Schoolboys’ rugby team members planning further reunion fundraiser in memory of Doddie Weir
All 22 surviving members of the Scottish schools rugby side selected, together with Weir, for a tour of New Zealand in 1988 got back together this month for a 40-mile cycle ride and 14-mile walk from Carter Bar on the England-Scotland border to Edinburgh’s Murrayfield Stadium via Bonchester Bridge, Ancrum and Melrose.
They’re now planning to repeat that journey, called the Doddie 88 Challenge because its distance added up to 88km, to add to the £39,000-plus it’s raised for the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, set up by Weir in 2017 following his diagnosis with motor neurone disease the year before.
Those taking part in the two-day fundraiser included former Earlston High School pupils Scott Aitken, Steve Brotherstone, Richard Brown and Graham Shiel; Selkirk High alumni Bruce Thomson and Scott Nichol; Berwickshire High’s Rory Dickson and Douglas Archibald; and Galashiels Academy’s Richie Gray.
1988 tour captain Gary Kenhard said: “Following Doddie’s passing, the Scottish schoolboys team of 1988 felt both a deep sense of loss and frustration. We had to do something to combat MND.
“We received incredible support from the Borders right through to Murrayfield.
“Rugby has a tremendous ethos and the combined efforts of the team and the generosity of public support demonstrate the connection and care the sport creates.
“The Doddie 88 challenge not only raised awareness of MND but also funds for the My Name'5 Doddie Foundation to benefit research into this terrible disease.
“This will not be the last Doddie 88 venture as we will continue to support the MND cause.”
Blainslie’s Weir, killed by MND in November at the age of 52, is one of just two players missing from the fundraising team, fly-half Gary Sisman also having died since, in 1992.
Go to visit justgiving.com/fundraising/doddie88 to donate.