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My Name’5 Doddie The Autobiography By Doddie Weir & Stewart Weir

Release date: 27th October, 2018
Publisher: Black & White Publishing

List Price: £16.99
Our Price: £12.48
You Save: £4.51 (26%)
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Mental toughness is a prerequisite for success in any walk of life, but as sports fans we see it more vividly and frequently within the sporting sphere.

Irrespective of the sport being played, be it golf or athletics, football or tennis, the factor most likely to determine an outcome whenever opponents appear inseparable is, more often than not, mental strength. Align this with physical strength and the professional sportsman or woman can go far.

Rugby union’s leading exponents are blessed with both characteristics, as well as with oversized supplies of athleticism and bravery, in order that they may contend with the game’s physical demands, a point made in Jim Telfer’s foreword to My Name’5 Doddie. “A huge gangling laddie,” is how Telfer describes Doddie Weir, but one who was “…confident, a huge presence and immensely physical.” Weir was 18 at the time.

Doddie Weir the rugby player was enormously talented. He broke into the Scotland squad while still a teenager and travelled to South Africa with the Lions. But for a disgraceful pummelling he received at Mpumaleanga, he would certainly have been a contender for a starting test place.

More recently, we’ve come to know him as a gregarious, relatively young man (aged 48) who has Motor Neurone Disease (MND), the focal point of an absorbing autobiography.

In the days leading up to Christmas 2016, Weir became uneasy about his weakening grip and the manner in which his skin began twitching. An online search provided him with the shocking diagnosis – he had MND.

Six months later, Weir’s fears were confirmed following a series of tests. The implications hit him harder than a Scott Quinnell tackle: he has a wife, three children, a farm business, employees. What will happen to them, he muses, angry that there is only one drug capable of treating MND.

Advised that he probably wouldn’t be walking within 12 months, this wonderfully determined man decided to discount medical advice and do something to publicise the plight of those unfortunate enough to contract MND.

This is a bitter-sweet tale of a former professional sportsman who displays every ounce of mental strength he has to publicise, write about and challenge a disease with a reputation for being incurable. Doddie’s autobiography stands testimony to his willingness to battle MND in the same ferocious manner in which he addressed the scrum’s roughhouse, ie with oodles of mental and physical strength. Read it.

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