Rugby League Cares would like to thank everyone who helped make the Evening With Kevin Sinfield OBE such an outstanding success.
Over 300 guests were royally entertained at AMT Headingley Stadium where former Leeds Rhinos captain and guest of honour Kevin was joined by a star-studded audience featuring a host of rugby league legends.
Kevin, who is a trustee of RL Cares, spoke of the importance of educating players around all issues surrounding brain health, and spelled out why players needed to take responsibility.
He also recalled about his own experience of head injury, including the serious concussion he suffered playing for Leeds against Warrington in the 2012 Super League Grand Final when he was knocked out by an accidental clash of heads with Michael Monaghan.
Kevin was joined on stage by RL Hall of Fame inductee Ellery Hanley MBE, who spoke of his He admiration and respect for the way in which Sinfield acquitted himself both on and off the field.
There was a moving contribution from Karen Cook, the partner of former Sheffield Eagles hooker and ex-Leeds assistant coach Mick Cook, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease two years ago at the age of 59.
Karen spoke of her gratitude for the support she and Mick had received from both RL Cares and Leeds Rhinos since Mick’s diagnosis, and stressed the importance of support to families.
Some of Kevin’s former Leeds team-mates – Gareth Ellis, Richie Mathers, Matt Diskin, Keith Senior and Francis Cummins – later took to the stage to chat about the influence their former captain had had on them.
There were also moving tributes to Kevin from many of the team of runners and support crew who had accompanied him during his amazing fundraising challenges for the Motor Neurone Disease Association on behalf of Rob Burrow MBE, who was in the audience with his parents, Geoff and Irene.
Superbly hosted by MC Pete Emmett, the dinner gave the Brain Health Fund a significant fundraising boost helped by an auction and raffle. Since its creation in September, the RL Cares Brain Health Fund has now raised over £92,000, which will help the charity’s aims to deliver educations programmes to current players and provide advice and support to retired players who have been diagnosed with neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
For more information about dementia support, please visit our dedicated Brain Health Fund section on the RL Players Portal.