George Scott - Lest We Forget

access_time 2 years ago

Today, we remember George Scott who died in a German military hospital on August 16, 1916, from wounds received in battle.

Born in Sunderland 1885, Scott started his football career with two local sides, Braeside FC and Sunderland West End. Despite only standing at 5’ 9” and weighing 10st 9lb, he made his league debut for the O’s at centre-half in a 2-0 win over Oldham Athletic on December 12, 1908. He went on to make this position his own during his time at Clapton Orient although he could also play in other positions, including up front, as and when required. George Scott was to make 213 appearances for the O’s scoring 34 goals – a fine return for this solid and dependable defender.

Scott was a loyal servant for the O’s and was highly respected, not only by everyone at Millfields Road, but also by many an opponent. He scored many fine goals and hit a hat-trick against Leicester. However, contemporary reports state that none was better than the winning goal he scored against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane on April 9, 1909. He was also in the Clapton Orient side that defeated Millwall 3-0 in the Dubonnet Cup Final, held at Parc des Princes in Paris in May, 1911, scoring one of the goals with the two other scorers being Fred Parker and Phil Prior.

George Scott was a model of consistency during his time at Orient and his good form was rewarded in 1911, when he was picked to represent a London XI versus a Paris XI in France.

When war broke-out he volunteered, joining-up with the rest of his team-mates, into the 17th Battalion Middlesex Regiment – ‘The Footballers Battalion’. His fine example on the field of play continued onto the field of battle and news of his loss after being wounded and taken prisoner left the O’s faithful reeling.

The following obituary appeared in Oriental Notes on November 18, 1916:

‘It is with feeling of sorrow we inform our readers that another of our players has paid the Great Price. We have received confirmatory evidence that George Scott died on August 16.

Big-hearted and daring – as George always was – we can imagine the impetuosity with which he confronted the enemy. To those who knew him personally he was one of the BEST, and the thousands who have witnessed his football career will, undoubtedly, express feelings of sorrow at his untimely end.

Our warmest sympathy goes forth to his bereaved wife and children and, although condolence may not assuage grief, they have the satisfaction of knowing no man could have sacrificed his life in a nobler cause’