Rob Burrow’s wheelchair-accessible van vandalised outside restaurant

Rob Burrow’s wheelchair-accessible van vandalised outside restaurant

Rob Burrow’s wheelchair-accessible van was vandalised outside a restaurant on Friday evening, the former Leeds star’s father has revealed.

Burrow, who has become a prominent fundraiser for motor neurone disease treatment and research since being diagnosed with the condition in 2019, was out for meal with family members in Castleford.

When they returned to their vehicle, which had been parked outside the Rockello restaurant in the Glasshoughton area of the West Yorkshire town, they discovered deep scratches had been made in the bodywork.

Burrow’s father Geoff referred to the culprit as a “disgrace” and a “scum of a person” in a tweet highlighting the incident.

Geoff had not been in attendance himself having recently suffered a stroke.

“It’s unbelievable how low some people can be,” Geoff told the PA news agency. “It had the disability cards in the front and they weren’t parked in any unauthorised space, on yellow lines or blocking people.

“They’d had a really good night – Rob enjoyed it, they all enjoyed it – but it makes you angry, it’s upsetting. It’s one thing after another. You could do without it.”

The family had been dining from around 7pm and discovered the damage around two hours later.

Rob Burrow
Burrow enjoyed a glittering career with Leeds Rhinos (Richard Sellers/PA)

Geoff’s tweet read: “Well oh well – my family went out, with my wonderful Son Rob, for a lovely meal at Rockello’s in Glasshoughton Castleford tonight.

“Unfortunately a disgrace of a person decided to scratch all over Rob’s Disability van, how low are some people hey! Sleep well you scum of a person.”

The matter was not immediately reported to police.

Geoff did say, however, that the family had been heartened by the number of kind messages they had received since the incident occurred, with some people even offering to pay for or fix the damage.

He said: “There are a lot more nice people out there than the scumbags that have done this to Rob’s vehicle. You take a lot of satisfaction from that.

“I didn’t put it on Twitter for that and I didn’t expect the attention, but at least now it’s got the attention, it might put them off from doing it to anyone else’s vehicle, so it’s worth it for that I suppose.”

Rob Burrow, 40, enjoyed a glittering career with the Rhinos, winning eight Super League titles before retiring in 2017. He now uses a wheelchair and speaks with the aid of a special machine.

He was awarded an MBE in the 2021 New Year’s Honours list for services to rugby league and motor neurone disease awareness.