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Kenny Logan takes on 700-mile Rugby World Cup endurance challenge to raise £555k for the Foundation

06 July 2023

SCOTTISH rugby legend Kenny Logan has revealed he didn’t tell life-long friend and former teammate Doddie Weir about his prostate cancer diagnosis – and received ‘a bollocking’ for keeping it from him.

Logan, 51, was speaking as he announced the launch of Kenny Logan’s Rugby World Cup Challenge – a seven-day, 700-mile, cycling and walking endurance event from Murrayfield, Edinburgh to the Stade De France, Paris to raise £555,555 for the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation. 

Weir, who played more than 60 matches for Scotland in the number 5 jersey, died in November 2022 after living with MND for six years. Today (July 4) would have been his 53rd birthday. 

Logan and a 20-strong team of celebrities and fundraisers including football legend Ally McCoist, actor Jamie Bamber, television presenter Kirsty Gallacher, adventurer Jason Fox, and the former Wasps back’s wife and television star Gabby Logan will take on the challenge to deliver the match ball ahead of Scotland’s 2023 Rugby World Cup clash with Ireland on October 7. 

The 70-cap Scotland winger – who played with Weir at two Rugby World Cups in 1995 and 1999 – was diagnosed with prostate cancer in February 2022, only speaking about it publicly in September last year following extensive treatment including a prostatectomy. 

Logan kept his diagnosis from Weir as he ‘felt guilty’ at having treatment options unavailable to the former Melrose and Newcastle Falcons second row. 

The Stirling-born dad-of-two said the approach Weir and fellow Scotland teammate Tom Smith – who tragically died last year from cancer – took to their illnesses helped him during his own health battle, adding they’ll be front and centre of his thoughts when he takes on the challenge. 

Logan, who describes himself as 'fully recovered’ following treatment, said: “When Doddie first told me about his MND diagnosis I got really emotional, and he said ‘hey, it’s me that’s supposed to be upset!’

“I told family and some friends about my cancer, but didn’t feel I could tell Doddie – I felt too guilty. I thought why can my cancer be checked for and removed, and his MND can’t? Doddie gave me a bollocking for keeping it a secret. Then he asked if I was going to be okay, and that was it. 

“Doddie and Tom had an incredible mindset in the toughest of circumstances. When you get hit by something like cancer or MND you lose confidence and positivity, but they cracked on and didn’t let it affect them. It was my duty to do the same. 

“Doddie was larger than life and that’s why he touched so many people all over the world. He was stubborn, but as soon as he realised he wouldn’t be able to help himself, he dedicated his time to helping others.

“It would’ve been his birthday today, and it seems so unfair that such bad things happen to good people. I think about him all the time. We all miss him.” 

Kenny’s World Cup Challenge team will tackle around 100 miles a day with participants alternating between walking days and cycling days. It will involve a gruelling training schedule – with several big challenges planned along the way – but Logan is confident of being in shape in time for the grand depart from Edinburgh on October 1.  

The celebrities will be joined by teams of supporters helping to raise as much money as possible for My Name’5 Doddie Foundation. The challenge is also backed by high-profile sponsors, including Thrifty, Arnold Clark, Highland Spring, Specialized, Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky, DAF Trucks, Yeti, Endura, Berghaus, and Canterbury.

He added: “We planned it following my treatment. I wanted a target for my recovery and to do something special for Doddie – I needed something to help get my mojo back. I’m now 100% again and ready to go – the only thing I worry about is picking up an injury!

“It takes a phenomenal level of organisation and work to make an event like this happen, and the backing from our supporters and sponsors. In the team we’ve got Thrifty supplying support vehicles; great backing from Arnold Clark; Highland Spring keeping us hydrated; and Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky to keep us refreshed at the end of a hard day’s cycling – it takes a massive effort but shows how much Doddie means to everyone.

“When I think of my own diagnosis, I went to the doctor and had options. They were able to cut it out and I could recover. People with MND don’t have that – and that’s why we’re doing this for the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, so that one day, everyone in Doddie’s position will have a better chance.”

The announcement of Kenny’s Rugby World Cup Challenge arrives as the My Name’s Doddie Foundation issues the first round of grants following the publication of its ambitious ‘Catalysing a Cure’ research strategy in April. 

Three projects will benefit from almost £800,000 from the Foundation, including £250,000 for research into a pioneering drug delivery technique led by Dr Andrea Perera at King’s College London. 

The technique could increase the effectiveness of a drug that targets a toxic protein found in more than 90% of people living with MND. 

Jessica Lee, Director of Research at the My Name’s Doddie Foundation said: “We are committed to funding research that will accelerate the development of new treatments for MND and we are excited to see these projects – which do exactly that – are now under way. 

“We would like to thank our independent peer reviewers who reviewed this application and provided valuable feedback to ensure the project would have the most impact for people living with MND. Funding this work is only possible with the incredible fundraising efforts of our supporters.” 

To find out more about Kenny Logan’s Rugby World Cup Challenge, visit kennylogansrwcchallenge.com 

Kenny Logan takes on 700-mile Rugby World Cup endurance challenge to raise £555k for the Foundation
Kenny Logan takes on 700-mile Rugby World Cup endurance challenge to raise £555k for the Foundation
Kenny Logan and Doddie ahead of MND fundraiser

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