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