European Traditional Sports and Games Association

William BAXTER (1935-2023)

by Biel Pubill Soler in General

Sad news has reached us from Alba, Scotland. He was a great friend to so many people, a defender of the Universal Cultural Heritage values which he knew very well and which he propagated with passion. Wrestling coach and referee, President of the International Federation of Celtic Wrestling (FILC) until 2016, William Baxter died at his home in Milngavie, near Glasgow, on Tuesday June 20, 2023, at the age of 88 years.

Willie started with both Olympic wrestling and traditional wrestling. He has been a player in major events such as the 1966 Commonwealth Games in Kingston, Jamaica; the 1968 Summer Olympics, in Mexico City; the 1972 Summer Olympics, Munich, West Germany.

As a bagpipe player and responsible for sports and leisure for a sector of the city of Glasgow, he was involved in the development of traditional music. He was also a scholar with an encyclopedic knowledge of wrestling styles, Scottish history, music, culture and traditional sports.

Founding president of the FILC, the international federation of Celtic wretling in 1985 (Cardiff), with Guy Jaouen, general secretary, he accompanied the whole adventure which saw the birth of the AEJeST. In November 2001, he was part of the team that finalized the statutes and regulations of the AEJeST. Previously he had created in 1992 the Scottish Wrestling Bond, Scottish federation for the Back-Hold style, then he participated in 1995 in the creation of the ISCA (International Sport and Culture Association) in Denmark. In March 2001, he created the FISSG (Federation of Indigenous Scottish Sports & Games) in Glasgow.

Willie Baxter with Alexander Medved, Ukrainian, 3 times Olympic champion and 7 times world champion in freestyle wrestling; and Jacques Rogge, surgeon and IOC President. 2007, inauguration of the headquarters of the FILA (Olympic wrestling federation), Corsier sur Vevey (Switzerland).

Adorned with his Scottish kilt and sometimes with his bagpipes, he had become a symbolic character recognizable among all. May he rest in peace in the paradise of wrestlers!

Information: Antonio Barreñada García


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