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Doddie Weir RIP

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Post by BigGee Sat 26 Nov 2022, 5:28 pm

https://twitter.com/Scotlandteam/status/1596554586893975554

A man who will be much missed by rugby fans everywhere.

RIP Doddie, thoughts with your family at this time

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Post by BigGee Sat 26 Nov 2022, 5:36 pm

I was fortunate enough to be at the Scotland v NZ a few weeks ago when he came to the game.

It does seem know that the two games against NZ seemed to bookmark the beginning and the end of his struggle with this awful disease.

He picked the games to do that but it did seem seeing him then, that he was very close to the end but still so glad to be there.

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Post by TheMildlyFranticLlama Sat 26 Nov 2022, 5:37 pm

Awful news. The word inspiration doesn’t feel big enough to cover everything he’s done since his diagnosis. Rest in peace big man, the world has lost one hell of a character today.

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Post by Geordie Sat 26 Nov 2022, 5:48 pm

As a falcon we have such love for Doddie..

Brave man...he did his job of getting his message out to the world.
His sons have inherited his bravery also.

Thoughts to the family.

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Post by majesticimperialman Sat 26 Nov 2022, 6:28 pm

RIP Doddie a great player will be sadly missed.

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Post by doctor_grey Sat 26 Nov 2022, 6:29 pm

It takes the most incredible courage and will power to live each day of your life staring down the barrel of a gun. All the while knowing you are still dying the death of a thousand cuts. People like him who are not simply trying to live his life but rather to make things better are miles beyond me. I'm just happy to say I have met a few and hope it rubs off.

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Post by chris_501 Sat 26 Nov 2022, 6:56 pm

A real legend, a man who has worked incredibly hard to highlight a terrible disease that is indiscriminate. He has created a legacy beyond rugby, it can only be hoped that all his hard work will lead somewhere positive.

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Post by RDW Sat 26 Nov 2022, 8:15 pm

This one really hurts. RIP Doddie Crying or Very sad

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat 26 Nov 2022, 8:21 pm

Such a shame. Dis so much good towards the end though.

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Post by RDW Sat 26 Nov 2022, 8:43 pm

Hearing that there was a massive ovation at Twickenham when his death was announced part way through the game - that sums up the love of the man as much as anything!

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Post by BigGee Sat 26 Nov 2022, 9:33 pm

Nice obit from the wordsmith Tom English on the BBC website.




The images of Doddie Weir's playing years have a glorious consistency; he is soaring at a line-out or carrying the ball like a mad giraffe, as Bill McLaren once described him. He is a towering, smiling giant. Mischievous, charismatic, funny.

All of those freeze-frames and all of that video tell us what a presence he was on the rugby field.

From Melrose, where he won a league title as a young man, to Newcastle Falcons where he won another. To Scotland for a decade and the Lions in South Africa - his tour cut short by a horrible act of foul play by a local hatchet man - and back to the Borders, where it started and where it finished.

For every minute he was six feet, seven inches of joyous chaos.

There's a reluctance in spaces like this to refer to sports people by their first name or their nickname - he was christened George - because you don't want to appear overly familiar, but there are exceptions.

Even people who didn't know him felt like they did. Even those who were never in his company automatically referred to him as Doddie and considered him a mate.

Some folk just have it, whatever 'it' is. And Doddie was one of those. He brought out the best in people. He saw it as a personal mission to make you smile and leave his company feeling better about yourself.

There's a picture of a 20-year-old Doddie celebrating that league title with Melrose when league titles really, really mattered in Scottish rugby. It was 1990 and Jim Telfer was the coach. Telfer always said the triumph with Melrose meant more to him than the Grand Slam with Scotland that followed a week later, a victory he helped create as Ian McGeechan's assistant.


That photograph is of Doddie with his Melrose team-mates, a smile as wide as the Tweed on his face. He was in his element. His 10-year and 61-cap international career was just beginning and it was split between the amateur and professional eras, but there's no doubt which one he preferred.

He was a social animal, not a gym monkey. He loved talking rather than training. Lift a pint or lift a weight? There was no decision to be made.

He once said that no bleep test - or any such device to monitor the fitness of the first wave of professional players - could judge a guy's personality when the chips were down on the pitch and when his mates needed him to go the extra mile. There was no machine to measure character. He was one of the great ones.

His views on rugby were that it was a vehicle for making friends and memories. He wanted to win, of course. No prouder Scotsman has worn the jersey or paraded the tartan with such gusto, but most of all he wanted to have a laugh. And that's what he did.

As big a figure as he was, his aura was never greater than when he had to use a wheelchair because of the effects of motor neurone disease (MND). He was never stronger than when his body was breaking down, never more commanding of worldwide respect than when he'd lost the ability to speak and could only communicate via a voice app operated with his eyes darting around a screen of letters.

His relentless energy in fighting an illness without cure was awe-inspiring. He said the only drug available to him was positivity - and he gorged merrily on it. The many millions of pounds he raised for research through his My Name'5 Doddie Foundation, the money donated to families who were suffering as his family were suffering, the lives he made better along the way. His legacy could circumnavigate the rugby world many times over.

In December 2016, he was given the diagnosis and was told he'd probably be unable to walk within a year. He beat that prediction for a start. Medical experts say that, on average, a third of MND sufferers die within a year. He saw that one off, too. More than 50% of people pass away within two years of diagnosis.

