Newcastle Falcons’ record appearance holder Micky Ward says it will be an emotional occasion on Saturday when Newcastle Falcons and Southern Knights meet at Kingston Park Stadium to contest Doddie’s Club Trophy.
The 3pm kick-off sees funds being raised for Doddie Weir’s Motor Neurone Disease foundation, Ward recalling the major impact that the Scottish legend had on him during his early career.
"For me coming through as young player Doddie was one of the senior pros, and just as he is now, he was a good, honest bloke who always looked on the lighter side of life,” said Ward, who is now the club’s forwards coach.
"At the time he was a great role model in terms of always being the first there for training and helping you out, and everyone has a Doddie story.
"When you were at a team hotel having a meal you never wanted to be sat beside him or his co-conspirator Gary Armstrong because there was always mischief afoot. If you left your plate unattended for anything longer than half a second the full meal got sabotaged, and that's just the way his mind works!”
Hopeful of a big turn-out from the North East public to help raise funds for research into the currently-incurable disease, Ward said: "It's an emotional time for everyone with the game being here at Kingston Park for his foundation, and knowing the good work they do.
"The fact that it's an English v Scottish rivalry is motivation enough, and then with it being Doddie's two main clubs it just adds another element to everything.
"With it being over the Christmas period the hope is that we'll get a decent turn-out from the supporters, and a bloke like Doddie with all the work he's doing through his foundation really does deserve that.”
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