Doddie Weir OBE, who was 52, died after fighting Motor Neurone Disease for five years. Since he was diagnosed in 2017, Weir has used his charity, the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, which is named after his famous Scotland shirt, to raise millions of dollars for research into neurodegenerative diseases.
Scotland and Wales now play for the Doddie Weir Cup, even in Six Nations games, and the former lock has his entry on the Scottish Register of Tartans.
Weir played second-row for Scotland and helped Newcastle Falcons win the 1998 Premiership. Weir left the North East and went back to Scotland. From 2002 to 2005, he played almost 100 games with the Border Reivers before he retired and became an after-dinner speaker.
Weir was diagnosed with motor neuron disease in 2017. In the 2019 New Year’s Honours, he was named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for his work in rugby, research for motor neuron disease, and the Scottish Borders community.
Weir received the BBC’s Helen Rollason Award that year. Sir Ian McGeechan, also from Scotland and writes for the Telegraph, chose the Scotland lock to go to South Africa with the Lions in 1997.
The media training fight between Weir and broadcaster John Taylor is well-known. When asked why he was detained in a nightclub after the tour’s curfew, 6’6″ Weir said it was because his ID was wrong.
Weir was a loose solid player and an athletic line-out forward from Edinburgh, where he went to Daniel Stewart’s and Melville College. Before he went to Newcastle, Weir won six Borders Scottish titles with Melrose RFC.
Kathy and their three children, Hamish, Angus, and Ben, survive Weir. Weir, who was in a wheelchair, took the match ball to Murrayfield two weeks before the Autumn Test between Scotland and the All Blacks.
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In a family statement, Kathy Weir said, “It is with great sadness that we tell you that our beloved husband and father, Doddie, has died.” “Doddie inspired. We think that his energy, determination, and positive attitude helped him fight MND in rugby and business for so long.
“Doddie was a great family man who gave us more love and joy and the same amount of energy. Doddie was always doing something, whether he was on the farm, on vacation, or with his family and friends. We value his love, kindness, support, guidance, quick wit, and bad jokes. We’ll miss him more than words can say.
“MBD took a lot from Doddie, but he never took away his drive and energy. He fought heroically against MND, and his charity continues his fight until a cure for this horrible disease is found for everyone who has it.
“Hamish, Angus, Ben, and I want to thank everyone for their support and giving us our space during this hard time.”