Scot’s F1 legend to open up on his struggle with dyslexia


Formula One legend, Sir Jackie Stewart OBE, will make a rare appearance in Scotland this month when he will talk about his personal experiences of living with dyslexia.


The three time F1 world champion will appear at Queen Margaret University (QMU) in Edinburgh on Wednesday 26 November for a public event aimed to raise awareness of dyslexia and improve access to higher education.


The event, titled ‘An Audience with Sir Jackie Stewart’ will offer guests the opportunity to ask The Flying Scot direct questions about how he deals with the learning disability.


Sir Jackie’s dyslexia was undiagnosed throughout school.


The 75 year-old is President of Dyslexia Scotland and Vice President of the British Dyslexia Association, and is a long standing campaigner for better support for people affected by the condition.


Sir Jackie left school at 15 years of age, but his dyslexia was not diagnosed until much later.


Sir Jackie was a successful advocate of F1 saftey improvements and is now Vice President of the British Dyslexia Association



Commenting on his dyslexia and his support for the QMU event, Sir Jackie Stewart, said: “The world of education has a lot to answer for.


“There is still an enormous amount of work to be done for people with learning disabilities to be looked after sufficiently well for them to have the benefits that will allow them to enjoy the opportunities to be given the help and assistance required to exercise their full potential in life.”


He is still spooked to this day by the ghosts of the 57 drivers he saw die on the racetrack during his racing career.


Professor Petra Wend, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Queen Margaret University, will host the event. She said: “QMU is committed to supporting students with dyslexia as part of our continued work to improve access to higher education.


“It is therefore a great honour for us to welcome Sir Jackie Stewart to the University to talk about his personal experiences of Dyslexia.


“We look forward to welcoming our friends and members of the local community to this special event who have an interest in Sir Jackie, dyslexia and higher education.”


Sir Jackie Stewart recieved an honorary degree from Edinburgh Napier University at Usher Hall in Edinburgh last year
The three time world champion recieved an honorary degree from Edinburgh Napier University at Usher Hall in Edinburgh last year


The free event will begin at 3pm in the Halle Lecture Theatre at QMU on 26 November.


Racing legend Sir Jackie Stewart with son Mark, unvieling his 1971 championship winning Tyrrell at The National Museum of Scotland.


Sir Jackie is Vice-President of the Scottish International Education Trust and holds eight honorary doctorates from US, Scottish and English universities. He was awarded an OBE in 1972 and knighted in 2001.


He raced in F1 for eight years and has more F1 World Championship titles than any other British driver. He first title came in 1969 with French racing team Matra and again in 1971 and 1973 with British team Tyrrell.


Stewart says the dead drivers appear before his eyes in what he calls ‘visitations’ most days, having witnessed their deaths during his racing career. Despite this the philosophical 69-year-old says he doesn’t fear his own death in the slightest.


The period in which Sir Jackie raced was one of the most dangerous in the sport’s history when the chances of a driver who raced for five years being killed were two out of three.


Having cheated death on a number of occasions, including a 165mph crash at Spa in Belgium in 1966, Stewart became a one man advocate to improve F1 safety measures despite strong opposition from track owners and teams.


His campaigning to improve safety is considered to have saved countless lives. He is famously quoted as saying: “I would have been a much more popular World Champion if I had always said what people wanted to hear. I might have been dead, but definitely more popular,”