Doddie Weir's wife thankful for 'overwhelming' support at memorial service

Doddie's son's were wearing tartan for the memorial service Credit: ITV Border

Doddie Weir's wife has expressed her gratitude for the "overwhelming" support her family has received ahead of the former Scotland international and charity fundraiser's memorial service.

Hundreds of people from the world of rugby union and beyond have gathered at Melrose Parish Church, which overlooks the Borders town's rugby club, where Weir won three Scottish titles in the early 1990s.

In a statement, Kathy Weir said: "We would like to thank everyone who has been so incredibly supportive over the last two weeks.

"As a family, we have been overwhelmed by the many messages we have received from all over the world.

"They have brought great comfort to me and the boys. We really appreciate people taking the time to share their own memories of Doddie and let us know we are in their thoughts.

The crowd braved the rain to be in attendance. Credit: ITV Border

"The memorial service will give those attending a chance to pay their respects and come together in Doddie's name.

"We understand not everyone will be able to make it, particularly given the time of year, but we know you're all thinking of us."

The eulogy was delivered by Weir's former Melrose and Scotland team-mate, Carl Hogg, while another international colleague, John Jeffrey, also spoke at the service.

A poem was read by Weir's three sons, Hamish, Angus and Ben. It was entitled Requiem for Doddie (The Mad Giraffe) and written by Timmy Douglas.

Former Scotland players including Rob Wainwright, Gavin Hastings, Kenny Logan and Kelly Brown were among those arriving ahead of the 1pm service.

Melrose Rugby Club hosted the memorial to Doddie Credit: ITV Border

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend and predecessors, including Sir Ian McGeechan and Frank Hadden, were also present.

Former England internationals Bill Beaumont, Martin Johnson and Rob Andrew alsoattended.

Logan's wife, TV presenter Gabby Logan also arrived early. Multiple Olympic gold medal-winning cyclist Sir Chris Hoy was also present.

Weir died aged 52 last month following a six-year battle with motor neuronedisease (MND).

The 6ft 6in former farmer, who played for Newcastle and Borders Reivers after turning professional, helped raise more than £8 million for research into MND through his charity, My Name'5 Doddie Foundation.

Hundreds were in attendance at Melrose Credit: ITV Border

Attendees were asked to wear tartan in tribute to Weir, who helped design his own pattern for his charity.

An array of colours were on show with mourners wearing the likes of tartan scarves, shawls, trousers, kilts and suits.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...