BORDERERS will join sports stars in paying tribute to the former rugby star Doddie Weir this week.

Nearly 600 family, friends and supporters from the agricultural community as well as the world of rugby will gather in Kelso on Friday for the Tartan Giraffe Ball - a name that refers both to Doddie’s fondness for tartan suits and a comment by the late rugby commentator, Bill McLaren, who described him in one match performance as being “on the charge like a mad giraffe”.

The ex-second row forward revealed in 2016 that he had been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease and has since embarked on a major fundraising drive to encourage research into the, as yet, incurable condition and provide support for those living with it.

The driving forces behind the event have been Doddie's friends David Baird, Stewart Bennet and Douglas Stephen.

Friday's fundraiser at Springwood Park home in Kelso will be compered by presenters Jill Douglas and Dougie Vipond, with music from Deacon Blue and the John Beattie “Ruckstars’ band.

A charity auction with 175 lots including private jet flights and sporting celebrity experiences will be held.

And there will also be contributions on the evening from rugby legends including John Jeffrey, Gregor Townsend and Andy Nicol.

A spokesman for the event said: “Everyone in the farming and sporting communities was shocked when they heard Doddie’s diagnosis last year but we have watched in admiration as he continues to demonstrate his determination to tackle this disease head on.

"We all want to play our part to help and are working hard to make sure the Tartan Giraffe Ball is one of the most memorable events that has been held here at Springwood Park and we would like to thank everyone for their overwhelming generosity.

"It is all down to Doddie and his determination to fight this debilitating disease.”

Brought up on a farm near Galashiels, Doddie’s agricultural connections are strong.

And it understandable that a number of the auction lots have been aimed at the farming community - including a brand new 32ft flat trailer (from Stewart Trailers of Inverurie), a Sumo Post Driver (from Bryce Suma Post Drivers, Kelso), 100 acres of silage raking and lifting (Connon Farms, Gordon), 900 litres of Kerosene heating oil (Chrystal Petroleum), 100 kg of grass seed (DLF Seeds), one tonne of Megamins cattle minerals (Scotmin Nutrition) and one tonne of C2 Winter Wheat Seed (from Heckley Seeds, Alnwick).

Over 160 of the auction lots are being offered through an online Silent Auction at, allowing those who have been unable to secure a ticket for the event to still contribute to the fundraising effort.

Since its launch last week over £65,000 has already raised and bids will be taken online up until 11pm on Friday night.

Other items and packages to be auctioned as part of the Tartan Giraffe event include a money-can’t-buy Ultimate Calcutta Cup Weekend, a 50-litre cask of Eden Mill whisky (signed by golfers Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood, tennis stars Andy and Jamie Murray, and rugby’s Stuart Hogg, Finn Russell and, of course, Doddie), a three-night European break for two travelling by private jet, an exclusive Nick Nairn Beef Masterclass for 10 and a holiday for four in Mallorca, again travelling by private jet but this time in the company of Doddie.

There is also the chance to bid for a shoot for four guns on Stuart Lang’s famous Bowmont Valley shoot, accompanied by His Grace the Duke of Roxburghe and former Scotland Captain, Rob Wainwright.

Charity supporters can also bid for a host of celebrity sporting experiences featuring stars such as Scotland Head Coach Gregor Townsend, former Chelsea and Scotland footballer Pat Nevin, World Champion curler Eve Muirhead, Grand National winning trainer Lucinda Russell, and rugby legends Gary Armstrong, Gavin Hastings, Scott Hastings, Greig Laidlaw, Ross Ford, Roger Baird and Rob Wainwright.

Other sporting celebrities have donated items, including Conor Murray, Freddie Flintoff and Stephen Gallacher.

Holidays, supercar and Harley Davidson adventures, golfing breaks, shooting breaks, theatre trips, whisky experiences, dinner parties, plus rugby and other sporting memorabilia are also up for auction, as is a whole Aberdeen Angus steer for a lucky bidder’s freezer, courtesy of the Barbour Family.

All funds raised at the Tartan Giraffe Ball will be donated to the My Name ‘5 Doddie Foundation, which is funding research into MND.

The event is being sponsored by M&J Ballantyne Ltd, The Craigie Hotel, Manners for Meat, H&H Group, Agrii, Greenvale AP, J S Baird & Sons and Crop Services (Scotland) Ltd.

To see a full list of auction lots and to bid or make a donation, visit