My name is Rhys, a first time dad blogging about my adventures and experiences of being a parent. [email protected]

Doddie Weir’s star-studded 1988 Scottish schoolboys ‘will go again’ after completing 88km challenge for MND research

The Doddie 88 Squad arrive at Murrayfield after completing their 88km challenge (Picture by Callum McKenzie_ My Name'5 Doddie Foundation. Credit: Craig Watson

DODDIE Weir’s 1988 Scotland schools’ teammates have vowed to continue raising money for MND research after completing an epic 88km fundraising challenge in memory of the Scotland rugby legend.

More than 20 surviving members of the Scottish schools’ side that toured New Zealand in summer 1988, including former Scotland captain Andy Nicol and 1995 World Cup star Graham Shiel, completed the 48-hour Doddie 88 challenge – a 65km cycle and 23km walk from the Scottish Border to the iconic Doddie Weir statue at Murrayfield.

The players were joined on the Doddie 88 by their coaches on the tour Rob Moffat and Peter Gallagher.

The fundraisers – who were cheered on by a full house in a special half-time appearance at Murrayfield during Scotland’s win over Italy on the final day of the 2023 Six Nations Championship – have so far raised almost £40,000 for the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, with donations continuing to flow in.

More than 700 people have already backed the Doddie 88 cause including television presenter Gabby Logan and former West Ham and Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp.

Gary Kenhard, captain of the 1988 tour and leader on the Doddie 88 Challenge. said: “Following Doddie’s passing, the Scottish Schoolboys team of 1988 felt both a deep sense of loss and frustration – we had to do something to combat MND.

“We received incredible support from the Borders right through to Murrayfield – the atmosphere at the Italy match was special.

“Rugby has a tremendous ethos and the combined efforts of the team with the generosity of public support demonstrates the connection and care the sport creates. The Doddie 88 challenge not only raised awareness of MND, but also important funds for the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation to benefit research into this terrible disease.

“This will not be the last Doddie 88 venture as we will continue to support the MND cause. I know I speak on behalf of the team in offering a heartfelt thank you to everyone for their support and generosity.”

Nicol added: “What a brilliant experience. A group thrown together 35 years ago joining forces once again in the name of one of the boys no longer with us – the irreplaceable Doddie Weir.

“Friendship takes many forms, but one definition of true friendship is that you can go years without seeing someone but when you do, you pick up like it was just yesterday. That was what the Doddie 88 boys have. I call it teamship. It’s much more than teamwork or camaraderie; it is a real bond that will last forever. Doddie’s memory brought us back together, and it will do again.”

Weir, who went on to win 61 full caps for Scotland, was a star of the successful five-week tour, scoring the match-winning try in a 14-12 win against Wellington Schools as Scotland returned with five victories from eight matches in New Zealand – then the dominant nation in world rugby.

The Doddie 88 challenge reunited a host of names woven into the fabric of Scottish rugby 35 years on from the tour, including 1995 World Cup star Graham Shiel; full Scottish internationals Scott Nichol and Steve Brotherstone; and former Scotland, South Africa, and Fiji coach Richie Gray.

Weir is one of just two players missing from the Doddie 88 challenge. Former Dollar Academy fly-half Gary Sisman tragically died in an aviation accident in 1992.

To donate to Doddie 88 visit justgiving.com/fundraising/doddie88.