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Message from Sir Jackie Stewart OBE – Patron of Dyslexia Scotland

Sir Jackie Stewart OBE was born on 11th June, 1939 and he became one of Britain’s most successful Grand Prix drivers. Nicknamed the ‘Flying Scot’ he competed in Formula One between 1965 and 1973, winning three World Drivers’ Championships and twice finishing as runner-up over those nine seasons. He was the only British driver to win three championships until Lewis Hamilton in 2015.

Sir Jackie Stewart OBE – Patron of Dyslexia Scotland

In 1971 he was given the OBE and in 2001 he was knighted – both awards being in recognition for his services to motor racing.

Sir Jackie Stewart dictated his autobiography titled Winning Is Not Enough due to his dyslexia. He is now the patron of Dyslexia Scotland.

Dyslexia Scotland

“My school days were the worst days of my life and by the time I was 8 or 9 years old I was, more often than not, embarrassed and ashamed that I could not do the things that came so easily to the others who could keep up with the demands of our teacher Miss Shaw. I could not read or write with any decent results and was mortified by being forced to stand up in front of the class to read a passage from a book to the class. I was further abused by being told that I was ‘stupid, dumb and thick’ by Miss Shaw. I tried to avoid school and the humiliation that went with it by creating fictional illnesses.  

“Fast forward over 70 years and of course dyslexia still exists just as prevalently as it ever was in my early days but it’s now becoming ‘acceptable’.  

“So many dyslexics have turned out to be geniuses in their chosen field. To this day, people reach out to me just to let me know they are dyslexic and I always say that we can all be good at something, we just need to discover what it is and go from there. I’m sure that events like the Dyslexia Show will help with this and I wish it well. 

“So, if there’s some young Jackie Stewart out there who is suffering from embarrassment and being pushed away from the ‘clever’ folk, I hope they find their voice and realise, just as I did, that sometimes dyslexia is what helps us to succeed in ways we couldn’t have ever imagined.”