Rural college does its bit for Doddie Weir’s charity

A match to benefit former a Scotland rugby star’s charity has raised almost £9000.

The fantastic sum was raised for Doddie Weir’s MND charity in a special rugby match that saw the ‘old boys’ of Scotland’s Rural College enjoy a convincing win over SRUC’s Edinburgh Agrics student team.

David Ireland, one of the Scotland legend’s former classmates, was among the try-scorers in a 19-7 victory for the alumni team, which was coached by SRUC business manager Gavin Hill and included guest appearances from Doddie’s brother Chris and 17-year-old son Hamish.

Alumni captain Steven Mitchell, who runs the famous Buffalo Farm in Fife and starred in the second series of BBC’s This Farming Life, also got on the scoresheet. The Edinburgh Agrics were captained by Ian Carlisle, a third-year student from Dumfries.

Around 250 gathered at Peffermill Playing Fields in Edinburgh for the game, which was followed by an auction of rugby memorabilia.
Doddie gained the first of his 61 Scotland caps against Argentina in 1990 while studying for an HND in Agriculture at SRUC’s Edinburgh campus.

Last year, he revealed that he had motor neurone disease and set up the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation to raise money for research and to provide grants to people living with the condition.

After the match, Doddie addressed current and former SRUC students and thanked them for their ‘tremendous’ efforts and contribution to his charity.

Among the principal sponsors of the match were Agri-EPI Centre, Agrimetrics and Dropkick Murphy’s, all of which donated £500 to the cause, while the University of Edinburgh provided free use of the Peffermill pitch and facilities.

More than £1600 was raised during a lively post-match auction called by SRUC student Tommy Fairbairn, a former auctioneer. A top price of £400 was paid for a signed bottle of Doddie’s Dram whisky, while SRUC principal Wayne Powell placed a successful bid for a signed Welsh rugby ball.

Professor Powell said: ‘I’d like to thank everyone who helped to organise this truly memorable match and those who gave so generously to such a worthy cause.

‘This was a brilliant occasion for everyone connected with Scotland’s Rural College and we were delighted to welcome Doddie along to Peffermill to cheer on his fellow alumni to a convincing win.

‘Not only was the standard of rugby extremely high on both sides, but it was a great chance for people to catch up with a few familiar faces and reminisce about their time at SRUC.’