A rugby fan has created a huge portrait of ex-Scotland player Doddie Weir – made from more than 10,000 postage stamps.

Michael McGee, 62, spent six weeks “plucking” stamps out of his extensive collection to put together the impressive two metre long design.

Weir, a former rugby union player, was diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND) in 2017.

And retired dentist Mr McGee, originally from Glasgow but now based in Trinidad in the Caribbean, was inspired to make the art after a close friend died of the illness.

The large portrait, made from stamps from every country Weir played against, was flown from the Caribbean to Edinburgh via Miami.

It will be auctioned off at a charity dinner next month to raise funds for Weir’s charity foundation and the school he attended in his youth.

Art: Michael spent six weeks building the picture.Art: Michael spent six weeks building the picture.
Art: Michael spent six weeks building the picture. SWNS

Michael was forced to retire after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease ten-years-ago.

But despite the difficulty presented by his condition, he was inspired by Doddie’s courage and zest for life and spent many weeks creating the large collage portrait.

Michael said: “I was inspired by the inner strength of this giant of a man, Doddie Weir.

“I offered my services to his trust to raise funds for motor neurone disease research.

“They accepted and I spent six weeks plucking stamps out of my collection and glueing them to a sheet of ply board.”

Having acquired a large collection of colourful stamps from McTear’s Auctioneers in Glasgow, Michael decided to use them to put together a collage.

He said: “Stamps can be beautiful.

“Why leave them in an old stamp album, l feel I am giving them a new life.”

Michael says the average age of the stamps he used is around 60-years-old.

They are from each British reign from Queen Victoria onwards, including 10 penny reds and ten jubilee halfpennies.

Stamps: Some of them are over 60 years old.Stamps: Some of them are over 60 years old.
Stamps: Some of them are over 60 years old. SWNS

The portrait will be auctioned off at a dinner held at the National Museums of Scotland in Edinburgh on February 1.

The event will raise funds for the My Name’5 Doddie foundation and the Erskine Stewart’s Melville Schools’ Access to Excellence school bursary charity.

The Dinner for Doddie will see 725 former pupils and supporters of the school gather to bid on more than 40 items including a trip to Paris on a private jet, a signed Scotland rugby jersey and the handmade stamp portrait.

Each lot has been generously donated by individuals and businesses with no cost to the school.

Dodie, his wife, their sons, his sister and parents will be in attendance at the event.

The My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, which raises funds to aid research into the degenerative condition, donated £50,000 to research charity Funding Neuro in November.

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