He is the one of the most well-loved figures in Scottish rugby whose reputation has rocketed due to his enormous amount of charity work despite the challenges he faces.
And now legend George “Doddie” Weir is set to receive the esteemed Edinburgh Award in honour of his sporting success and charitable efforts. The Edinburgh-born lock began his long and successful career at Melrose RFC before going on to win the Premiership with the Newcastle Falcons in 1997-98 and earning 61 Scotland caps.
In June 2017, Doddie announced that he had Motor Neurone Disease and spoke out about his diagnosis on Twitter in order to promote Global MND Awareness Day. Since then he set up a My Name’5 Doddie Foundation to raise funds for research into a cure for MND and to provide grants to people living with the condition.
Doddie Weir said: “I am hugely honoured and humbled to receive the prestigious Edinburgh Award, especially when I see the names of those who have received it before me. Edinburgh has been good to me – it’s where I was born, I was educated at Stewart’s Melville College and began my rugby career here, and of course I have a special connection with Murrayfield.
“The support I have received from all over the world since I shared my diagnosis has been incredible and it has helped drive the work of our Foundation forward as we try to raise awareness around Motor Neurone Disease and help find a cure for this devastating disease. Edinburgh has been at the forefront of this support, along with the Borders, and I highly appreciate the efforts of everyone. I am determined that together, we will make a difference.”
Doddie will be presented with an engraved Loving Cup from the city’s Lord Provost and have his hand-prints set in stone at the City Chambers later this year. He will become the 12th person to receive the award, following in the footsteps of last year’s recipient Timothy O’Shea and fellow sporting heroes Ken Buchanan, George Kerr and Sir Chris Hoy.
Edinburgh’s Lord Provost Frank Ross, said: “Doddie is not only an inspiring sportsman but a real champion of MND research. He really has made an outstanding contribution to sport, to charity and to the Capital. The Edinburgh Award is the city’s way of recognising all that he has achieved.”