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George Scott - Lest We Forget

access_time 1 month ago

‘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.’

Today, we remember Clapton Orient legend George Scott, who died in a German military hospital in St Quentin, France, on 16th August, 1916, from wounds received in battle.

Born in Sunderland 1885, Scott started his football career with local sides, Braeside FC and Sunderland West End as well as Young Albion and East End Villa, before signing for Clapton Orient. He made his league debut for the O’s in a 2-0 win over Oldham Athletic on 12th December, 1908. Standing at a modest 5’ 9” and weighing 10st 9lb, he started out as a centre-half and went on to make this position his own during his time with the 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 pretty good return for this solid and reliable player.

Scott was a loyal servant for Clapton Orient and was highly respected, not only by everyone at the O’s, but also the many opponents who commented on his indefatigable commitment on the field of play. His impressive scoring ratio – which includes a hat-trick against Leicester, included many a fine goal. However, contemporary reports state that the finest goal he scored was the winner against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane on a sweltering hot Good Friday, 9th April, 1909. He was also in the Clapton Orient side that defeated Millwall 3-0 in the Dubonnet Cup Final, 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 promptly 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 18th November, 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 16th August.

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’