Joe Molloy was joined by Irish rugby legend Keith Wood and Irish Times journalist Gerry Thornley on Monday Night Rugby this evening, taking the time to pay tribute to Scotland’s George ‘Doddie’ Weir.
“It diminished him but it never diminished his spirit” said Keith Wood, referencing the battle his former British & Irish Lions teammate, Doddie Weir, faced with motor neurone disease.
The 61 time capped Scotland player passed away from the illness over the weekend and the tributes that testified to his impact on and off the field poured out immediately.
“We had our reunion during the summer of the 97’ Lions. He was obviously gravely ill and he was there and he was magnificent” said Wood.
“It was fantastic to see him and we saw him again about six weeks ago when I went over to Scotland on a whiskey distillery tour. It was just sad and fantastic.
“He was a beautiful man, a wonderful man…he had a societal agenda, never a personal one.”
Wood went on to discuss the awareness and money his “incredible teammate” Weir raised for the condition.
“He had a frame that he wanted to hang motor neuron on and he wanted to be able to talk about it” the Irish legend continued.
“He wanted to try and make a change. It was never going to benefit him…he raised countless millions, I think 10 or 11 million in trying to bring motor neuron disease to the government, the general population that this was something that required far more funding than what was there for it.
“I think there’s lots of people who wouldn’t have been able to do it, or the skills to do it” added Wood.
“He was effervescent. He dressed in the most fantastically ludicrous tartan and he was 6ft 8.
“He’d brighten every single room he’d walk into…He actually permanently thought of other people and what would make them feel at ease, so for him this sat very comfortably with him and something he wanted to go and do.
“I think rugby’s reaction to him has been fully appropriate because he was a much loved son of the game” he concluded.
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