Wild Porage Oats man who made a splash

HOLLYWOOD bombshell Jayne Mansfield longingly eyed up the muscular young Scot she had lusted after for so long. The amorous couple moved towards her pink bedroom with its huge heart-shaped bed and, for a few moments, it seemed that the inevitable would happen.

But no-nonsense athlete Jay Scott was distracted by the buxom blonde's small dogs yapping at the foot of the bed and he demanded they be ejected.

Indignant, Jayne yelled for her bouncers who lifted Jay off his feet, hauled him out of the star's bedroom and flung him into the heart-shaped swimming pool, kilt and all.

Jay enjoyed worldwide fame in the 1950s and 1960s as a Highland Games heavyweight champion, but modern audiences will know him best as the kilted shot-putter on the boxes of Scott's Porage Oats.

His son, Rob Scott, 40, proudly recounts the story of his father's dalliance with the screen legend, from his home near Penicuik.

"Jayne Mansfield had a thing for dad," he smiles. "He was a playboy and was doing a tour of Canada and the US when she invited him back to her house. The oddest thing was that when he went into the hallway she had a 20ft cardboard cut-out of him."

Brought up on the island of Inchmurrin, Loch Lomond, Jay held a record for the high jump at the Tobermory games.

And at the Luss Games in 1954 he was said to have jogged through the blistering heat from one event to the next, and won almost every local event and most of the open field games. His performances in throws and jumps on bumpy games fields would have put him at the head of any Scottish amateur rankings of the period.

In 1964, he joined other Scots Highland Games personalities for a six-month tour of Canada and the United States where he met Mansfield, who was a fan of his legendary physique.

Rob, pictured below with his dad, recounts a story he heard about his father's athleticism. "He apparently turned up at the Braemar games late for his jump event and they wouldn't let him join. But after the winner had been proclaimed, my father jumped right over the winning height, wearing a mac and a kilt and with two suitcases in his hands."

It was during this time that Jay became known as the face of Scott's Porage Oats.

There has always been a degree of controversy about the use of the image, though.

According to Rob, the first his dad knew about his picture being on the cereal packet was when a friend spotted it in a shop.

And, at the time, there were rumours that he didn't receive any payment from the oats company for the use of his image. "I think he only got a one-off payment when he approached them," says Rob.

Jay eventually married actress Fay Lenore, a Scots star of stage and screen as feted as he, when both were in their 30s. She had spotted him on the field at Braemar and six months later he had given her waterskiing lessons. "There was a lot of newspaper coverage when they hooked up," says Rob. "The headlines said: 'Tarzan meets Jane'."

Rob's parents were notable by their frequent absences during his childhood. "I never saw them," he says sadly. "It was a quiet life where I got on with my own thing. My mother thought that little boys should be seen and not heard."

It was a lonely upbringing for Rob and his sister Shona, now 47, and the siblings spent a lot of time with nannies while their parents were off travelling at the height of their fame.

When Rob's mother and father were home, he remembers a house filled with showbiz types such as Rikki Fulton, Jimmy Logan and June Whitfield. The golden couple were often recognised while out shopping, particularly in Glasgow and on the west coast. "They would get stopped in the street and it used to annoy them. I think that's why we lived in the middle of nowhere."

An active man who enjoyed farming and construction as well as sport, Jay won a Civic Trust award for helping to build the Duck Bay Marina, near Balloch.

Jay died of a heart attack, just days before his 67th birthday in 1997. It was a premature end for a man whose later life was marred by tragedy, in particular a brain injury sustained in a tractor accident at the age of 42, from which he never really recovered.

Rob, a mechanic who is starting his own plumbing and bathroom fitting business, is taking part in the Czech Wrecks rally on Thursday , driving to Prague in a "Batmobile" to raise money for a brain injury charity.

It's a cause close to Rob's heart after he witnessed his father's suffering.

After the farming accident, Jay, who was 6ft 2in and weighed 15 stone, began to suffer from epileptic seizures every few days which would last for hours. "The doctors gave him three years to live but because he was such a big strong man he lasted 20 years," adds Rob.

Rob describes his father before the brain injury as happy, playful, energetic and very sociable, but afterwards the adept builder became highly frustrated.

"He had built whole houses and he built a caravan park and a big log cabin on the farm where we lived in Aberfoyle," explains Rob. "But in the last ten or 15 years of his life he couldn't even hang a door, which really got him down. He gave up."

Jay's was not the only family tragedy. Just months after the tractor accident - when Rob was nine - Fay was in a car crash in which her nose was ripped off, her jaw was smashed and she needed extensive plastic surgery.

"She had her face rebuilt," says Rob. "She looks like a completely different person now.

"Before she had a very straight, elegant nose and now she has a little pointy one. The first time I saw her in hospital I walked straight past her."

Fay, now 79, was so traumatised by her disfigurement that she moved the family to a bed and breakfast in Portobello. "She couldn't face people," says Rob.

After his parents' accidents, Rob's relationship with them grew even more remote. "Especially after their respective accidents, they stopped interacting with me so I stayed out of their way," he says.

Slowly, Fay rebuilt her acting career - eventually she found new acclaim playing Sneddon's housekeeper, Mrs Russell, in television drama Take the High Road - and in recent years, mother and son have grown closer too.

A self-confessed "petrolhead" who has done four European tours on a motorbike, Rob is looking forward to heading off on the rally, accompanied by two friends.

But he senses the irony of his love for motors, the very things that wreaked so much tragedy for his parents - and for Jayne Mansfield, who died a gruesome death in a car accident.

"Maybe it's my way of beating what happened to my parents," he shrugs. "My dad enjoyed really nice, fast cars and so do I."


DESIGNED as a bit of fun, the rally car that Rob Scott and co-drivers Adrian McCarthy and Kerry Trainer are driving to Prague has been customised to evoke the Batmobile.

Indeed, the event promises to be a hoot all the way because, under the rules of the Czech Wrecks rally, competitors have to obtain a car for less than 100 and complete silly set tasks all the way to Prague.

The Edinburgh drivers have covered their Vauxhall Omega in bat emblems and stuck rocket launchers, made from soil pipes, on the roof. They have even stuck a "rocket booster" made from a plant pot on the boot.

They are taking part in the rally to collect funds for the Child Brain Injury Trust (CBIT) which supports children, young people and families affected by an acquired brain injury and offers training for those working in health, education and social services.

To sponsor the team, visit www.cbituk.org. For more information on CBIT call 0845 601 4939.