Rugby legend Doddie Weir dies after five-year battle with motor neurone disease

RUGBY legend Doddie Weir has died after a five-year battle with motor neurone disease.

Devastated pals and fans paid tribute to the Scotland and British Lions star and dad-of-three who died aged 52.

AFPDoddie Weir has died after five-year battle with motor neurone disease[/caption]

GettyHis foundation has raised more than £8million for good causes[/caption]

In a touching statement, the family said: “It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our beloved husband and father, Doddie.

“Doddie was an inspirational force of nature. His unending energy and drive, and his strength of character powered him through his rugby and business careers and, we believe, enabled him to fight the effects of MND (Motor Neurone Disease) for so many years.

“Doddie put the same energy and even more love and fun into our lives together: he was a true family man.

“Whether working together on the farm, on holiday, or celebrating occasions with wider family and friends, Doddie was always in the thick of it.

“We are lucky to have shared our lives with him and we cherish all those memories: his love and warmth, his support and advice, his quick wit, and his terrible jokes. It is difficult to put into words how much we will miss him.

“MND took so much from Doddie, but never his spirit and determination.

“He battled MND so bravely, and whilst his own battle may be over, his fight continues through his foundation, until a cure is found for all those with this devastating disease.

“Hamish, Angus, Ben and I would like to thank everyone for your support and for respecting our privacy at this difficult time.

Doddie was given a standing ovation as he appeared for the final time at Murrayfield Stadium during the national team’s clash against New Zealand just two weeks ago.

His foundation set-up after his diagnosis has raised more than £8million for good causes.

Powerful lock forward Doddie won 61 caps for his country and scored four tries — including two in one world cup game against the All Blacks.

He is still the only Scot to have done so.

Doddie’s final match for Scotland came in a 16-28 home defeat against France in the Six Nations in March 2000.

He was also picked for the elite British Lions’ tour of South Africa 1997.

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