Doddie Weir Testimonial
28 November 2022
28 November 2022
Instantly recognised as an outstanding rugby player, Doddie was diagnosed with MND just two days before Christmas in 2016, eventually going public with the news the following summer on what was Motor Neuron Disease Awareness Day.
Since making his condition known, Doddie has championed the campaign for more to be done for sufferers of the disease, both in terms of finding a possible cure, and with the treatment and welfare of patients and their carers.
Doddie’s work over the past five years saw him recognised with several honours and accolades, including an OBE, presented by Queen Elizabeth II for his services to rugby, MND research and the Borders community. He also collected Honorary Doctorates from both Glasgow Caledonian and Abertay Universities, as well as becoming a recipient of the prestigious Edinburgh Award. Within sport, a trophy named after him is now contested between Scotland and Wales, and he became recipient of the Helen Rollason Award at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year ceremony in 2019.
He also became a best-selling and nominated author, oversaw the design of his own distinctive tartan, and was captured on canvas by artist Gerard Burns, the painting now hung in the National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh.
Born in 1970, Doddie won the first of his 61-caps for Scotland against Argentina in November 1990, but came to prominence as a member of the Scotland side which reached the semi-final of the World Cup the following year. He would go on to appear in the 1995 and 1999 tournaments, the latter coming months after he helped Scotland claim the Five Nations Championship.
At club level, Doddie was part of the outstanding Melrose side which dominated the domestic club game in the early 90’s, before becoming one of Scotland’s first professional players when he moved to Newcastle Falcons where he scored championship and cup success, his performances there earning him arguably his biggest accolade, namely, a call up for the British and Irish Lions in 1997 for their tour to South Africa.
With several appearances for the Barbarians to his name, Doddie saw out his career with Borders, retiring in 2004 to concentrate on business as a director of a drainage and wastewater company.
Doddie would also become an accomplished speaker on the after-dinner circuit, and as a commentator, columnist and host.
However, his life, and that of his family, was changed for ever when diagnosed with MND in 2016.
Doddie had always lived a life full of fun and love. And it was this approach which shone through in his determination to make a difference and help others following his diagnosis.
He launched the My Name'5 Doddie Foundation with his close friends in November 2017, and has inspired everything we do.
The Foundation has raised significant funds through the amazing efforts of incredible supporters and has committed £8 million to MND research over this time. We have also given considerable funds to people living with MND and their families to help them live as fulfilled a life as possible.
With Doddie’s enthusiasm and drive, we have collaborated with other stakeholders within the MND community and firmly established the Foundation as a trusted, influential and well supported charity.
And our vision of a world free of MND remains at the heart of our strategy. As we look to the future, we will honour Doddie’s name and deliver on his legacy. There is much still to do and with your support, we will continue our work, remaining true to the values and ambition of our founder.
If you would like to add to our Doddie Weir memory wall, you can do so by clicking here.
Thank you to Love Wedding Photos and Film for the photo.