Scottish rugby legend Doddie Weir dies aged 52, six years after motor neurone disease diagnosis

26 November 2022, 18:36 | Updated: 26 November 2022, 19:03

Doddie Weir attends the Wales-Scotland match in 2018
Doddie Weir attends the Wales-Scotland match in 2018. Picture: Getty

By Adam Solomons

Scottish and British & Irish Lions second row Doddie Weir has died aged 52, the Scottish Rugby Union has confirmed.

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Weir was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 2016 and spent much of his final years working to raise awareness about the disease.

He made his last notable public appearance at Murrayfield two weeks ago before Scotland faced New Zealand.

Weir won 61 caps for Scotland’s national team in a decade-long career from 1990 to 2000.

He movingly spoke of his condition in an interview with the Guardian in June, saying: “It’s a lot harder now. I’ve got a lot slower.

"I am totally dependent on other people doing everything for me.”

His family wrote: "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 (Motor Neurone Disease) for so many years.

"Doddie put the same energy and even more love and fun into our lives together: he was a true family man.

"Whether working together on the farm, on holiday, or celebrating occasions with wider family and friends, Doddie was always in the thick of it.

"We are lucky to have shared our lives with him and we cherish all those memories: his love and warmth, his support and advice, his quick wit, and his terrible jokes. It is difficult to put into words how much we will miss him."

Weir's charity, My Name’5 Doddie, added this evening that it was "deeply saddened" to hear of its founder's death.

'Force of nature' Weir is pictured at Murrayfield in April 1993
'Force of nature' Weir is pictured at Murrayfield in April 1993. Picture: Getty

CEO Jill Douglas said: "Doddie enjoyed a full life full of fun and love. And it was this approach to life which shone through in his determination to make a difference and help others when he was diagnosed with motor neuron disease.

"He inspired us every day with his positivity and energy and was fully committed to the work of the Foundation he launched with his close friends in November 2017. My Name’5 Doddie Foundation continues to shine a light on MND and the need to seek meaningful treatments and one day, a cure for this devastating disease.

"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."

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