Doddie Weir: Rugby legend relies on family for help walking, eating and drinking

Rugby legend Doddie Weir has revealed that he can no longer walk unaided due to motor neurone disease.

Wednesday, 20th October 2021, 12:30 pm

Let us know what you think and join the conversation at the bottom of this article.

Doddie, 51, relies on his family to help him get about after losing his confidence following a serious fall.

The ex-Stewart’s Melville, Newcastle Falcons, Scotland and British Lions lock forward said: "I need someone to hold onto me while I walk. My hands and arms don't work, so I do fall, I do trip.

Battler: Doddie Weir in his famous tartan suit.

"I had a bad fall in February. I lost my confidence in walking, and I do need help with food, drinking.

"I'm still able to control the TV and annoy the kids, family and friends."

In February, he lost a tooth and needed sutures in a deep cut after taking a tumble but has bravely vowed to go on fundraising for research into MND.

Doddie has raised more than £7m after setting up his My Name'5 Doddie charity following his 2017 diagnosis.

The campaign has won him international plaudits and backing from sports stars, celebrities, politicians and fans.

But he is still battling for research into the incurable condition to be centrally funded and given the same prominence and support as cancer and other terminal illnesses.

Doddie, a Borders farmer, admits he's "frustrated" that the medical community united to find a Covid vaccine in a year, while there's still only one drug for MND.

He said: "There's still nothing new we as patients can take to prolong our life but there is hope because clinical trials are starting in Edinburgh."

A petition launched in his name this week calling for £50m in UK Government funding to aid the hunt for cure now has more than 30,000 signatures.

In the February fall, he was rushed to hospital after he tripped on a carpet and hit his head at a surgery.

He said: "I was out for two or three minutes, got stitches, lost a tooth and hurt my knee and elbow. I woke up in an ambulance.

"I have a weak left leg, a lot of people with MND will be able to relate to that. I’m like Bambi on ice. I've had more injuries with MND than in my whole rugby career.”

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.