Rugby Legend Doddie Weir’s charity set to get a £75,000 boost thanks to local efforts

Friends and ex-playing colleagues of Scottish rugby legend Doddie Weir OBE are joining
together to run 5 marathons in 5 days from the 12th – 16th March to raise vital funds for
his charity to conduct research into motor neurone disease.

Weir, who earned 61 caps for Scotland and also represented the British and Irish Lions in
1997, is facing his biggest challenge as he battles the disease, a condition that affects the
brain and nerves.


He set up the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation in 2017 after announcing that he had been
diagnosed with MND, to help raise awareness and funds to find a cure for this devastating

Mr Weir, whose charity has raised over £5m, was presented with the Helen Rollason Award
at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards in December 2019.
Scotsman Stuart Thom, who now lives in Belfast, has raised over £180,000 for the charity
through events over the past four years, and is now hoping to raise another £75,000 this
year through events including the 5in5 challenge, and a dinner at The Royal Belfast Golf
Club on March 17.

Joining Stuart for the 5 marathons in Belfast is former Scotland Captain, Budge Pountney,
with three other friends completing the same challenge but in their hometowns before joining
Stuart & Budge for the final marathon on the 16th in Belfast.

“I am not a runner and have never ran one marathon let alone 5 in succession, hence the

Mr Thom, who is also Chief Executive of Royal Belfast Golf Club, said: “I grew up in Melrose
in the Scottish Borders where both Doddie and I played rugby. No one can fail to be moved
by Doddie’s fight with MND and the way that he has turned his focus to raising as much
money as possible to help find a cure”

“The rugby ‘family’ is strong, and I’m delighted that we have support from big names like
former British & Irish Lion Tommy Seymour, Paddy Johns, Louis Ludik, Budge Pountney and
Chris Hollins, who will be host at the dinner in March.

“It’s set to be a fantastic night filled with friendship, rugby banter and some fun. It marks the
end of the 5in5 challenge and is the Thursday before Ireland host Scotland in Dublin for the
the final round of this year’s six-nations championship, and just happens to be St. Patricks day
Stuart is also organising a ‘Royal Longest Day Cycle’ in June and the Great Rugby Cycle
2022 is travelling over 700 miles in 8 days around Wales in September – with former rugby
players Simon Danielli, Gavin Kerr, Bryan Redpath, Ollie Phillips and Iwan Tukalo are joining
the peloton.

“But it’s not just about the famous people taking part. We have also had lots of support from
people whose lives have been touched by the disease or are just keen to help with a worthy
cause and we really appreciate that generosity.”

For more information about the charity events, contact Stuart at Royal Belfast.


Leanne is the editor in chief of BELFAST.CO.UK.