William & Kate, Jonny Wilkinson and Nicola Sturgeon among those paying tribute to Doddie Weir

Weir campaigned for motor neurone disease awareness and raised millions for research. Credit: PA Images

People from the rugby world and beyond are paying tribute to Doddie Weir.

Weir died aged 52 on 27 November 2022 after being diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND) in June 2017.

The Scotland rugby legend made an immense impact on the game, earning 61 caps for his country including at World Cups and Six Nations.

At club level he won championships with his beloved Melrose and Newcastle Falcons.

After rugby, his committed campaigning for MND raised an estimated £8 million for research and awareness.

And the tributes being sent from all over the world - from the realms of sport to politics and royalty - are a testament to a life well-lived.

Weir's sense of humour is a common feature among the tributes. Here he laughs with fellow lock Damian Cronin and a chicken. Credit: PA

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend has spoken of the "huge legacy" of his former teammate.

"Doddie will have a huge legacy as he's made such progress in finding a cure for MND and breakthroughs are already being made because of his determination," he said.

Meanwhile Scotland captain Jamie Ritchie said: "Yesterday's news was tough to take for so many people which proves how much of an inspiration Doddie Weir was.

"Doddie was so special to all of the Scotland players."

Sir John Hall remembers Weir

Former teammates and opponents from beyond Scotland have also taken the time to publicly remember Weir.

Among them Jonny Wilkinson, who played alongside Weir at the beginning of the fly-half's career at Newcastle Falcons.

Players as far flung from the Scottish Borders as South Africa's Bryan Habana offered their touching words.

"Larger than life. Inspirational beyond words," he wrote on Facebook.

"Rest In Peace you incredible human. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Cathy, Hamish, Angus and Ben."

In politics, both Rishi Sunak and Nicola Sturgeon, among many others, paid their respects.

Members of the royal family also lauded Weir's achievements. In a personally signed tweet, William and Kate wrote: “Doddie Weir was a hero – we are so sad to hear of his passing. His immense talent on the pitch as well as his tireless efforts to raise awareness of MND were an inspiration."

The Princess Royal, who is a patron of the MND Scotland charity, called Weir "truly larger than life, determined, generous and humble".

"He transformed people's understanding of MND and funding for research," she added.

Rugby was Weir's first passion. But after his MND diagnosis, the former lock was most devoted to helping those with the same condition.

His relentless raising of funds and awareness for the cause has been highlighted since his death.

Weir is survived by his wife Kathy and their three sons. In a statement released by Scottish Rugby, the family wrote:

"We are lucky to have shared our lives with him and we will cherish all those memories: his love and warmth, his support and advice, his quick wit, and his terrible jokes.

"It is difficult to put into words how much we will miss him."