All Roads lead to Rome as the Wheels Are Set in Motion on the Latest Doddie Fundraiser

All Roads lead to Rome as the Wheels Are Set in Motion on the Latest Doddie Fundraiser

A team including former Scotland and Lions player Roger Baird and former SRU President Ian Barr departed Scottish Gas Murrayfield for Rome on Wednesday as they aim to cycle 3000 kilometres in nine days for the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation.

Following the latest successful instalment of Doddie Aid, lead organiser Rob Wainwright has set the challenge of reaching Piazza Navona in Rome by 5pm next Friday- the day before Scotland’s crucial match against Italy at Stadio Olympico. This is an event he has dubbed ‘All Roads lead to Rome’.

Wednesday saw the departure of Dodd1e’5 Gr4nd S7am team from Edinburgh, who will visit every Six Nations stadium en route to the Italian Capital. This will see them grace the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Dublin’s Aviva Stadium, Twickenham and the Stade de France before arriving at the home of the Azzurri in just under ten days’ time.

Outside Murrayfield, Baird, capped 27 times for Scotland, spoke of his excitement ahead of the mammoth challenge, emphasising the work done by organisers and the Doddie Foundation so far.

“It’s been a fantastic effort. The people who’ve organised this, I can’t tell you how dedicated they’ve been. These are all people with jobs, and they’ve just been amazing. We’re now over £100,000 raised and we will aim to add considerably to that over the course of the trip. It’s a fantastic challenge but we’ve done the training, lost a bit of weight so we’re good to go.

“Doddie’s legacy is at £11 million and counting. When he was diagnosed there was one drug that was 20 years old. He felt very bitter about that, that the research wasn’t being done and this is now his legacy, which is phenomenal”.

The team name of Dodd1e’5 Gr4nd S7am hints at those in the game who have been affected by MND, with each of the numbers included representing a player. Number 1 represents ‘The Judge’ Paul Rendall, who passed of the disease last year. The inclusion of number 4 is for Ed Slater, the former Leicester and Gloucester lock diagnosed in 2022 while number 7 speaks for the Leeds Rhinos man Rob Burrow, who continues his battle with the Motor Neurone. Lastly, number 5 represents the man behind the tartan donned by the cyclists. The late great Doddie Weir wore the number five for the national side, winning 61 caps for Scotland as well as representing the British and Irish Lions.

L-R: Chris Paterson, Ian Barr, Roger Baird, Colin Rigby, Rob Wainwright and Rob Boyns with the Italy Vs Scotland match ball at Scottish Gas Murrayfield (Photos- BigPhil Media)

Lead organiser Rob Wainwright’s team will themselves leave for Rome next Monday, where he will be accompanied by former Scotland captain Stuart Hogg and ex-Ireland centre Gordon D’Arcy. Nevertheless, he was still in attendance at Scottish Gas Murrayfield to see the Grand Slam team on their way, riding out the gate with them as they went on their first leg to Stranraer.

Wainwright cited Doddie’s never-ending positivity and determination as motivators, insisting that he is just picking up where Doddie left off. He also spoke of how he is relishing and embracing what is only the latest in a series of challenges he has set up to fundraise for MND charities.

“The mission statement for this event was to number one get everyone safely to Rome. Secondly, let’s get a lot of fundraising done. That’s coming along nicely, I think we’re at about a quarter of a million with only two teams setting off so far, we’ve got another week and a half ahead of us. The third one was to have a good time and to all meet for a beer in Piazza Navona at 5pm on Friday 8th March. That’s the golden rule, you can set off when you like but we’ll meet you there on Friday.

“I think we’ve taken over Doddie’s mantle but he’s still very much here with us. Both in our crusade to find solutions for MND and in the smiles you see all around here in a positive environment. That’s what Doddie was all about, having fun. Circumstance put him to a very serious challenge but hopefully it ends when we’ve got a cure for MND, it’s going to be a battle but we’ll keep at it”.

You can follow the progress of Dodd1e’5 Gr4nd S7am team on their journey to Rome. Simply head to for live team tracking. For more information on ‘All Roads lead to Rome’, visit .

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