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Cat Deeley struggles to speak as she breaks down on This Morning to Ben Shephard support

In Europe
June 04, 2024

Cat Deeley was left struggling to speak during the latest edition of This Morning as they spoke about the recent death of rugby hero Rob Burrow. Leeds Rhinos, the former club of the ex-rugby league star, announced his death, at the age of 41, on Sunday (June 2), following a lengthy battle with motor neurone disease.

Burrow, who was made an MBE in the 2021 New Year’s Honours for his contribution to rugby league and for raising awareness of MND, was diagnosed with the lif-limiting condition two years after retiring in 2017.

Leeds Rhinos said Burrow said he “passed away peacefully” at Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield, near his home, surrounded by his family, after becoming ill earlier this week. On behalf of the Burrow family, the rugby league club thanked the hospital’s staff for “their compassion and caring for Rob in his final days”.

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After paying tribute to Burrow on Monday’s show (June 3), on Tuesday (June 4), Cat and co-host Ben Shephard shared how they would be hosting a phone-in with Agony aunt Deidre Sanders to speak about grief following the tragic news.

Cat told This Morning viewers: “Just a quick word about our phone in. Yesterday, we spoke about the devestating news that former English rugby league player Rob Burrow passed away peacefully over the weekend aged 41 with a battle with motor neurone disease.” Ben then said: “Last night his family released a very touching message from Rob, recorded before he passed away, let’s take a look.”

In the clip, Burrow was seen having recorded for the BBC documentary There’s Only One Rob Burrow broadcast on Monday night. The eight-time Super League Grand Final winner shared what he took from his own battle with MND. “I hope one day we find a cure and live in a world free of MND,” Burrow said. “By the time that you watch this I will no longer be here.

Rob Burrow's final message was shared during his BBC documentary -Credit:BBC

Rob Burrow’s final message was shared during his BBC documentary -Credit:BBC

“I am just a lad from Yorkshire who got to live out his dream of playing rugby league. As a father of three young children I would never want any family to have to go through what my family have since my diagnosis. I hope I have left a mark on the disease. I hope it shows to live in the moment. I hope you find inspiration from the whole story.

“My final message to you is whatever your personal battle be brave and face it. Every single day is precious. Don’t waste a moment. In a world full of adversity, we must still dare to dream. Rob Burrow, over and out.”

Ben tried to support his emotional co-star -Credit:ITV

Ben tried to support his emotional co-star -Credit:ITV

After the heartbreaking video was played, Cat broke down and began to cry as she barely control her upset and tried to fight back her tears. Offering his co-star some support Ben asked: “Are you alright?” But Cat sadly shook her head and said: ‘No, I told you I watched it this morning.’

With her voice cracking with emotion, Cat tried to read her next lines on the autocue and carry on the show. Choking back the tears, the presenter said: “‘Losing a loved one is one of the hardest things we’ll ever go through, which is why Deirdre is here to help manage your grief today.”

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