George McNeill

(B.1947)
Athletics
Inducted in 2003

George McNeill might have been the first Scot to win an Olympic gold in the 100 metres. Unfortunately, because he received wages as a footballer he was deemed ineligible under the amateur rules of the time. Forced onto the professional circuit, he won two of the most famous professional sprint races in the world: Scotland's Powderhall Sprint and Australia's Stawell Gift. On January 1 1971, in Edinburgh, he ran 110 metres in 11.00 seconds, which equates to around 10 seconds for the more popular 100 metres. In 1972, he defeated Olympic gold medallist Tommie Smith, in a four-race series and was crowned world professional sprint champion.

George McNeill