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Scottish Sports Hall of Fame


Some 78 years after leaving his home in Glasgow for the USA, Major League baseball star Bobby Thomson returned to Scotland tonight to take up his place in the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame.

Known as 'The Staten Island Scot', Thomson is best remembered for hitting baseball's most famous home run, now enshrined in history as the 'shot heard round the world'.

He joined 13 other Scottish sporting legends - including footballer Gordon Smith, Grand Slam rugby flanker Finlay Calder and sprinter George McNeill - at the Royal Museum in Edinburgh where Sport Minister Frank McAveety MSP made the presentations at the 2003 induction ceremony.

2003 Inductees

Tom Morris - Golf

Wyndam Halswelle - Athletics

Jimmie Guthrie - Motorsport

Jessie Valentine - Golf

Bobby Thomson - Baseball

Gordon Smith - Football

Helen Elliot Hamilton - Table Tennis

Hamish MacInnes - Mountaineering

Elenor Gordon - Swimming

John McNiven - Weighlifting

George Kerr - Judo

George McNeill - Athletics

Finlay Calder - Rugby

Robert Millar - Cycling

The Hall of Fame project, now in its second year, is being developed through a unique partnership between the National Museums of Scotland and sportscotland.

Frank McAveety said:

"Scottish Sports Hall of Fame aims to honour Scotland's sporting heroes past and present and inspire participation of the nation's future champions. We recognise that high-performance athletes influence the young and young at heart to lead a more active life and to strive for excellence.

"Participation in sport at any level offers every individual so much. It helps improve the long-term health and well-being of our nation and will provide a stronger pool of talent to nurture future world-class performances.

Sports Halls of Fame are an internationally recognised way of acknowledging past performers, promoting excellence in sport and instilling sport as a key part of a nation's culture.

By providing a public record of Scotland's greatest sports men and women, the Hall aims to inspire younger generations and promote a culture of Scots recognising and celebrating Scottish success across a range of sports.

The inaugural induction ceremony was last November when the first 50 spor ting personalities included the legendary Captain Robert Barclay Allardice, famous for his amazing walking feats, Formula 1 racing driver Jackie Stewart, and Olympic champions Allan Wells and David Wilkie.

The list of inductees has representatives from 12 sports spanning nearly 140 years of Scottish sporting achievement.

The earliest sportsman to be recognised is Old Tom Morris, one of golf's founding fathers who won four Open Championships between 1861 and 1867. He joins his son, Young Tom Morris, who was inducted last year.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, the most recent of the inductees is Britain's most successful cyclist in professional stage races, Robert Millar who was fourth in the Tour de France and King of the Mountains in 1984.

Congratulating the 2003 inductees, Alastair Dempster, Chairman of sportscotland said:

"Looking down this impressive list of 14 sporting greats it is clear that our country has much to shout about and the creation of a Scottish Sports Hall of Fame provides an excellent means of communicating our proud history and promoting future Scottish success.

"As the national agency for sport in Scotland, sportscotland are delighted

to be working in partnership with the National Museums of Scotland to deliver this on-going testimony to Scotland's proud sporting heritage and culture. Sport is a passionate field and it is the nature of halls of fame that they excite debate, argument and controversy. These are to be welcomed, especially if Scots are encouraged to get more involved in sport and to cherish even more the vital role played by sport in Scottish culture."

Dr Gordon Rintoul, Director of the National Museums of Scotland, said:

"Our supporters from both overseas and here in the UK are keen to assist National Museums of Scotland and sportscotland honour Scotland's sporting heroesand heroines. I am confident that we will create a hall of fame within the Museum of Scotland of which everyone can be proud."

In tune with induction criteria applied to sports halls of fame around the world, nominees for induction into the SSHF must have normally retired from top-level participation in their sport for a minimum of five years.

In addition, nominees must be either: a person born in Scotland;a person who, under the rules of the relevant governing body, was eligible to compete for Scotland or a person who has resided in Scotland during the major part of their sporting career.