Rust 2 Rome Aiming to Raise Funds for My Name’s Doddie Foundation

Rust 2 Rome Aiming to Raise Funds for My Name’s Doddie Foundation

A team including former Scotland forward Alan Watt are aiming to raise funds for the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation as they take part in Rust 2 Rome 2024.

The event involves driving an old banger car- worth no more than £1,000- from Edinburgh to Rome, taking in some spectacular towns, cities, cultures, food and scenery along the way.

As well as landmark European cities, the route takes drivers to places they may have never even heard of before.

Every year the route takes over three months to plan, with stretches of intense driving being rewarded with what organisers say are some of the finest surroundings the continent has to offer.

Alan, or ‘Watty’ as he is known to his friends, played in the Scotland pack with Doddie in the early 1990s. He has enlisted the assistance of friends Paul Toon and Murray Watt to accompany him on the trip- dubbed as ‘a Top Gear adventure without the 15 support vehicles ‘.

The plan to participate was hatched in the pub, where they arrived at the decision to drive an ‘old school’ British car to replicate Alan and Doddie’s ‘old school’ playing style.

With an old Jaguar donning Doddie’s famous number five ready to go, preparations are ramping up for the trip, which departs Edinburgh on June 30. For Alan, Paul and Murray, Doddie’s Foundation is a special cause to participate for.

In November 2017, Doddie and his trustees launched the registered charity, My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, which strives for a world free of MND. Even after his passing from the disease in 2022, Doddie’s legacy has lived on through his foundation, which passed the £11million mark in late 2023 of monies donated to MND research.

The number “5” is a special number for the Foundation. It is a reference to Doddie’s playing number for his clubs, Melrose and Newcastle Falcons, and the jersey he wore during the vast majority of his 61 caps for Scotland. This is the fitting team number Alan, Paul and Murray have been given for their trip by the Rust 2 Rome organisers. Their trip follows the ‘All Roads lead to Rome’ event led by Rob Wainwright, where groups of cyclists including Roger Baird and Ian Barr cycle 3000km in nine days from Edinburgh to Rome for Doddie’s Foundation. Alan joked that he’s happy to take to the driver’s seat rather than the saddle to reach the Italian capital.

“I can imagine Jim Telfer’s disappointment that I’m not going to be huffing and puffing my way up the French Alps on a bicycle that’s straining under my weight, but instead will be stuffing my face with cream cakes whilst driving a Jaguar”.

You can support Alan, Paul and Murray’s Rust2Rome fundraising for the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation by visiting their Justgiving page here.


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