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24 September 2014
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Scott Quinnell in documentary Quinnell's Last Test

Quinnell's dyslexia triumph

Welsh rugby legend Scott Quinnell is facing his last - and hardest - test as he tackles a highly controversial treatment which claims to cure the dyslexia that has blighted his life.


BBC Wales has followed Scott every step of the way through the highs and lows of the exercise-based treatment, from the first assessment to the final emotional day 11 months later when the results are revealed.


Scott decides to try the treatment - the Dore programme - because he reads very slowly and has trouble spelling and writing.


"I've had fans throw autographs back in my face because I've spelt their name wrong," he recalls.


He also reveals in Quinnell's Last Test (Tuesday 20 February, BBC Two Wales), that he has never been able to send an email, use a computer or even write a note for school for any of his three children.


His father Derek - himself a rugby legend - remembers how frustrating it was when Scott was failing at school.


"As a parent it goes through your mind, well, what is wrong?" he says on the programme.


"It is terribly frustrating for the individual far more than it is for the parents."


In those days few had even heard of dyslexia.


Scott's wife Nicola explains how she has had to do everything for him from writing cheques to filling in forms.


And when Scott starts the Dore treatment - which involves regular exercises with bean bags, wobble boards and bouncy balls - she says: "Well, I'll be honest with you, I thought what a load of nonsense."


Producer Sally Davies filmed Scott for nearly a year.


"We follow him into the Sky Sports studio and record him as he gives an after dinner speech," she says.


"We show him with his family at home and even in his hotel bedroom in London."


Scott is tackling the course for the sake of his dyslexic children Lucy and Steele, who go on it with him.


"I don't want my kids to have to go through what I went through at school," he says.


"I want them to be able to do whatever they want to do, rather than have to hide behind a persona."


Sally says: "At first, Scott makes little progress. But as that classic Quinnell determination kicks in he realises his life is changing.


"For the first time Scott is sending emails, writing notes for his children and reading books much more quickly.


"And the confidence boost it gives him is amazing to witness."


In this moving documentary - which also features archive footage of his most famous rugby moments and interviews with family and friends - the normally very private Scott Quinnell shows a vulnerable side to that tough rugby hero persona.


Quinnell's Last Test, Tuesday 20 February 2007, BBC Two Wales /2W, 7.30pm









Category: Wales
Date: 16.02.2007
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