Three years after his diagnosis Doddie was still bringing the weight of personality and his wonderfully dark humour to the table. "The only people who I think are upset about being three years in are my trustees [of his Foundation]," he joked. "They thought they were only signing up for six months."

His attitude was rooted in grim realism. This thing had befallen him and he had better "crack on" as he put it. "I have never, ever thought 'Why me?' It was, 'Right, let's get this sorted… it's like with rugby. If you don't get in the team, do you give up your jersey or do you fight?"

After being the star turn at a plush charity gala - there were many in his honour and many awards, too - he said: "In a bizarre way I'm living the dream because I'm having a living wake." People laughed and maybe some shed a tear at such indomitable bravery.

He was still doing interviews five years after getting the news, posing on his mobility scooter on his farm near Galashiels like he was on a Harley Davidson ready to roar off into the world. "I'm still living and still smiling," he said.

And still campaigning. He was critical of government for, as he saw it, failing to deliver on promises made about the funding of MND research. He was questioning about medical experts not moving fast enough in trialling new drugs.

His movement was compromised but never his mind or his passion. Other people with MND, with none of his profile or influence, must have seen him as their champion, fighting the good fight in pursuit of something that stops this disease being a death sentence.


He did it with wisdom and humour while knowing his life was ending, while knowing that his time with his wife, Kathy, and their three boys, Hamish, Angus and Ben, was running out.

When his sons wheeled him to the side of the Murrayfield pitch before the All Blacks game earlier this month, the atmosphere inside the stadium was an extraordinary amalgam of happiness and sadness - and wonder. More than six years had passed since the diagnosis.

He'd won 33 of his 61 caps at Murrayfield. He'd made his debut there, scored his first international try there, played a World Cup semi-final there.

Many would argue that his most memorable appearance of all was that last one, in the chair with his sons by his side, two sets of players applauding him and the love of 67,000 beaming down like sunshine.

Nobody could imagine the effort it must have taken for him to be there, but then not many of us ever encountered a character like him before. Gone, yes. Missed, profoundly. Forgotten, never.

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Post by funnyExiledScot Sat 26 Nov 2022, 9:51 pm

Absolute legend. Wonderful man. Such sad news but a man who lived it to the full. Cracking player in his day, and he'll be sorely missed. His constant message during MND was to encourage us to all have fun and enjoy life. I cannot fathom his bravery in the face of such a grim diagnosis.

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Post by bsando Sun 27 Nov 2022, 12:29 am

A huge loss to the rugby community, but what a fight he put up. The money and awareness he raised for MND was simply inspiring. Condolences to his family who must be devastated but also very proud of his unwavering resilience. RIP Doddie

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Post by RDW Sun 27 Nov 2022, 3:15 am

RDW wrote:Hearing that there was a massive ovation at Twickenham when his death was announced part way through the game - that sums up the love of the man as much as anything!

https://twitter.com/rodneyjohnston9/status/1596626899014676480?t=nZKHxpIRsTeP53vXBfBq6g&s=08

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Post by George Carlin Sun 27 Nov 2022, 6:19 am

It's very hard to imagine how brave you have to be to keep putting yourself in the public eye to keep the message resonating. You must know that your physical deterioration is shocking to people and you might embarrass yourself at any time, but you also know that makes showing up and smiling all the more inspirational. You're literally putting the cause before yourself. Amazing to think he was at the Murrayfield match only a few weeks ago.

A young family to be without a dad too and it's them I'm thinking of. The reason I realised that I need to start getting in shape again myself. I'm not doing it for me (because I bloody hate exercising).
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Post by RiscaGame Sun 27 Nov 2022, 7:19 am

Very sad news. Absolute wretched disease. I have seen it first hand at my rugby club too and it really is vile. I hope his foundation’s work continues and there is a cure found.

Glad he got to make Murrayfield for the NZ game and got to see how loved he was.

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Post by neilthom7 Sun 27 Nov 2022, 12:13 pm

RIP to an absolute legend. A horrific disease and hopefully some day soon we can cure it.

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Post by NeilyBroon Sun 27 Nov 2022, 3:34 pm

It was painful to see him how he was at the NZ game. Hopefully his legacy for MND will live on. A great shame and sad loss.

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Post by EST Mon 28 Nov 2022, 9:57 am

RIP Doddie, a true legend who transcended the sport.

Difficult to imagine how hard it would have been for him to turn up at Murrayfield a few weeks ago, but shows the mark of the man that he did.

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Post by jimbopip Mon 28 Nov 2022, 11:54 am

George Carlin wrote:It's very hard to imagine how brave you have to be to keep putting yourself in the public eye to keep the message resonating. You must know that your physical deterioration is shocking to people and you might embarrass yourself at any time, but you also know that makes showing up and smiling all the more inspirational. You're literally putting the cause before yourself. Amazing to think he was at the Murrayfield match only a few weeks ago.

A young family to be without a dad too and it's them I'm thinking of. The reason I realised that I need to start getting in shape again myself. I'm not doing it for me (because I bloody hate exercising).

My favourite Scottish writer, William McIlvanney, has a part in his poem/novella "These Words, Weddings And After" where a young girl has been brought to her grandfather's hospital bedside to say goodbye. She doesn't quite understand what is going on and the old man "gave his greatest performance...smiling and laughing and entertaining her...because what else can you do but make a few faces at Death?".

Doddie kept smiling and refused to be cowed by the terrible inevitability of his own demise. He was an example to all of us.

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