Borders rugby legend Doddie earns award for charity work

Doddie Weir collects the Helen Rollason Award at the BBC Sports Personality Of The Year 2019 in Aberdeen, pictured with Princess Anne (picture by Kieron McCarron BBC)
Doddie Weir collects the Helen Rollason Award at the BBC Sports Personality Of The Year 2019 in Aberdeen, pictured with Princess Anne (picture by Kieron McCarron BBC)

Borders rugby legend Doddie Weir has told of his pride and joy at winning a national accolade for his charity work.

The former Scotland international was presented with the Helen Rollason Award at 2019’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year ceremony on Sunday for his efforts to raise awareness of motor neurone disease and fund attempts to find a cure for it.

The 49-year-old, of Blainslie, was diagnosed with the incurable condition at the end of 2016 and set up the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation the year after, raising almost £5m since then.

The former Melrose and Newcastle Falcons lock, accompanied by his family at Sunday’s ceremony in Aberdeen, said: “Thank you very much for this most amazing award.

“It’s lovely to have my family and the rugby boys here.

“Being a Scottish rugby player in the ’90s, this is the closest I’ve ever got to a trophy, so it’s very nice.

“What a great Christmas present this has been to raise awareness of MND.

“From playing sport, I’ve got a bit of spirit and fight, and my spirit is to find a cure for MND. My foundation has raised nearly £5m, and the recognition and support towards it has been staggering.

“Rugby has taught me to enjoy oneself because you don’t know what happens tomorrow.”

Doddie, capped 61 times for Scotland between 1990 and 2000, was presented with his award by the Princess Royal, a patron of the Scottish Motor Neurone Disease Association for 30 years, and she told him: “You’ve given a lot of pleasure and pride over the years of your playing for Scotland, and we’re very grateful for that. I know what a difference you have made to the understanding of MND, its impact and your ability to fund research. For that, we’re all extremely grateful.”

Doddie’s latest accolade for his fundraising campaign follows the Order of the British Empire bestowed on him by the Queen in July.

The award ceremony can be seen online at www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer