A talented all-rounder, George Cornet flew the flag for his homeland as the only Scottish member of the British water polo team that twice won Olympic gold.
Born in Inverness in 1877, he began playing as a back for the Inverness Amateurs. Hailed as one of the finest sides of that era, they won the Scottish Championship in 1909 and reached five Scottish Cup finals between 1906 and World War I.
Standing 6ft tall, George went on to represent Scotland 17 times between 1897 and 1912. But his greatest triumphs came as the oldest member – and only Scot – in Great Britain’s Olympic team.
George helped his teammates to gold in 1908 in London, beating Belgium 9-2 in the final, and again in 1912 in Stockholm, where his side won 8-0 against Austria. That victory meant George was the only Scot to successfully defend an Olympic title until yachtsman Rodney Pattison in 1972.
George also played football and cricket for local Inverness teams, as well as competing in heavy and track athletics events. After retiring, he became Secretary of the Highland Railway and Divisional Cashier of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway. He died in Liverpool in 1952.
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