RICKY GERVAIS has delighted rugby league legend Rob Burrow by posting him a cheeky video message after the Leeds Rhino hero was diagnosed with motor neurone disease.
Casting aside more traditional morale-lifting words, Gervais poked fun at Burrow‘s Rhinos pal Stevie Ward for interrupting his “f***ing busy” schedule – saying he would never ask them to come to his garden to “run round with a boll**k shaped ball” just because they play rugby.
Gervais’ straight-faced joshing hit the right note with Ward, 26, and his now-retired former club and England team-mate Burrow, 37, whose Virgin Money Giving page. has so far collected more than £282,000 for his treatment.
Comedian, actor and five-time Golden Globes presenter Gervais parodied his hectic, Hollywood high-life as he ranted at being asked by one stranger to send a message for another one.
Burrow tweeted in response: “Oi, @rickygervais, Thank you so much for the message, it means everything!
“@Ste_Ward got more airtime than me …….annnnnd I think you knew that – STITCH UP!”
And posting the video, Ward said: “This is what happens when I try to do something for my pal @Rob7Burrow. rickygervais’ DONE with Hollywood. He’s finished off @apple and @amazon. Then he comes for little old Leeds and our funny shaped balls…Stitch up…”
‘NO SKIN OFF HIS NOSE, IS IT?’
Gervais launched his straight-to-camera spiel by waving and saying: “Alright, Rob. Your mate Stevie Ward got in contact, and said you were a big fan – thank you.
“And would I say a few words, which is good of him… or is it? No skin off his nose, is it?”
And imagining the conversation he added: “‘Alright, mate.’ ‘Alright, Rick.’ ‘Do us a favour, will you?’
“‘Of course I will, Stevie. I’ve never met ya’. What do you need?’ ‘Oh, would you say a few words?’
By now fully revved up to his theme, Gervais added: “Does he know how busy I am? That’s my job, innit? – saying stuff, that is my job.
“Would I call up your mate Stevie and say, ‘Alright Stevie, you’re a rugby player. would you come round to my garden and run round with a boll**k shaped ball for an hour?’ No I wouldn’t.
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“So here’s a few words. Tell your mate Stevie to keep his good ideas to himself in future. will you? Cheers.”
Gervais’ message is just the latest support Burrow has received in a host of videos from sports stars and other celebrities.
Burrow has also hailed the incredible backing from across the rugby league world