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Scottish rugby legend Doddie Weir passes away at 52 years of age

Jayden Collins

| Last updated 

Scottish rugby legend Doddie Weir passes away at 52 years of age

Scottish rugby legend Doddie Weir has passed away at the age of 62 after a long battle with Motor Neurone Disease (MND).

His family confirmed the news on Sunday (November 27).

Weir earned 61 caps for his country and has been selected for the British and Irish Lions Tour of South Africa in 1997.

He was diagnosed with MND in 2016, a disease that impairs cells in the brain and spinal cord to stop working properly.

It makes activities such as speaking, swallowing, and breathing difficult over time.

Credit: IAN GEORGESON / Alamy
Credit: IAN GEORGESON / Alamy

Doddie Weir has long been considered a legend of the rugby union world as well as for his contributions outside of the sport.

He set up the ‘My Name’5 Doddie’ foundation which helped raise $9.7 million (£8m) to help fight MND.

He was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2019 for his services to rugby, MND research, and to the community within the Scottish borders.

His wife Kathy Weir released a statement via the Scottish Rugby Union website, saying: “It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our beloved husband and father, Doddie.

“Doddie was an inspirational force of nature. His unending energy and drive, and his strength of character powered him through his rugby and business careers and, we believe, enabled him to fight the effects of MND for so many years.”

The statement added: “MND took so much from Doddie, but never his spirit and determination. He battled MND so bravely, and whilst his own battle may be over, his fight continues through his foundation, until a cure is found for all those with this devastating disease.”

Weir took to the field at Murrayfield just two weeks ago to present the match ball at Scotland’s Autumn International against New Zealand.

Current Scotland captain Jamie Ritchie said the moment was one of the most meaningful in his career and maintained how inspirational Doddie was to the Scottish team.

Scottish Rugby chairman and former teammate of Doddie, John Jeffrey paid tribute to Weir.

He said: “Doddie was ahead of his time as a ball playing second row and for almost a decade he was one of the first names on the Scotland team sheet. He was a great team mate on the pitch and an even greater team mate off the pitch.

“For all that Doddie achieved as a rugby player, his name is associated worldwide with the battle to find a cure for MND.

“For the last six years, Doddie and Kathy have dedicated themselves to not only finding a cure for MND but also caring for fellow sufferers. He raised literally millions for his foundation but, more importantly, raised awareness globally as he courageously battled this cruel disease, and always with a smile on his face.”

There was a minute’s applause at halftime of England’s Autumn International game against South Africa when the news of Weir’s death was announced.

Featured Image Credit: Allstar Picture Library Ltd / Alamy. Doug Peters / Alamy.

Topics: Rugby Union, Scotland, Rugby

Jayden Collins
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