Doddie's legacy "will live on" following emotional service

Thousands of Borderers braved one of the wettest days of the winter so far on Monday, as they packed into the Greenyards stand to celebrate the life of Borders rugby great Doddie Weir.
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As Doddie’s family, invited friends and former rugby colleagues contributed to a service in the nearby Melrose Parish Church, the service was audio-streamed to the stand, as well as online on the Scottish Rugby Union website.

And it’s testament to Doddie’s enthusiasm, his likeability, his undoubted charm and his sheer popularity as a player that so many people wanted to pay their respects.

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It was a service which brought as much laughter as it did tears, with his friends and team-mates Carl Hogg, Rob Wainwright and John Jeffrey all recalling hilarious anecdotes of the “pest”, while also tearfully saying their own goodbyes.

The Greenyards stand was full as the service was streamed to Doddie's former club.The Greenyards stand was full as the service was streamed to Doddie's former club.
The Greenyards stand was full as the service was streamed to Doddie's former club.

And Doddie’s sons Hamish, Angus and Ben read an emotional and personalised version of Timmy Douglas’ poem, the Mad Giraffe.

As those in the church made their way to the rugby club following the service, bedecked in their various tartans, as per Doddie’s wishes, thoughts turned to his lasting legacy, that of the continuing work of the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, which is redoubling its efforts to fight for a cure for MND.

After the service, John Jeffrey told The Southern: “He would laugh at this, he really would.

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"All these people following him and wearing his attire in this horrible weather.

"But it's a great turnout, a great outpouring of grief and emotion, but as he said, have a wee cry, then have a dram, and then more importantly, find a cure for MND.

"Across the divide, there’s all sorts of people from different walks of life coming here today, and it’s because of Doddie and the memory of him.

“And we just have to admire that and use his inspiration, his drive, and his will.

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"None of us will forget this and I'm sure we will find a cure.”

Scotland Rugby head coach Gregor Townsend said that it’s now up to others to continue Doddie’s fight in his name.

He added: “That was the clear message that came from the service. We’ve got to take this on.

"As Doddie said, MND is not incurable, it's underfunded, so we’ve got to make sure Doddie’s legacy continues and grows ever stronger.”