Euan McGrory: Doddie Weir is an inspirational choice for Edinburgh Award honour

One of the great privileges of editing a newspaper is that you get the opportunity to lionise your heroes.

Friday, 14th September 2018, 7:04 am
Updated Friday, 14th September 2018, 7:58 am
Doddie Weir. Pic: Phil Wilkinson
Doddie Weir. Pic: Phil Wilkinson

That is my bittersweet pleasure today in writing about Doddie Weir as he is honoured with the prestigious Edinburgh Award.

Doddie was a giant on the rugby pitch. That had nothing to do with his towering 6ft 6 frame, but everything to do with what was inside - he had the heart and courage of a lion.

The Murrayfield crowd saw that and loved him for it.

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Since retiring from the game he graced Doddie has only grown in stature. Last year, doctors delivered the devastating news that he had Motor Neurone Disease, at the age of 46.

With no known cure, the outlook for Doddie and anyone else with the same diagnosis is bleak. Life expectancy is usually two to five years. A lesser man might have crumbled, but the way he has responded is the mark of the man.

An inspirational figurehead for others with the disease, a committed campaigner and powerful advocate for research into a cure and better treatments.

It is a cruel irony that Doddie’s power to inspire others has grown to new heights just as he is being robbed of his immense physical powers.

There could be no better choice for this honour.