He was once a ‘notorious’ debt collector during an ‘explosion’ in the drugs trade in Aberdeen, now George Taylor has put a life of crime behind him to focus on boxing.
The 63-year-old from Aberdeen wants to stop the revolving door of prison for those with addictions.
George says that after many years in and out of the prison system he wants to help others to turn their lives around.
While he is in the process of setting up a new Community Interest Company, Turn Lives Around, he is taking on the biggest fight of his life.
George, who served seven years of a nine-year prison sentence ending in 2017, wants others who have addictions or are struggling to focus in life to come to him.
Taking to the ring for the first time in Aberdeen
After being chosen from 400 applicants for the event, he said he would prove that people can achieve anything they want by stepping into the boxing ring for the first time.
Promising to give his fans a “show to remember”, George – who is originally from Birmingham – says he will be a mixture of Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson and Sugar Ray Leonard.
He said: “I will be taking to the ring one month before my birthday, in an ultra white collar boxing match at the Beach Ballroom in Aberdeen.
“I am going into the ring for bouts that are of three rounds. I will deliver something that has never been done before due to my age, and the fact I am a novice boxer.”
George has been training for the event with Assassin Gym in Bridge of Don, a feat that he says is “incredible” considering where he has been in his life.
He explained: “I was born into a very loving family in Birmingham. My parents met in England but both came to the UK from the West Indies in the Windrush. My mum also adopted children as well, as does my brother. We were a big family.
‘I wish I had never taken drugs’
“My parents have had five boys and one girl, and I had a twin.”
George’s twin brother died of Aids at the age of 34.
“My family was supportive, but I got onto the wrong track and while I was never addicted to illegal drugs – I have used them in my life.
“Drugs change people, I turned to crack at one time and I didn’t see my family. I wish I had never taken drugs.
“I don’t think it is too much to say that I was notorious.
“I came to Aberdeen after a call for a ‘solider’ to collect debts in the city. At that time in the 90s there was an explosion of dealers in Aberdeen.
“The area was swimming in cash because of the oil industry and there was a huge drug problem. People were spending extraordinary amounts of money.
“I was asked to come up and collect drug debt. I thought I was such a hard man, I put out a call for anyone with a problem to come and see me. I told them I would be unarmed.
“I survived, but you should see the scars on me.”
After hearing himself described by police as “Aberdeen’s Most Wanted”, he said he was “notorious” as a hard criminal who got the job done.
He said he was infamous from Sussex to Shetland as a “gangster”.
In 2000, he admitted a charge of intent to supply and was sentenced to two sentences to run concurrently for nine years in jail.
He said: “At the age of 50 I found myself in prison spending a long time in jail. I was in jail for seven years. I decided that it was the end of the life I had been leading, it was not making anyone proud of me.”
Prison is an ‘ever-revolving door’
In prison, he spent his life in the library and encouraging others.
He said: “Everyone comes in thinking that they will leave crime behind. But because I was in for such a long time, I would see people come and go, on an ever revolving door.
“I saw people with aspirations and dreams to change and build their lives, and when they went back out the prison door those aspirations went with them.
“I knew by the grace of God that I was able to help people turn a negative into a positive.
Having been encouraged to take up boxing by his dad as a young teen, he decided to find out if it was something he could do in his 60s.
That is when the team at Assassins Health and Fitness Village asked if he was interested in training for the ultra white-collar boxing event in Aberdeen.
George said: “It is hard work – but we have one life and I want to lead by example that life is for living. ”
When he left prison after seven years he had one set of clothes and another man’s shoes.
“The future is not certain,” he said, “But we must make the most of it.”
The ultra white collar boxing event in the Beach Ballroom takes place on November 11, from 3.30pm onwards, it is already sold out.