Doddie Weir receives Edinburgh Award 2018 and honorary degree from Glasgow Caledonian University

Donning a suit made of the official City of Edinburgh tartan, which he had made especially for the occasion, rugby legend and charity campaigner Doddie Weir receives the City of Edinburgh Award 2018. Photograph: City of Edinburgh Council
Donning a suit made of the official City of Edinburgh tartan, which he had made especially for the occasion, rugby legend and charity campaigner Doddie Weir receives the City of Edinburgh Award 2018. Photograph: City of Edinburgh Council

Borders rugby legend and charity campaigner Doddie Weir has been celebrated in both Edinburgh and Glasgow in the last week.

The former Scotland lock has been presented with the Edinburgh Award 2018, as well as an honorary degree from Glasgow Caledonian University in recognition of his contribution to sport, as well as his fundraising for motor neurone disease (MND) research after being diagnosed with the disease in 2016.

Doddie, who won 61 caps for his country, as well as being a British Lions legend, said he was “honoured and humbled” to be given the capital’s top honour on Friday, when Edinburgh Lord Provost Frank Ross presented him with an engraved Loving Cup.

He was given the city’s top award, now in its 12th year, in celebration of the difference he has made to Edinburgh, to sport and to MND awareness and research.

Described by Mr Ross as an Edinburgh giant, the former pupil of Stewart’s-Melville College starred many times on the Murrayfield pitch.

His handprints have now been cast in stone to join those of previous winners – including J.K. Rowling, Professor Peter Higgs and Sir Chris Hoy – in the quad at the City Chambers.

Mr Ross said: “Doddie is not only an inspiring sportsman but a real champion of MND research, helping to raise awareness through his own foundation and provide much-needed funds towards finding a cure for this disease.

“He is Edinburgh’s gentle giant, as well-respected and loved by citizens as much as his peers and rugby fans.

“Doddie really has made an outstanding contribution to sport, to charity and to the capital. The Edinburgh Award is the city’s way of recognising all that he has achieved.”

The 48-year-old began his professional rugby career at Melrose RFC, before going on to become one of the most successful and well-loved members of Scotland’s national team and for the Newcastle Falcons.

After announcing in 2017 that he had been diagnosed with MND, Doddie has raised over a million pounds to help research causes and cures through his charitable foundation, My Name’5 Doddie.

He said: “I am hugely honoured and humbled to receive the prestigious Edinburgh Award, especially when I see the names of those who have received it before me.

“Edinburgh has been good to me – it’s where I was born, I was educated at Stewart’s Melville College and began my rugby career here, and of course I have a special connection with Murrayfield.

“The support I have received from all over the world since I shared my diagnosis has been incredible and it has helped drive the work of our foundation forward as we try to raise awareness and help find a cure for this devastating disease.

“Edinburgh has been at the forefront of this support, along with the Borders, and I highly appreciate the efforts of everyone. I am determined that together, we will make a difference.”

Doddie’s achievements were also celebrated in Scotland’s second city this week, when he was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Science during a graduation ceremony at Glasgow Caledonian University on Tuesday.

It was bestowed upon him in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the sporting community and his commitment to fundraising for the common good.