SIR Sean Connery is 90 today, and the man who has been voted the greatest Living Scot, the best James Bond and was once the sexiest man alive – he was in his sixties at the time – is spending time at his home in the Bahamas with his wife Lady Micheline née Roquebrune.

When he received the Freedom of Edinburgh at the Usher Hall in 1991, as he rose to accept the award from Lord Provost Eleanor McLaughlin – he used to be a bouncer at the dance hall she frequented – a voice roared from the audience “Welcome home Big Tam!”

His broad smile never left his face afterwards. For he was indeed home, and the man born Thomas Connery was always Big Tam to his pals.

READ MORE: Sean Connery is voted the best-ever James Bond actor

His acting career which was sadly curtailed in 2003 brought him global fame and a knighthood, but Big Tam never lost his identity as the man born in Fountainbridge in Edinburgh who started out in life as a milkman’s apprentice and coffin polisher.

So as much as we can, here is Sean Connery, lifelong supporter of Scottish independence, in his own words.


“I LEFT Scotland when I was 16 because I had no qualifications for anything but the Navy, having left school at 13,” he said.

He joined the Navy but was invalided out with ulcers. He often claimed the only thing he got from the Navy was his tattoos – “Mum and Dad” and “Scotland Forever”.

He took up bodybuilding and was a lifeguard, artist’s model and bouncer before he got a chance break as an extra in an Edinburgh theatre that led to him going on tour with South Pacific. During the tour the cast played an exhibition match with Manchester United and manager Sir Matt Busby was so impressed with Connery he offered him a trial. At the age of 23 Connery made his decision and stayed with the theatre.

Not that he was ever a drama college type, saying: “To cultivate an English accent is already a departure away from what you are.”

Another saying of his: “I am not an Englishman, I was never an Englishman, and I don’t ever want to be one. I am a Scotsman. I was a Scotsman and I will always be one.”

Nor have his early views on class difference changed: “I just think the most difficult thing to displace is privilege.

“Your background and environment is with you for life. No question about that.”


ABSOLUTELY. He once said: “Everything I have done or attempted to do for Scotland has always been for her benefit, never my own and I defy anyone to prove otherwise.”

He sees independence as natural: “I’ve always been hopeful about Scotland’s prospects. And I now believe more than ever that Scotland is within touching distance of achieving independence and equality.

“Scotland should be nothing less than equal with all the other nations of the world.”


IF all he had ever done was set up the Scottish International Education Trust, which he did with his fee for Diamonds are Forever, that would still be a magnificent contribution to Scotland.

But he has done much more, and in 1997 he campaigned in the Scottish devolution referendum. He recalled it two years later when campaigning for the SNP in the first Holyrood elections.

He said: “When I campaigned with Labour, the SNP and the Liberal Democrats there were no Tories of course for the referendum vote, there was a spirit and a positive enthusiasm.

“If I was asked, ‘who do you think will win this election?’, my answer would be, ‘hopefully Scotland’.

“We are about to have our own parliament. If it is to succeed it must be democratic and all the voices of all the parties must be heard. We have waited nearly 300 years. My hope is that it will evolve with dignity and integrity and it will truly reflect the new voice of Scotland.”


INDEED but usually by people who did not know the facts: “I still pay full tax when I work in England and the same when I work in America.”

He lived in Marbella and now the Bahamas because as he said, he spent ten months of the year working and needed a holiday home.

He also took a swipe at his critics: “Only four percent of all the companies owned in Scotland have their head offices in Scotland.”


“I AM not a politician and I have no intention of being one,” but he said later “I’m an easy target because of my political opinions”.

He has been content just to lend his support, saying in 2015: “It’s been an astonishing journey with first Alex and now Nicola. The main thing is that Scotland is now rated worldwide. The people — the real guardians of Scotland — spoke in the referendum. They spoke again by majority in the election. They will not be prevented from speaking again. Scotland’s future is in Scotland’s hands.”

READ MORE: 'A complete abomination': Stephen Daisley blasted for new Act of Union idea

His most famous statement was: “My position on Scotland has never changed in 30-odd years. Scotland should be nothing less than equal with all the other nations of the world.”

He also knows our politics in Scotland are unquestionably skewed, once saying: “There’s something fundamentally wrong with a system where there’s been 17 years of a Tory government and the people of Scotland have voted Socialist for 17 years. That hardly seems democratic.”