Galashiels charity dinner and international cup game boost rugby legend Doddie Weir’s fundraising efforts

From left, Welsh Rugby Union president Dennis Gethin, Doddie Weir, former Scotland and Glasgow Warriors captain Al Kellock and Scottish Rugby Union president Dee Bradbury at Murrayfield at the weekend.
From left, Welsh Rugby Union president Dennis Gethin, Doddie Weir, former Scotland and Glasgow Warriors captain Al Kellock and Scottish Rugby Union president Dee Bradbury at Murrayfield at the weekend.

More than £155,000 raised for Doddie Weir’s motor neurone disease research charity at November’s Scotland-Wales game in Cardiff has now been handed over to the Borders rugby legend.

The inaugural Doddie Weir Cup game was initially hit by controversy after it emerged that the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation stood not to receive so much as a single penny of the estimated £3m takings generated by its 63,000-plus turnout.

Doddie Weir at the college do with Fiona Nichol, Bruce Aitchison, Zoe Robson, Rebecca Sharp, Mia Kinghorn, Hannah Finnie, Angus Levell, Ben Cruickshank, Adam Thomson, Billy Brogan, Robbie Bunton, Alana Third, Morgan Catto, Louise Carr, Ann Letham, Andrew Guyton and Dylan Hogarth.

Doddie Weir at the college do with Fiona Nichol, Bruce Aitchison, Zoe Robson, Rebecca Sharp, Mia Kinghorn, Hannah Finnie, Angus Levell, Ben Cruickshank, Adam Thomson, Billy Brogan, Robbie Bunton, Alana Third, Morgan Catto, Louise Carr, Ann Letham, Andrew Guyton and Dylan Hogarth.

However, the backlash that greeted that news prompted the Welsh Rugby Union and its Scottish counterpart to rethink that stance, and they have now handed over a six-figure sum to the former Scottish international.

That cheque handover took place at Edinburgh’s Murrayfield Stadium ahead of Wales’ 18-11 Six Nations win over Scotland on Saturday.

Welsh Rugby Union president Dennis Gethin and his Scottish number, Dee Bradbury, presented Doddie with a cheque for £155,765, taken from the proceeds of November’s 21-10 victory for Wales at the Principality Stadium.

A Welsh Rugby Union spokesperson said at the time: “We have listened to supporters and, whilst our initial motivation in supporting the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation was to help raise awareness for the fight against MND and the foundation’s fundraising campaign, we have decided to make a direct donation.

A dinner at Borders College in Galashiels raised �3,360, and it was presented to Doddie Weir by, from left, students Billy Brogan, Ann Letham and Ben Cruickshank.

A dinner at Borders College in Galashiels raised �3,360, and it was presented to Doddie Weir by, from left, students Billy Brogan, Ann Letham and Ben Cruickshank.

“The intention was always to celebrate a great man of the world game, and it feels appropriate that we reflect the generosity of the rugby family with our own contribution.”

Further funds have been raised for the foundation by a charity dinner held by Borders College at its Galashiels campus.

Presided over by master of ceremonies Bruce Aitchison, Hawick High School’s depute headteacher, it raised £3,360, and that money was given to Doddie by three of the students involved – Billy Brogan, Ann Letham and Ben Cruickshank.

Guests were treated to six courses of dishes made using Borders produce by catering and hospitality students.

Dinner was followed by a charity auction of lots including a Glasgow Warriors top signed by Hawick’s Stuart Hogg, raising more than £1,200.

Joanne George, curriculum and learning manager at the college, said:

“On behalf of Borders College, I’d like to thank all those involved in bringing this event together. We couldn’t have done it without the support of a number of people including our sponsors, those who kindly donated to the auction, guests, students and staff.”

“However, I’d like to give a special thanks to Doddie for taking the time to come along and support the event, and Bruce for kindly accepting the role of master of ceremonies.”