Melrose Rugby leads from the front with support for Doddie

Doddie Weir with the Melrose Rugby 1st XV squad promoting his charity foundation on their jerseys.Doddie Weir with the Melrose Rugby 1st XV squad promoting his charity foundation on their jerseys.
Doddie Weir with the Melrose Rugby 1st XV squad promoting his charity foundation on their jerseys.
Melrose Rugby Ltd announced last week its 1XV shirt will prominently feature Melrose hero Doddie Weir’s charity, My Name’5 Doddie, for the remainder of the current season until May 2020.

The name awareness branding was made possible by a local businessman, who preferred to remain anonymous.

He has commercially underwritten the sponsorship for an undisclosed sum and generously donated the main branding rights to Doddie’s charity.

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Doddie Weir OBE is, of course, one of the most recognisable and respected personalities in rugby.

As well as his 61 caps for Scotland, he played lock-forward for Melrose between 1991 and 1995.

In June 2017, Doddie revealed he was suffering from Motor Neurone Disease (MND). Never one to think solely of himself ,and borne of frustration at the lack of effective treatment for MND sufferers, Doddie and his trustees quickly set up the registered charity My Name’5 Doddie Foundation. The charity raises awareness and, more importantly, money, to fund research to find effective clinical treatments and, hopefully, an eventual cure for MND.

Mike Dalgetty, director of rugby at Melrose, said: “We are eternally grateful to our generous donor, and respect his wishes to remain anonymous. Doddie is a hugely admired and much-loved personality on the world rugby stage. And he’s also one of us.

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“He is, and always will be, a son of Melrose Rugby. All his rugby family are with him. So, we’re delighted to be able to help him raise awareness for his MND charity ‘My Name’5 Doddie’.

“As awareness of this awful disease increases, important clinical research will be funded. Hopefully, one day soon, a cure for MND will be found.”

On Saturday, Doddie was invited along to the Greenyards to declare the stadium’s new 3G all-weather surface officially open.

Afterwards, he said: “It’s an honour to be involved in such a big day for the club. Melrose RFC gave me the platform to be the player I became. The values I learned here made it possible for me to go on and enjoy the success I had with Scotland, Newcastle and the Lions in South Africa.”

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“Wherever I go in the world, rugby folk know about Melrose, the setting of this beautiful pitch and the role it has played in the development of Sevens and some of the finest players to play the game.”

“But the club is more than that. It is a family.”

“And it is a family that has rallied around me, Kathy, and the boys, recognising where we need support but also giving us the chance and space to just enjoy our rugby and get on with being the Weirs.”

“The support we have received from the rugby family has been extraordinary. It has meant a great deal to me, our family and the trustees of My Name’5 Doddie Foundation.

“To have the Foundation’s logo displayed on the Melrose jersey is just fantastic. It represents everything I know about the club. It has a good heart and the players, administrators, and supporters are determined to show they are with us and behind us.”

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“I want to thank Melrose for that continued support on a personal level – it is massively appreciated.”

Doddie was also deeply grateful for the backing received by the Foundation.

“This week, we will mark the two-year anniversary of our launch at Murrayfield,” he said.

“Since then, we have created a dedicated Scientific Advisory Panel, bringing together the very best people in MND Research working across centres of excellence across the UK.”

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“We meet regularly to discuss progress and the Foundation has now committed more than £3.5 million to MND Research.

“In addition we have given significant sums to help families live with this terrible disease.”

“This is only possible with the energy and commitment of the rugby family and wider community, who have shown such amazing imagination and enthusiasm to help.”

“Thank you, and here’s to the new Greenyards!”