Sally Nugent pays tribute to late friend of BBC after seeing him 'just a fortnight ago'


Doddie was diagnosed with the illness in 2017 and has campaigned tirelessly for research into the nerve condition. The former sportsman has appeared numerous times on BBC Breakfast to discuss his fundraising, and became a close friend with the team. Monday’s episode saw Sally recalling seeing Doddie just two weeks ago, explaining he was clearly unwell but still had “a twinkle in his eye”.

The tragic news of the 52-year-old’s death was announced over the weekend, and has left fans and those who knew him devastated. 

The former Scotland rugby player has become a regular guest on BBC Breakfast in recent years as he continued to raise awareness of the illness until his death.

“Obviously we have spoken a lot to Doddie over the last several years here on this programme, we have been lucky enough to become friends with him and his family,” Sally explained.

“In fact, we were with him just a fortnight ago when he attended his fundraising dinner.

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“And he really was not very well at that point.”

As a photo showed Sally with a smiling but frail-looking Doddie, she continued: “There he is, you can see there he wasn’t particularly well but he made it that night, he was determined to make it.

“His wife, Kathy, was worried about him I know. But he was there, and he was there for the whole night.”

“Just two weeks ago…” Co-host Jon Kay remarked sadly.


“That was two weeks ago, yeah. and all morning this morning we will be paying tribute to Doddie, speaking to his friends, his former teammates and importantly his fellow campaigners about his legacy and what happens next,” Sally detailed.

“What a guy, what a loss,” Jon stated. Later, Sally and co-host Jon Kay again reflected on Doddie’s life.

“What a legacy he leaves, you were only with him at that fundraising dinner a couple of weeks ago,” Jon told Sally.

“Yeah, we saw him when he was clearly very very frail, he’d been ill for about a week or so but he was determined to be there,” the presenter recalled.


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“It was a fundraising dinner for his foundation which has raised mills and mills of pounds for research into Motor Neuron Disease.

“And even though he was poorly, there was a twinkle in his eye, he was still making people laugh, he was still taking the mickey out of me and teasing me and everybody else, and it was absolutely lovely to see him there.”

She went on: “I’m so grateful, so glad that we got to see him and we got that evening all together – it was really special.”

Friend and former teammate of Doddie, Kenny Logan, later joined the show to talk about Doddie’s legacy.

“People use legend a lot,” he remarked. “But he was definitely one of those legends where everything he did, the impact was strong.

“He didn’t want to leave life without an impact and he’s done that.

“And his family, Kathy and the boys – they’ve been amazing, they’ve been through a lot as you can imagine. The strength of Kathy and the boys has been phenomenal.”

BBC Breakfast airs weekdays from 6am on BBC One.


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