DODDIE Weir and everyone at the My Name'5 Doddie Foundation have sent their best wishes to Gloucester Rugby's Ed Slater who has been diagnosed with motor neuron disease (MND) at the age of 33.

The Foundation which continues to commit significant funds into MND research say that they will support Ed and his family in any way they can.

CEO Jill Douglas told BBC Radio 5 Live: “It’s devastating news. It took us back to when Doddie had his diagnosis.

"To see Ed and his lovely family trying to process this and share it with the club and with their family and friends, it’s been very, very tough.

"He’s an amazing young man, very stoic, very similar in some regards to Doddie in that he is a larger than life character, a big strong rugby fellow.



"But also very aware of the impact that he might be able to have going forward.

"He obviously has to process and deal with his diagnosis himself with his family. But also wants to do what he can to shine a light on this most awful disease and raise awareness and do what he can to help other people who share that diagnosis.”

The 33-year-old Gloucester lock who featured in a number of England squads announced his retirement from rugby with immediate effect on Thursday and said he will “meet this challenge head-on”

“I want to say Thank You to everyone for all your messages of support and generosity,” he said, on Twitter.

“It gives me and my family a huge amount of strength in a time of sadness for us.

“I will meet this challenge head-on. Ultimately I can’t win but I will fight with everything. Hope is not lost.

“I also want to add a thank you to @JillADouglas and @MNDoddie5 who have been a huge support. I’d also like to thank @mndassoc.

“Both are working to fight this disease for me and all my fellow battlers of MND as well as our loved ones.”

Gloucester Rugby club have also expressed their gratitude for the support received by the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation.