'An inspiration to us all' - MSPs pay tribute to Doddie Weir 

The former Scotland international rugby player died at the age of 52.

Doddie Weir ‘hero on and off the pitch’ as Nicola Sturgeon leads parliament tributes to rugby legend SNS Group

Tributes have been paid at the Scottish Parliament to the late rugby legend and MND campaigner Doddie Weir.

The former Scotland international died at the age of 52 on Saturday, having been diagnosed with the disease in 2016.

In the time since his diagnosis, Weir campaigned to raise awareness of the condition, as well as funding for research towards finding a cure for the degenerative disorder.

Since being founded in 2017, his charity, My Name’5 Doddie, raised more than £8m for research and support programmes for MND sufferers.

At First Minister’s Questions on Thursday, MSPs acknowledged the contribution of Weir to public life and his battle against the disease.

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said: “Can I begin by paying tribute to the incredible life and legacy of Doddie Weir, who sadly passed away on Saturday.

“During his fight to find a cure for Motor Neurone Disease, Doddie has been an inspiration to all of us with his bravery, his infectious optimism and his love of life.

“And my thoughts are with Doddie’s wife, Kathy, their sons Hamish, Angus and Ben, and their wider family and friends.

“Scotland has lost a true sporting legend and a champion in the fight against Motor Neurone Disease.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that her condolences are with the loved ones of the late rugby star.

She said: “Can I also take the opportunity to pay tribute to the life and legacy of Doddie Weir.

“He was a hero on the rugby pitch, but he was perhaps even more so, an inspiration off of the rugby pitch.”

Sturgeon added: “My thoughts and condolences are with his wife, children and all of his loved ones.”

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar described Weir as an “inspiration to us all” as he paid tribute.

“I’d like to join others in paying tribute to the late Doddie Weir. It was clear throughout his life both as a player and as a campaigner, that he was a force to be reckoned with,” he said.

“He viewed his heart-breaking diagnosis of Motor Neurone Disease as a call to action, and bravely shared his story with the world, raising millions of pounds for that cause.

“He was an inspiration to us all and a champion for those battling MND, and our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time.”

Scottish Green MSP Gillian Mackay expressed her sympathy with Weir’s family as she praised their bravery following his diagnosis.

“As others have, I want to add the thoughts of my party to the tributes paid here to Doddie Weir,” she said.

“His legacy will not just be his rugby, but will be the honesty and bravery with which he faced his health condition and the incredible work he did in raising awareness and funding.

“I send the most sincere and heartfelt condolences to his family. Their bravery has never failed to astound me and his sons in particular have been in my thoughts this week.

“It’s awful to lose a parent and they’re so young. They’ve been amazing in accompanying their dad to events over the last few years and I hope the whole family are getting the support they need.”

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