UK

Rugby star Kenny Logan and celebrity team set off on 700-mile charity challenge

Starting in Edinburgh, the walk and cycle will see the team travel around 100 miles a day (Mark F Gibson/PA)
Starting in Edinburgh, the walk and cycle will see the team travel around 100 miles a day (Mark F Gibson/PA) Starting in Edinburgh, the walk and cycle will see the team travel around 100 miles a day (Mark F Gibson/PA)

Scottish rugby star Kenny Logan and a team of celebrities have set off on a 700-mile endurance challenge from Edinburgh to Paris to raise money for the charity set up by the late Doddie Weir.

The 20-strong team set off on Sunday on their mission to deliver the match ball for the Scotland v Ireland Pool B Rugby World Cup qualification decider on Saturday October 7.

Former Rangers manager and footballer Ally McCoist and actor Jamie Bamber are among those taking part, while television presenter Kirsty Gallacher and actor James Nesbitt will join at a later stage.

Kenny Logan, on bike, and Ally McCoist, right, as the team set off from Murrayfield
Kenny Logan, on bike, and Ally McCoist, right, as the team set off from Murrayfield Kenny Logan, on bike, and Ally McCoist, right, as the team set off from the Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh (Mark F Gibson/PA)

The fundraisers have so far raised more than £280,000 towards their target of raising £555,000 for Doddie Weir’s charity the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, which funds research into motor neurone disease (MND).

The foundation was launched in 2017 by Weir who died last November aged 52 after living with MND for six years.

Sporting stars including Paula Radcliffe, Peter Crouch, and Denise Lewis are among those who have sent messages of support to those taking part.

Logan, a friend of Weir, decided to take on the challenge during recovery from prostate cancer last year.

He said it would be a “brutal challenge” but that the support they had received ahead of the event was “a massive motivator”.

Logan said: “It’s hard to put into words what Doddie meant to me, my family, and the rugby and MND communities around the world.

“He was the most loving, kind and courageous person I knew, all of which drove him to fight his MND so hard for so long and be a champion for others living with the disease, raising millions of pounds along the way.

“Training has involved a gruelling schedule – with several challenges along the way – but we’re here and confident we can do it for Doddie.

Riders setting off from Murrayfield
Riders setting off from Murrayfield Logan said the challenge would be ‘brutal’ (Mark F Gibson/PA)

“Currently, people with MND don’t have adequate treatment options – and that’s why we’re doing this for the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, so that one day, everyone in Doddie’s position will have a better chance.

“Let’s all come together to finish what Doddie started and find a cure for MND.”

Starting in Edinburgh, the walk and cycle will see the team travel around 100 miles a day from Newcastle to York and on to Belvoir Castle in Grantham, then to Marlow and Brighton.

They will then take the ferry to Mont Vernon and onward to the grand finale in Paris ahead of the Scotland v Ireland match on October 7.

The challenge takes place ahead of Doddie Aid 2024, a My Name’5 Doddie Foundation national fundraising event where participants rally to raise as much money as possible for MND research.