Former rugby league star Rob Burrow’s wheelchair accessible van was vandalized as his family went out for a Christmas meal, his father has said.
Geoff Burrow said his son, who played for the Leeds Rhinos between 2001 and 2017, was out in Castleford, West Yorkshire on Friday when the vehicle was targeted.
“They made a lot of deep scratches in the back of the van where we rolled Rob up the ramp,” he said.
He called the culprits “cowards”. Her son revealed in 2019 that he had been diagnosed with motor neurone disease and has since become a fundraiser for the disease.
The family had been out for dinner at the Rockello restaurant in the Glasshoughton area and saw the damage around 9pm.
Following a tweet sent by Rob’s father, the family said they were inundated with offers to pay for the repairs and companies willing to carry out the work for free.
His tweet read: ‘Well my family went out, along with my wonderful son Rob, for a great meal at Rockello’s in Glasshoughton Castleford tonight.
“Unfortunately one person’s disgrace decided to scratch all over Rob’s disabled van, how low some people are hey!”
Former Lancashire rugby star Paul Sculthorpe MBE was among those who responded to the tweet.
“Some people have no morals in life Geoff, karma will catch up with them,” he said.
“You, your family and this legendary son continue to lead the way and inspire. Have a nice Christmas.
Garry Willis, Wakefield AFC’s former women’s assistant manager, said the damage was ‘shameful’ and told Burrow: ‘Geoff, if I hear anything in the village I’ll contact my mate. Don’t let him ruin your Christmas, I hope you have a great friend.
Speaking to the BBC, Geoff Burrow said: ‘How can anyone do something like that, it clearly had a disability sign on it and Rob’s disability badges on the front.
“The outpouring of kindness shows you that there are more nice people than scumbags like this person, but we could have done without it – we go through enough without having to deal with it.”
He said the vehicle was parked near the restaurant and was not blocking any driveways or yellow lines.
“How could anyone do it with a disabled van, how they sleep is their problem I guess.”
West Yorkshire Police have been approached for comment.