Former Leeds Rhinos player and dad of three Rob Burrow has been courageously sharing his story of motor neurone disease with the public since he was diagnosed at the age of 37, and he has raised the profile of the condition beyond all expectations.

He refers to his care at Seacroft Hospital, where the MND centre is currently based, in his latest autobiography, and a BBC documentary, also filmed at Seacroft. There are currently around 80 people like Rob being treated for MND in Leeds, double the number of people the service supported 10 years ago.

Since he was diagnosed, Rob has actively campaigned to help raise awareness and raise funds in support of MND charities and having excelled in his sporting career, he now plans to support the creation of a centre of equal standards that will benefit many more people living with this disease alongside his friends and close supporters former Leeds Rhinos player Kevin Sinfield and actor Matthew Lewis.

Thanks to high profile figures, like Rob Burrow, talking openly about their experience with MND, this hidden disease is beginning to emerge from the shadows and the harsh reality of just how many people it affects is poignant.

The new centre will be called The Rob Burrow Centre for Motor Neurone Disease and will be the first in the UK to have its design led by the holistic needs of the patient and their family, creating a supportive environment that complements the expert team providing the care.

"Imprisoned in the brutality of MND, my vision is that people diagnosed with MND hear the news in a calming and tranquil sanctuary. I envisage a beautiful, welcoming building that is user and family friendly. A place where patients feel comfortable to bring family members into a safe and homely environment for them, with signs of hope and optimism."

- Rob Burrow MBE