Doddie Weir portrait raises almost £100,000 for motor neurone disease charity

A portrait of former rugby star Doddie Weir has been auctioned for almost £100,000 at a fundraising dinner in Hong Kong, with Sir Billy Connolly among the guests.

The life-size portrait by Gerard M Burns was sold to raise money for the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, which raises funds for research into motor neurone disease (MND) and supports those affected by it.

Rugby stars including Gavin and Scott Hastings, George Gregan and Brian O’Driscoll were among those who attended The Greatest Rugby Dinner Ever at the Grand Hyatt Hotel.

Billy Connolly
Sir Billy Connolly was among the guests at the dinner (Jane Barlow/PA)

The artwork will return to Scotland, where it will be hung in the Scottish Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh.

It will have an accompanying plaque naming all those who made contributions during the auction of the painting, which was sold in crowd-funding style to raise as much money as possible.

The dinner, attended by around 500 guests, was organised by the Scottish business community based in Hong Kong as a precursor to the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens on April 5-7.

More than £300,000 was raised in total by the event.

Weir was diagnosed with MND in 2017 and went on to found the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation.

He began his rugby career at Melrose RFC before going on to play for Scotland and Newcastle Falcons.

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