George McNeill Puts Murals on Secure Foundations
Most of the banter along the John Muir Way with the mural artists at work ponders the impact of the sea and weather on the paints being used but a moment's reflection makes it clear that the wall itself must be made ready in a thoroughly professional way before anything else can start. To help Kate Hunter get started last year, Jane Bonnar scoured the neighbourhood for the right style of builder to do the job and she found a modest man of Tranent named George McNeill to help.
Modest he might be as a builder in his family enterprise nowadays but some thirty/twenty years ago he was the talk of the town and of much of Scotland. The Queen herself took careful note of his achievements.
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George was nothing less than Professional World 120yds Sprint Record Holder at 11.4 seconds in 1970 after earlier winning the Centenary Powderhall Sprint on New Year's Day. At age 34 in 1981 he made it the double when he won the coveted Australian Stawell Gift in its Centenary year ... giving him The Unique Double which was the title he gave to his autobiography published in 1983 ( ISBN 0 906391 571 ).
Chapter 14 is extracted here to give some insight into the life he led firstly as a semi-professional footballer with Hibernian, Morton and Sterling Albion until 1969 and thereafter as a world class sprinter.
Published Date: May 16th 2003