YOUNG fundraisers showed what can be achieved when they try after collecting a record £22,000 for a rugby player struck down by an incurable disease.

Barnard Castle School handed over the proceeds of a single term’s fundraising to the My Name’s Doddie Foundation, a charity set up for former Newcastle Falcon and ex-Scottish and British Lion George “Doddie’ “Weir, who has been diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND). 

A muscle-wasting disease, MND is currently incurable and results in all the body’s muscles shutting down. Barnard Castle School sixth formers heard about Doddie’s plight and decided to help by organising a series of fundraisers which raised £22,000 for medical research.

Doddie, 47, played lock and made 61 international appearances for Scotland.

His best friends and team-mates, ex-Scotland captain Gary Armstrong and former Lions captain Finlay Calder, travelled to school to officially accept the cheque.

Ex-scrum-half Mr Armstrong said: “We have been all over the world collecting cheques but to come to a school which has raised £22,000 in such a short time is absolutely phenomenal. Doddie is our best mate and to see him now makes us feel hopeless because at the moment there is no cure and only one drug which slows down the effects slightly. Last year we spent £1.4million on research and another £1million is planned for this year.”

Headmaster Tony Jackson said: “Every year our students work tirelessly to support a variety of charities raising thousands of pounds for worthy causes. Last year we raised £14,000, so to raise £22,000 in just the first term is staggering.”