Doddie Weir and pals praised by MPs for having a ball

Doddie Weir with Tartan Giraffe Ball organisers Stewart Bennet, David Baird and Douglas Stephen.
Doddie Weir with Tartan Giraffe Ball organisers Stewart Bennet, David Baird and Douglas Stephen.
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Borders rugby legend Doddie Weir has been praised in the House of Commons for the courage and resolve he has shown since being diagnosed with motor neurone disease 14 months ago.

The three friends of the former Scottish international responsible for organising a sold-out ball in Kelso in his name last month and raising £250,000 for his MND research charity – David Baird, Stewart Bennet and Douglas Stephen – also came in for praise in the UK Government’s Parliament this week.

Their achievements were highlighted by Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk MP John Lamont, set to boost the 47-year-old’s charity further by running in April’s London Marathon in aid of the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation and MND Scotland.

“Members will no doubt share my admiration for the way in which Scottish rugby legend Doddie Weir has reacted to his motor neurone disease diagnosis,” he said.

He also praised the oranisers of January 26’s Tartan Giraffe Ball, so called because of Doddie’s fondness for garish tartan suits and late rugby commentator Bill McLaren’s likening of the 6ft 6in second row forward, of Blainslie, to the earth’s tallest land mammal, for raising so much money.

Andrea Leadsom, the Leader of the House of Commons, joined him in commending Doddie for his spirit and his pals for their fundraising efforts, saying: “I share his admiration for the manner in which Doddie Weir has reacted to his MND diagnosis.

“It is a terrible disease, and we should do everything we can to support work on it.

“I congratulate everyone involved in the Tartan Giraffe Ball, which sounds fascinating. I would love to see the photos.”

The Southern was only too happy to grant that request and put the former Conservative Party leadership candidate in the picture by sending her a link to our gallery of photos, taken by Bill McBurnie and Phil Wilkinson, of the event, held at Springwood Park and attended by other rugby big names including Gregor Townsend, Jim Aitken, John Jeffrey and Gary Armstrong.

It can be found at www.thesouthernreporter.co.uk/news/gallery-doddie-s-ball-raises-250-000-for-his-charity-1-4674327