Kate and William express personal grief over death of ‘hero’ Doddie Weir


The couple hailed the rugby great, who died today aged 52, as an “inspiration”.

“Our thoughts are with all those who loved him. He will be hugely missed across the entire rugby world. W&C”

Mr Weir’s death follows a years-long battle with motor neurone disease (MND).

He was diagnosed with the rare degenerative condition in 2016, and was given just over a year to live.

Kate and William Doddie Weir

Kate and William express personal grief over death of ‘hero’ Doddie Weir (Image: GETTY)

Doctors told him his life expectancy may not have extended far beyond 18 months.

The Weir family said he was “an inspirational force of nature” and credited his “unending energy and drive” and “strength of character” for his comparatively long survival.

The family added: “MND took so much from Doddie, but never his spirit and determination.”

“He battled MND so bravely, and whilst his own battle may be over, his fight continues through his foundation, until a cure is found for all those with this devastating disease.”

Prince William and Kate Middleton

The Prince and Princess Wales are both rugby patrons (Image: GETTY)

Mr Weir was a prominent force of the 1990s rugby scene, having played in 61 matches for the Scottish national team between 1990 and 2000.

Many Britons have shared the Weir and royal family’s sentiment, writing below the Prince and Princess’ statement.

One commenter said: “Hear hear! He was a colossus. I lost my incredible father to MND last year; fighting fit all his life then struck down with so much still to do, like Doddie.”

Another added that they were “thinking of his family and friends”.

Doddie Weir

Doddie Weir was a British rugby great (Image: GETTY)

The royal couple both have prominent roles in the UK’s rugby scene, given their patronages of two teams.

The Prince of Wales is the patron of the Welsh Rugby Union, while the Princess of Wales serves as the patron of English national rugby union team.

The Prince has served as patron since 2016, while the Princess only recently took over her role from Prince Harry.

She received the patronage earlier this year when the Prince dropped many of hs royal duties to stay permanently in the US.

When the royals announced her position, she released a video on her Instagram account showing her participation in a game with the women’s team.

A post under the video wrote: “I am so thrilled to become Patron of the Rugby Football League and Rugby Football Union—two fantastic organizations who are committed to harnessing the power that sport can have in bringing communities together and helping individuals flourish.

“I look forward to working with them across all levels of the games, and to cheering England on in what promises to be an exciting year for both sports!”


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