Doddie Weir said he is “hugely honoured” to have received a prestigious award from his home city.
The former Scotland rugby union international was presented with the Edinburgh Award 2018 in recognition of the contribution he has made to the city, to sport and to motor neurone disease (MND) awareness and research.
He is the 12th person to receive the award, following in the footsteps of the likes of cyclist Sir Chris Hoy and writers JK Rowling and Ian Rankin.
At the ceremony on Friday evening, he was reunited with a set of his handprints outside the City Chambers before being presented with an engraved Loving Cup by Edinburgh Lord Provost Frank Ross.
Weir said: “I am hugely honoured and humbled to receive the prestigious Edinburgh Award, especially when I see the names of those who have received it before me.
“Edinburgh has been good to me – it’s where I was born, I was educated at Stewart’s Melville College and began my rugby career here, and of course I have a special connection with Murrayfield.
“The support I have received from all over the world since I shared my diagnosis has been incredible and it has helped drive the work of our foundation forward as we try to raise awareness around motor neurone disease and help find a cure for this devastating disease.
“Edinburgh has been at the forefront of this support, along with the Borders, and I highly appreciate the efforts of everyone. I am determined that together, we will make a difference.”
Weir, 48, began his professional rugby career at Melrose RFC before going on to play for Scotland and the Newcastle Falcons.
The award recognises his rugby career and also his work with MND charities.
He announced in 2017 that he had been diagnosed with the condition.
Mr Ross said: “Doddie is not only an inspiring sportsman but a real champion of MND research, helping to raise awareness through his own Foundation and provide much-needed funds towards finding a cure for this disease.
“He is Edinburgh’s gentle giant, as well-respected and loved by citizens as much as his peers and rugby fans.
“Doddie really has made an outstanding contribution to sport, to charity and to the capital.
“The Edinburgh Award is the city’s way of recognising all that he has achieved.”