Doddie Weir: Memorial service details announced with request to wear tartan

A memorial service to celebrate the life of Doddie Weir is to be held before Christmas.

Weir, whose death was announced last Saturday at the age of 52, was diagnosed with motor neurone disease six years ago and campaigned tirelessly to highlight the condition and raise funds for research.

The former Scotland rugby international will be celebrated at a service at Melrose Parish Church on Monday, December 19 at 1pm. Numbers will be restricted within the church but audio from the service will be relayed to The Greenyards, home of Melrose Rugby Club, where all are welcome to attend.

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Organisers have asked people to wear any form of tartan, “as requested by Doddie”. They have also specified no flowers but “donations if desired may be sent to My Name’5 Doddie Foundation”. The foundation was set up in 2017 to raise awareness of MND, help find a cure and support those affected.

Those attending Doddie Weir's memorial service have been asked to wear tartan. Picture: Funding Neuro/PA Wire

Weir, who was capped 61 times by Scotland, played with distinction for Melrose, helping the club win the Scottish championship five times in the 1990s before moving to Newcastle Falcons.

Supporters attending Edinburgh’s match with Munster on Friday evening have also been urged to wear tartan and Grant Gilchrist, the captain of the capital club, believes the impetus Weir gave to the MND movement can play a significant role in helping find a cure.

Weir made an emotional appearance at Murrayfield before Scotland faced New Zealand just over two weeks ago, and Gilchrist and the rest of his Scotland colleagues, as well as the All Blacks players, all made their way across to the side of the pitch to applaud him.

“We know how brutal the disease is and we knew it was sadly inevitable but it still hits hard having seen him just a couple of weeks ago,” Gilchrist said. “What a legacy he’s left with the stuff he’s done on and off the field. People will talk about him forever. The work he's done with his charity and the courage he's shown over the last six years is incredible.

“I think we’ve got to use Doddie’s memory and legacy going forward on the pitch. We spoke ahead of the New Zealand game about doing Doddie and his family proud, and that shouldn’t just be a one-off game against New Zealand.

“It’s a massive year for the national team and what he’s done, we could never repay. But if we fight and play with the spirit he would want us to have, we can make sure we do him proud and also keep pushing the charity work that he's started because that’s important as well. We want to find a cure for this horrible disease, and that doesn’t stop now - it keeps going forever.”

Edinburgh’s match with Munster will be refereed by Mathieu Raynal, the experienced French official, who will take charge of the fixture as part of a referee exchange programme between the URC and English and French leagues.

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Another French referee, Tual Trainini, will take charge of Zebre Parma v Glasgow Warriors in Parma on Saturday. Meanwhile, Glasgow forwards Max Williamson and Jamie Drummond have joined London Scottish on short-term loan deals.

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