The Proclaimers would walk 500 miles for Doddie Weir

The Proclaimers made a touching tribute to Doddie Weir. Picture: TSPL
The Proclaimers made a touching tribute to Doddie Weir. Picture: TSPL
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It is a touching tribute from two musical greats to one of Scotland’s finest sportsmen.

The Proclaimers have commended rugby star Doddie Weir for his outstanding fundraising work into researching the causes of Motor Neurone Disease - a condition he has battled since June 2017.

Doddie Weir accepted the signed 500 Miles for Dobbie lyrics. Picture: East and West Events Photography

Doddie Weir accepted the signed 500 Miles for Dobbie lyrics. Picture: East and West Events Photography

The musical duo - Craig and Charlie Reid - gave students at the city’s Erskine Stewart’s Melville Schools (ESMS) permission to re-write the lyrics to their famous I’m Gonna Be (500 miles) as a tribute to the sports personality who was a pupil there.

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A choir from the school then sang the new version to Doddie - 500 Miles For Doddie - at a charity fundraiser before the framed lyrics were presented to him, signed with a personal message from Craig and Charlie reading, “Great work, Doddie”.

The new version includes the verse:

“When we meet up, well I know I’m gonna be, I’m gonna be the one who’s not as tall as you.

“When we go out, yeah I know I’m gonna be, I’m gonna be the one who looks dull next to you.

“When we dress up, well I know I’m gonna be, I’m gonna be so scruffy standing next to you.

“And when you turn up clad in garish tartan trews, I’m gonna be the one who looks cheap next to you”.

More than 700 guests attended the fundraiser at the National Museum of Scotland on Friday, helping to raise at least £90,000 to be split between the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation and the schools Access to Excellence charity, which helps finance places.

A spokeswoman for ESMS said: “We are really grateful for the fantastic support we have received from The Proclaimers, their management and the publishers of the original music who have allowed us to sing to the soundtrack.

“We have also been asked to arrange for the revised version to be recorded so that it can be played again at The Greatest Rugby Dinner Ever, which is being held in Hong Kong at the start of April to coincide with the Hong Kong international rugby sevens.”

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Guests also had the opportunity to bid on a live auction, co-compered by the BBC’s David Henderson, a contemporary of Doddie at Stewart’s Melville College. There were also charity envelope draws and a pre-event digital auction.

The BBC’s Jill Douglas spoke movingly about the vital work of the Foundation but the highlight of the evening was the presence of Doddie himself who delivered an inspiring, humorous and emotional speech where he referenced the fact that he had tried to take the drive he had in rugby and apply this to his own personal battle with Motor Neurone Disease.

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