Rugby legend Doddie Weir receives major sporting achievement award

Scottish rugby legend Doddie Weir revealed he was battling MND in June.
Scottish rugby legend Doddie Weir revealed he was battling MND in June.
Have your say

SCOTTISH rugby legend Doddie Weir has been given a special “services to sport” honour in his home city today - months after revealing he is battling motor neurone disease.

Fellow internationalist Scott Hastings presented the 47-year-old - who has set up his own charitable trust to help with research into MND and support others with the disease - with the honour at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh.

The recognition for the former British and Irish Lion was an emotional highlight of the annual Radio Forth Awards, which also honoured entertainers, charities and community leaders.

Weir, who earned 61 caps for Scotland and was part of the Five Nations-winning squad in 1999, announced his diagnosis in June to help raise awareness of the degenerative condition.

He is the latest sporting star to be struck down by MND, which leads to paralysis and difficulties with speech, swallowing and breathing, including former Rangers footballer Fernando Ricksen. The former Labour adviser Gordon Aikman, who launched the Gordon’s Fightback campaign when he was diagnosed, died in February at the age of 31.

MND is a rapidly progressing terminal illness, which stops signals from the brain reaching the muscles.

There is currently no cure or effective treatment for MND and the average life expectancy from diagnosis is just 14 months.

There are over 450 people in Scotland currently living with MND and on average over 160 new cases of MND are diagnosed each year.

Born in Edinburgh in 1970, Weir started playing rugby for Stewart’s Melville before joining Melrose, in the Borders, where he still lives.

He first noticed symptoms of MND when he lost power in his left hand after trapping it in a door.