THE hunt is on for the greatest Glaswegian of all time.

Who do you think should be number one?

Throughout July, we are revealing the top 50 men and women who have put Glasgow on the map through politics, the arts, business, science and more.

Once all 50 have been revealed, it’s over to you – we will be launching a public vote to find out who you think should be crowned Greatest Glaswegian.


Jim Kerr and Alison Shepperd up for title

Today, we reveal the next two contenders for the title – ‘River Man’ George Parsonage, who has saved hundreds of lives; and Dr Margo Whiteford, whose incredible achievements put paid to the misconception that physical disability is a barrier to success.


Evening Times:

When Margo was born, her parents were told to take her home and let nature take its course and “get on with trying for a normal baby.”

Almost six decades later, Margo – who has spina bifida and is paralysed from the waist down – is a leading consultant geneticist, charity campaigner and chairperson of a global expert panel which aims to improve treatments for people with the condition worldwide.

Margo is chairperson of Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Scotland (SBH Scotland), and president of the International Federation for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus.

She has dedicated her life, both professional and personal, to raising awareness of the complex conditions. In 2002 she completed the Great North Run in her wheelchair, and managed to convince fellow competitor, Gordon Ramsay OBE to become an honorary patron of SBH Scotland.

In 2009 Margo added to her long list of fundraising achievements when she completed the London Marathon, raising £15,000 in the process and she confounds stereotypes, proving that being in a wheelchair does not preclude her from working in challenging environments. Originally graduating from the University of Dundee with a BSc in Pharmacology, she is now a consultant clinical geneticist at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow, where she has diagnosed and supported hundreds of children and adults who are affected by genetic conditions.

Read more: Isabella Elder or Clare Grogan? You decide who is the greatest Glaswegian


Evening Times:

‘River Man’ George Parsonage has patrolled the Clyde for almost all of his life, rescuing more than 1500 people from its murky depths and recovering many more who sadly did not survive.

George, who is now in his 70s and still living in his childhood home near Glasgow Green, started volunteering with the Glasgow Humane Society when he was just a teenager, and took over as the chief officer in 1979 when his father Benjamin passed away.

The former art teacher now spends a great deal of time educating others about water safety and the society advises the council and other organisations on everything from bridge design to lifebelt provision.

Over the years, George has also created sculptures from junk retrieved from the Clyde, such as supermarket trolleys, motor cycle parts, machinery and more, donating any proceeds from the sale of his work to charity.

(He has also won prizes for rowing and entered the Guinness Book of Records in 1975 for rowing the length of Loch Ness in 2hrs 43 mins.)

But it is as a lifesaver, a “giant among men”, according to his colleagues, that George is most admired for – his dedication to the river, his unending desire to help others.

He once said in a newspaper interview: “Rescue is a privilege, isn’t it? It’s not everybody in this world who gets the chance to help someone.”

Read more: Mary Doll and Begbie - aka Elaine C Smith and Robert Carlyle - get a look in

Don’t miss Monday’s Evening Times, when we will announce another two contenders for the title of greatest Glaswegian. You can catch up on everyone revealed so far at