We should all be more like Doddie - Scotsman leader comment

A legend on the rugby pitch, an inspirational hero off it. Doddie Weir’s desperately sad passing, which was announced on Saturday may not have been unexpected but that does not diminish the pain.

The tributes flowed from royalty to politicians, sports stars and celebrities to ordinary people he had touched on his journey with the cruellest of diseases.

He never complained about the hand which fate dealt him when diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease. He did not once lose his sense of fun and total commitment to making the best use of the time he had left to improve treatments and find a cure.

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As was commented over the weekend, his battle with the disease that claimed his life was hallmarked by the same courage he had shown in all his skirmishes with opposition packs.

Doddie Weir with the Oor Doddie statue at BT Murrayfield, in 2019.

A man famed for his crunching tackles and thunderous carries, he charged straight ahead when dealing with the problems he faced after being diagnosed in December 2016.

In an interview just a few months after he broke the news of his condition to the world, he shrugged off the notion that his final days might be filled with self-pity.

“I’ve not had a big melt, even at home, because I’m not sure it would help,” he said. “Maybe the odd time in the car. But again I go back to my life. I’ve had a fantastic life. So crack on.”

And boy, how he lived up to that. The My Name’5 Doddie Foundation has already raised an incredible £8 million. The legacy and selflessness of this remarkable man cannot be overstated.

In the flood of tributes which came on Saturday, it was his family who summed him up the best.

"Doddie was an inspirational force of nature,” his wife Kathy wrote. “MND took so much from Doddie, but never his spirit and determination.”

The work of the foundation will continue, an extraordinary life continuing to benefit future generations. We remember a fearless warrior with a heart of gold whose positive outlook on life is a lesson to us all.

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In the words of Doddie: "Do what you can do today and worry about tomorrow when it comes. And if it doesn’t come, then you’ve had a bloody good time.”

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