Borders rugby legend Doddie Weir barn again as he’s presented with hall of fame honour
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic meant the former Melrose and Newcastle Falcons star couldn’t be handed his award at a gala dinner, as is customary, at the time and, four months on, he still can’t so he was given it in a barn at his farm at Blainslie, near Lauder, instead.
Fellow inductee and ex-Gala player Chris Paterson, capped 109 times for Scotland between 1999 and 2011, was tasked with making that presentation to the 50-year-old.
That sculpted cap has now been added to a collection of honours including an Order of the British Empire last year, the Helen Rollason award at 2019’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year ceremony and the 2018 World Rugby award for character.
“This means so much to me, and it’s great that there are four Melrose men in the hall of fame and only two from Gala,” joked Weir, diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 2016.
“I am truly honoured to be inducted into Scottish Rugby’s hall of fame.
“I owe so much to the game of rugby and to our great rugby family in particular.
“The support I received from players and supporters throughout my playing career and now in my current battle to find a cure for MND has been immense and has given me the strength to keep fighting.”
Paterson, 42, added: “The hall of fame celebrates those who have been Scottish Rugby’s ultimate ambassadors.
“The first point to remember is that Doddie was a great rugby player, winning 61 Scotland caps and a British and Irish Lion on the successful 1997 South Africa tour, despite it being blighted for him personally through injury.
“He also won league championships with Melrose and Newcastle.
“Since Doddie was diagnosed with MND four years ago, the manner in which he has fought this awful condition has been both poignant and inspirational for both the rugby and wider community.
“The fundraising he has engineered through the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation has raised millions, given impetus to attempts to find a cure for MND and hope to MND sufferers.
“Inspiringly, he is always the first to say thank-you to those who have helped, whether in a neighbourhood car boot sale or a big posh do.”
Weir, a Scottish international from 1990 to 2000, is the 27th member of the hall of fame, launched in 2010.
It includes 10 other Borderers besides him and Paterson – Ned Haig, Bill McLaren, Jim Telfer, Hugh McLeod, Jim Renwick, Gary Armstrong, David Leslie, John Rutherford, Douglas Elliot and Mark Robertson.
Also in it are David Bedell-Sivright, Phil Macpherson, Ken Scotland, Sandy Carmichael, Andy Irvine, Finlay Calder, Ian McGeechan, Gordon Brown, Mark Morrison, Ian Smith, Ian McLauchlan, Norman Mair, Donna Kennedy and James Robson.
This week’s award presentation comes ahead of Scotland’s belated final 2020 Six Nations game, against Wales tomorrow at the Parc Y Scarlets in Llanelli for the Doddie Weir Cup, and Weir added: “Good luck to all for this weekend.
“It would be great to have the Doddie Cup on my table.”