Scotland rugby legend Rob Wainwright has pledged to keep teammate Doddie Weir’s fundraising legacy alive.
The former Scotland captain and British & Irish Lion vowed to continue raising money for research into motor neurone disease (MND)after the death of his great friend.
The inspirational sportsman died last month at the age of 52 after raising £8 million for research into MND after his own diagnosis.
Wainwright said: “We are going through a period of sadness but Doddie would not want us moping about. He would want us getting on with it – fundraising and trying to find a cure. And that’s what we will do. Doddie may be gone but he is still leading us and driving us onwards.”
He last saw his friend when he visited the Island of Coll two months ago. “He was just a really good people person, with a really attractive personality that people loved, and he was very giving of his time,” said Wainwright. “There was a lot that happened behind the scenes. Doddie was introduced to people who had just been diagnosed with MND. He was able to give them guidance and he in turn got guidance from other people.”
The pledge came as Doddie’s memorial service tomorrow will be beamed online around the world.
His life will be celebrated at Melrose Parish Church, with friends and family joining his wife Kathy and their three sons, Hamish, Ben and Angus. Numbers will be limited so the event will be relayed to The Greenyards, home of Melrose Rugby Club. It will also be streamed live on the Scottish Rugby website.
All those attending have been asked to wear a piece of tartan, with donations sent to the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation.
Three years ago, Wainwright founded Doddie Aid. The mass-participation event starts on January 1 and anyone can sign up and set their own challenge and fundraising goals.
It includes an event where hundreds of cyclists will leave from Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium on February 9 to arrive at Murrayfield, Edinburgh for the Scotland v Wales Six Nations match on February 11. The 555-mile cycle will be a continuous ride over 48 hours.
Wainwright said: “This year there’s even more determination to make it even bigger and channel that love for Doddie now he has gone. I’ve set myself a target of having 50,000 people signed up to Doddie Aid and to raise £2m for MND research.”
Wainwright, who works as a volunteer on-call firefighter on Coll, was delighted colleagues from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service had entered a cycling team for Doddie Aid. He said: “I know they’ve been in training. Winter cycling in February might sound like a stupid thing to do but it’s overcoming these challenges working as a team.”
Area Commander Joe McKay said: “We’ve seen first-hand the huge amount of effort it takes to organise Doddie Aid and we’re delighted to support Rob’s determination and importantly to support Doddie’s mission to raise money to help find a cure for MND.”
Jill Douglas, CEO of My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, said: “The ride is a gruelling challenge but made easier knowing each push of a pedal and mile covered takes us closer towards finding a cure to motor neurone disease.”
Enjoy the convenience of having The Sunday Post delivered as a digital ePaper straight to your smartphone, tablet or computer.
Subscribe for only £5.49 a month and enjoy all the benefits of the printed paper as a digital replica.Subscribe