Former RTÉ journalist Charlie Bird has paid tribute to English rugby league legend Kevin Sinfield, as he continued a mammoth marathon problem in help of motor neurone illness (MND).
England Rugby defence coach Kevin Sinfield set off on day 5 of the “7 in 7 in 7” problem on a bitterly chilly day in Dublin.
The crew is working an ultra-marathon day-after-day for seven days in seven cities round Britain and Ireland, impressed by his former Leeds Rhinos crew mate and fellow MND Association patron Rob Burrow.
Mr Bird, who fronted the Climb With Charlie fundraising marketing campaign following his personal MND prognosis, thanked Mr Sinfield for his efforts.
He stated: “You are an absolute inspiration. I’ve cried day-after-day watching you working marathon after marathon, elevating consciousness and funds for MND all within the title of your greatest good friend Rob Burrow.
“The money you have made is fantastic. He is a very lucky man to have a friend like you. I saw the picture of you carrying Rob over the finish line of one of your marathons, what an iconic image.”
Mr Sinfield stated it was “an honour” for the crew to be in Dublin and representing Mr Bird.
He stated the crew was a “little bit tired and a little bit busted” on day 5 of the problem.
Speaking at a media occasion at Croke Park GAA stadium, he stated: “We’re actually wanting ahead to working Dublin, we’re wanting ahead to working with Charlie.
— Leeds Rhinos (@leedsrhinos) December 5, 2023
“We’ve followed your story for some time Charlie, it’s incredible what you’ve done.”
Fighting again tears, he added: “Over the last three years we’ve ran in some pretty special places and I think through the work our Doddie [Weir] did in Scotland in particular and through the UK, hopefully we’ve added to some of that in Rob’s name, and finally shown people how beautiful the MND community are and they need our support.”
Mr Sinfield stated: “MND doesn’t pick locations, it’s everywhere. We’ve got to fight together, we’ve got to come together and that’s part of why we’re here.”
He joked that the crew can be listening to Mr Bird’s musical idol Bruce Springsteen in the course of the run.
Covering a distance of almost 44km, Mr Sinfield set off from Croke Park on his private problem at midday, on a route taking him via components of Phibsborough, Ashtown, the Phoenix Park, Inchicore, Crumin, Rathgar, UCD and ending on the Aviva Stadium at about 4pm.
Mr Sinfield will transfer on to the penultimate stage in Brighton on Wednesday, adopted by his remaining route, which can conclude with him working up the Mall in London on Thursday.
To donate to Kevin Sinfield’s 7 in 7 in 7 quest, see https://donate.giveasyoulive.com/fundraising/kevin-sinfield.