Tartan-clad bus hitting road to help raise money for Borders rugby legend Doddie Weir’s charity

Former Scottish rugby international Doddie Weir is no longer the largest thing clad in gaudy tartan to be seen traversing the Borders.

Thursday, 14th March 2019, 6:27 pm
Updated Thursday, 14th March 2019, 6:27 pm
Lee Young and Julianne Smith with Borders Buses' Doddie Weir bus.

That distinction is now claimed by a double-decker bus redecorated in the towering lock’s honour.

The 48-year-old might stand at 6ft 6in tall and weigh in at around 17 stone, but even he is dwarfed by the Borders Buses vehicle given a makeover in aid of his charity the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation.

Doddie Weir at the World Rugby Awards in November in Monaco. (Photo: Yann Coatsaliou/AFP/Getty Images)

Diagnosed with motor neurone disease at the end of 2016, Weir, of Blainslie, has since dedicated himself to raising awareness of the condition and funding for research in the hope of finding a cure.

The eye-catching bus is wrapped in the former rugby star’s own tartan and highlights ways to donate to the foundation.

The charity has already committed more than £2m to MND research projects since it was founded in November 2017 and is continuing to try to add to that.

Doddie, capped 61 times between 1990 and 2000, said: “The bus is a real head-turner.

“I love the fact people will be reminded of the foundation and what we are trying to do to help find a cure for MND while travelling through the Borders on the bus.

“We appreciate the efforts of everyone who made this possible, and I am looking forward to my first journey.”

Lee Young, operations manager at Borders Buses, said: “Doddie Weir is one of Scotland’s, if not the UK’s, most recognised and loved rugby personalities, and we are delighted to be in a position to offer support in this way.

“Motor neurone disease is a degenerative illness and has such an impact on the lives of not just those with it but friends and family too.

“We hope the bus, which will operate on our X62 Peebles to Edinburgh service, encourages lots of people to text a donation.”

The Doddie bus’s artwork was donated by Chris Hannah, creative director at Glasgow design agency Maguires, and he said: “We are incredibly proud to have played a part in helping raise awareness for such an important cause.

“I saw Doddie play many times during his illustrious career, and I really wanted the design of the bus to reflect the impact Doddie had on and off the field, so a bus clad in the official foundation tartan seemed like the perfect fit.”

Julianne Smith, a brand communicator at Borders Buses, added: “The bus looks amazing, and we would like to say a big thank-you to Chris for designing and generously donating the artwork.

“It will definitely raise a few eyebrows, smiles and, hopefully, money for a worthy cause.”