Today marks the 101st anniversary of the death of George Scott who died in a German military hospital from wounds received in battle on August 16, 1916.
Born in Sunderland 1885, he 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 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 with the Orient although he could also play in other positions including up front as and when required. Scott went on to make 213 appearances for the O’s scoring 34 goals – not a bad return for this solid and dependable defender.
Scott was a consistent player and his good form was rewarded during 1911 by being picked to represent a London XI versus a Paris XI in France. He was a loyal servant over the years and he scored many fine goals, but none better than the winning goal he scored against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane on April 9, 1909. He also scored a hat-trick against Leicester.
When war broke out George joined-up with the rest of his team-mates into the 17th Battalion Middlesex Regiment - more commonly known as ‘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’
WE WILL REMEMBER THEM
(Text in this article taken from They Took The Lead by Stephen Jenkins published by Print & Bind Ltd)