Former captain announces diagnosis of condition.
Newcastle Falcons will stand shoulder to shoulder with Doddie Weir, following the announcement that the Scotland and British and Irish Lion has been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease.
Weir, who made 97 appearances for the Falcons over a glittering career that also earned 61 Scotland caps and three Lions appearances, made the announcement ahead of Global MND Awareness Day on June 21.
Since retiring from the game in 2004, Weir has remained an integral part of the Falcons family as the club’s regular match-day host in the stadium hospitality areas and Man of the Match presenter post game.
Currently holidaying with his family in New Zealand, Doddie has also announced he will be working with researchers at the Euan MacDonald Centre, a leading research hub for the disease at the University of Edinburgh, in their quest to better understand the disease, in the hope that it will eventually lead to new therapies.
Weir said on the Euan MacDonald Centre for Motor Neurone Disease Research website: ”Over the past few months a number of friends and family have raised concerns surrounding my health.
“I think then, that on this day set to help raise awareness of the condition, I should confirm that I too have Motor Neurone Disease.
“I should like to take this opportunity to thank the National Health Service in recognising then diagnosing this, as yet, incurable disease.
“I am currently on holiday in New Zealand with Kathy and the boys and when we return I will devote my time towards assisting research and raising awareness and funds to help support fellow sufferers.
“There are plans in place to create a charitable foundation to help in any way we can and we will share these details with you after our family trip.”
Professor Siddharthan Chandran, Director of the Euan MacDonald Centre for Motor Neurone Disease Research, said: “We are immensely grateful to Doddie for his support at this difficult time for him and his family.
“Working in partnership with other researchers and charities such as MND Scotland, our goal is to bring forward the day when there are effective treatments for this very tough condition.”
Newcastle Rugby Ltd places on record it will offer any and all assistance requested and required to Doddie, his family and friends.