Former Scotland captains recognised in New Year’s honours.

Former Scotland captains recognised in New Year’s honours.

Two former Scotland captains are being recognised in the New Year’s Honours list.

Rob Wainwright has been made an OBE and recently retired Stuart Hogg has been made an MBE.

Wainwright’s award is for services to rugby and charity, given the immense fund-raising he continues to plan and undertake personally for the drive to find a cure for Motor Neuron Disease, from which his team-mate, Doddie Weir, died in November 2022. Indeed, Doddie Aid 2024 begins on New Year’s Day.

Stuart Hogg who retired before the 2023 Rugby World Cup, won his 100th cap against Ireland in last spring’s Six Nations Championship, marking the end of an 11- year international career, during which he also set the Scotland try-scoring record of 27.

Wainwright, who toured South Africa alongside Weir on the 1997 British and Irish Lions tour, has inspired thousands of people to raise millions of pounds for the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, the money being used to boost research into the appalling condition and to support victims and their families.

Since its inception in 2020, Doddie Aid has raised more than £4 million with approximately 76,000 people getting active and supporting the Foundation.

Wainwright has also undertaken four major match-ball delivery cycle rides in the depths of the British winter, his most recent bringing the match ball from Cardiff to Edinburgh ahead of last February’s Six Nations clash between Scotland and Wales.

A back-row forward who studied at Cambridge University and became an Army doctor, Wainwright now farms on the Isle of Coll.

Aged 58, he won 37 caps for Scotland between 1992 and 1998 and also made one Test appearance for the Lions on that 1997 tour. He played his club rugby for Edinburgh Accies, West Hartlepool, Watsonians and Dundee HSFP and was a proud member of the Caledonia district team.

Wainwright told “My first memory of Doddie was being stood on during a Melrose v Edinburgh Accies game, so I didn’t like him very much at that point!

“We enjoyed simultaneous rugby careers, a couple of country boys with a sense of humour, even though we were from radically different backgrounds.

“When Doddie’s MND diagnosis came along, just like everyone else, I was struck by how he reacted: his bravery and his pragmatism and facing up to the hand he’d been dealt.

“His attitude was ‘what are we going to do about it?’.

“And while it was extremely painful to watch his body fade away because of MND, his mind was still the same old Doddie.”

Rob Wainwright delivers the match ball after cycling from Cardiff in aid of Doddie Weir during a Guinness Six Nations match between Scotland and Wales at BT Murrayfield.

Typically, Wainwright was keener to drum up more support for Doddie Aid 2024: than dwell on his own achievement.

However, Jill Douglas, CEO of the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, said: “Rob Wainwright is a remarkable individual. His energy, loyalty, commitment, and dedication to My Name’5 Doddie Foundation is outstanding and mirrors the passion he displayed as a rugby player and Scotland captain.

“I can think of no one better deserving of an honour than Rob (apart from perhaps his ever-patient wife Romayne!).

“He is a true force of nature and a true friend to Doddie, the Foundation and the MND community and we’ll all be raising a glass to this great news.”

Wainwright added: “I’ve still a huge hunger to push forward our determination to find a cure for MND and Doddie Aid starts on New Year’s Day.

“I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in supporting Doddie Aid, most importantly my wife Romayne and Doddie for being the man and friend he was and the inspiration he continues to be.”

Stuart Hogg celebrates his first half try during the Autumn Nations Series match between Scotland and Japan at BT Murrayfield in 2021.

Stuart Hogg, a product of the Hawick club, made outstanding contributions to both Glasgow Warriors and Exeter Chiefs and toured with the Lions on three occasions in 2013, 2017 and 2021, winning Test status on the most recent tour to South Africa.

He is one of five Scotland rugby centurions, the others being Donna Kennedy, Ross Ford, Chris Paterson and Sean Lamont.

Hogg told “When I first heard the news, I thought it was a wind-up, so I was straight on the phone to the number and I was told ‘Don’t worry Mr Hogg, you’re not the first person to think that!’

“I am absolutely delighted, pretty emotional and over-whelmed. I never thought anything like that would come my way.

“It’s massive, coming as well having called time on my career, which was a tough decision but, also, I believe the right decision.”

World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont was also awarded Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire for services to rugby.

Scottish Rugby will celebrate any other recipients from our rugby community following the announcement of the full list.

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