A FORMER team-mate of Doddie Weir has paid tribute to his efforts to find a cure for Motor Neuron Disease (MND) and insists that his legacy will “continue onwards from this day".

Wearing a tartan jacket as requested by Doddie, Scott Hastings told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “He (Doddie) was an extraordinary gentleman. He just lit up every room that he walked into. He had this connection to people.

“He was a national treasure. I was commenting with him on the Melrose 7s and I’d been tipped off that he had Motor Neuron Disease. I’ve been involved for many years in MND with MND Scotland and the Euan Macdonald Centre for MND research.

“And I looked at Doddie and I couldn’t see any visible signs. Then a few weeks later he phoned me and I knew exactly what it was.

“I burst into tears, and I said, 'Of course I’m going to help you'. He wanted me to chair his foundation and he wanted to put other people ahead of himself.

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“And we thought as a bunch of friends that we might raise a million pounds. Now five years down the line we have raised over eight million pounds.

“And if there is anybody who has ever done more than anyone else to raise awareness for MND it’s Doddie Weir.

“His legacy will continue onwards from this day.

“No-one knew what MND was a number of years ago and the way Doddie set upon this crusade to help other people to get the awareness out there was quite staggering, along with Rob Burrows, the MND Association, MND Scotland and the Doddie Foundation. They all collaborated together to lobby the government to raise £50m to help that research effort.

“People have just put their hands in their pockets and supported this dreadful disease and trying to find out a cure.

“At the moment there is nothing anyone can do but what Doddie was able to do as a former rugby player and former team-mate, he brought people together to work on the ultimate goal, a world free of MND.

“And by goodness, he set that world alight.”