Game raises almost £9,000 for Borders rugby legend Doddie Weir’s research charity

Doddie Weir, centre, with, from left, alumni players Chris Weir, David Ireland, Hamish Dykes and Hamish Weir at Peffermill.
Doddie Weir, centre, with, from left, alumni players Chris Weir, David Ireland, Hamish Dykes and Hamish Weir at Peffermill.

Almost £9,000 has been raised for Borders rugby legend Doddie Weir’s motor neurone disease research charity by a fundraising match organised by former classmates of his at Edinburgh’s Scotland’s Rural College campus.

David Ireland, one of the Scotland international’s former classmates, was among the try-scorers in a 19-7 victory for the alumni over the current student team, Edinburgh Agrics.

Alumni captain Steven Mitchell, one of the stars of the second series of BBC Two’s This Farming Life last year, also got on the scoresheet.

The ex-students were coached by college business manager Gavin Hill and boosted by guest appearances by Doddie’s younger brother Chris, a veteran Gala player, and 17-year-old son Hamish.

The Edinburgh Agrics were captained by Ian Carlisle, a third-year student from Dumfries.

Last week’s game at the college’s Peffermill Playing Fields in Edinburgh, followed by an auction of rugby memorabilia, attracted a turnout of around 250.

Doddie gained the first of his 61 Scotland caps against Argentina in 1990 while studying for a higher national diploma in agriculture at the Edinburgh campus.

The 47-year-old, of Blainslie, also played in the 1991 Rugby World Cup, helping Scotland reach its semi-finals, while still a student, graduating the following summer.

Last year, he revealed that he had motor neurone disease, diagnosed at the end of 2016, and set up the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation to raise money for research into the incurable condition.

More than £1,600 was raised during a post-match auction overseen by student Tommy Fairbairn.

A top price of £400 was paid for a signed bottle of Glengoyne’s Doddie’s Dram whisky.

College principal Wayne Powell said: “I’d like to thank everyone who helped to organise this truly memorable match and those who gave so generously to such a worthy cause.

“This was a brilliant occasion for everyone connected with Scotland’s Rural College, and we were delighted to welcome Doddie along to Peffermill to cheer on his fellow alumni to a convincing win.

“Not only was the standard of rugby extremely high on both sides, but it was a great chance for people to catch up with a few familiar faces and reminisce about their time at here.”