale fundraiser inspired by Leeds Rhinos rugby legend Rob Burrow and attended by his dad

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Hundreds of people gathered in Brighouse for a fundraiser inspired by Leeds Rhinos rugby player Rob Burrow.

The event at Brighouse Sports Club on Monday (August 28) was organised by Lynn Pritchatt – founder of the Mel Evans MBE Foundation – and David Merrick – former rugby league referee and Motor Neurone Disease (MND) campaigner.

It was in honour of Rob Burrow, who has been diagnosed with MND and has become a much-admired campaigner for others with the disease, and was attended by Rob’s dad Geoff Burrow.

"It is amazing, there are so many kind people,” said Geoff.

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The day involved a crown green bowls challengeThe day involved a crown green bowls challenge
The day involved a crown green bowls challenge

"Today is for everybody that has got MND, and that's why Rob and everybody - the kind people that are here today - are raising awareness and funds.

"Anytime now, The Rob Burrow MND Centre at Seacroft should now have all the plans, and should be able to start digging and building.

"When Rob was diagnosed, it was a matter of 'you've got Motor Neurone Disease, there's no cure, go home and make plans for the future'.

"We want people to come to the centre, and yes, it's going to be bad news, but then say, 'there's treatments, and there's a cure around the corner.

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Hundreds of people turned out for the fundraiserHundreds of people turned out for the fundraiser
Hundreds of people turned out for the fundraiser

"So instead of people coming away with no hope, we want them to go away with hope."

The day consisted of fun, food, a raffle, a gripping live auction, and a crown green bowls charity challenge featuring rugby league celebrities, star bowlers and surprise celebrity guests.

They included professional rugby league coach Leon Pryce, sports presenter Tanya Arnold and former professional rugby league Wayne Godwin.

Danika Priim, the former Leeds Rhinos and England prop who was also there, said: “I'm here today because it is a phenomenal cause and of course Rob Burrow, who is very close to my heart.

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"Anything I can do to help raise awareness, funds, and help find a cure for this horrendous disease, I am all for doing."

Lynn, who lost her husband Mel Evans to MND in 2017, said: "Today is all about raising awareness, raising vital needed funding for MND research, and the Rob Burrow Centre Appeal.

"The turnout has been fantastic - a superb day - and I am honoured to be a small part of it."

David added: "I have known Rob for a very long time. He used to be my neighbour and lived about 150 yards away from me.

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"Six weeks before his diagnosis of MND, I played a charity rugby match against him and I couldn't lay a glove on him. For me he could have still gone on and done something in the championship.

"Then he got his sad diagnosis, so I tried doing something for him.

"I ended up doing lots of swimming, I have done two charity swims. It was when I was pushing my challenges on social media when Lynn got in touch with me and asked me to join her in the Yorkshire leg (Penistone to Huddersfield) of her walkathon for MND.

"On the back of that, we got chatting when we were walking on the moors, and we came up with this idea, which was more or less 12 months ago now."