George and Jean Scott relax in their living room in their Harbor Drive home in October 2013. That’s Princess on Jean’s lap.
INDIAN ROCKS BEACH – George Scott, who earned fame as a professional wrestler, died Jan. 20, 2014 after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 84.
The well-known Indian Rocks Beach resident fought all over North America in the 1950s and 1960s during which time he suffered a number of serious injuries. There were broken bones and several concussions, yet he only retired in 1971 after breaking his neck in a match.
“I knew I had a broken neck but I don’t remember much else,” he said in an interview back in October. “It happened during the match, during the regular course of events.”
After his retirement from active wrestling, Scott went into promoting bouts and played an instrumental part in promoting the famous WrestleMania I and WrestleMania II. During the 1980s, he did most of his promoting in Texas.
During that October interview, Scott was clear in what he considered his greatest achievement in the sport: his fight against drug use. He said drug use in his sport was rampant, and eventually got a drug-testing program in professional wrestling.
“I wouldn’t take them,” he said. “So many of my friends have all died younger than they should have because of that.”
In the 1970s, Scott, whose ring name was “The Great Scott,” fought as a tag team with his younger brother Sandy. They were known as “The Flying Scotts.” Sandy died in 2010.
Scott met his wife Jean during a promotional tour in Atlanta. They were married in 1986 and then moved to Indian Rocks Beach. Jean Scott later served on the City Commission and is still active today in many community activities. She said her husband wasn’t well during the days leading up to his death.
“I know he was in a lot of pain,” she said. “He went into Hospice on Wednesday with some issues. We had hoped to be able to bring him home on Monday but on Saturday he took a turn for the worse.”
Jean said lung cancer took a toll on her husband.
“I hope people will read this, and it will help somebody to stop smoking,” she said. “It is terrible when you have to beg for air.”
George Scott was born in Scotland but grew up in Hamilton, Ontario. He leaves behind two sons, George Jr. of Palm Harbor and Byron, who lives in Canada; his brother Walter Scott in Hamilton, Ontario, and 3 grandchildren, Ken and Ashley Helms and Lexy Scott.
He will be cremated and his wife plans a celebration of his life memorial later this spring.
Jean Scott said she and George always loved living in Indian Rocks Beach and since his death she has had plenty of support from neighbors and friends.
Her parting words for her husband were telling:
“God needed a wrestler, and he got a really good one.”