Bring Me the Sports Jacket of Arthur Montford: An Adventure Through Scottish Football

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Bring Me the Sports Jacket of Arthur Montford: An Adventure Through Scottish Football

Bring Me the Sports Jacket of Arthur Montford: An Adventure Through Scottish Football

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Golfing friend Ken Wallace said Arthur had insisted his funeral should be on a Monday or Wednesday, so as not to clash with the pair’s outings on a Tuesday and Thursday at Glasgow Golf Club where Arthur was a member for 42 years.

BIG names from TV and sport got into a right stramash this afternoon - to remember the life of Arthur Montford. Montford began as a journalist and radio presenter before the opening of the STV studios at the Theatre Royal offered another opportunity. He attended Greenock Academy, where he was one of a band of rebels who tried — unsuccessfully — to introduce soccer to the rugby-playing school. Although he was most associated with football, he covered a number of other sports for ITV, notably golf. In a moving tribute his daughter Vivienne, 58, told how her dad would read her bedtime stories which were largely made up and involved a cast of characters including her teddies.But his big break which made him a household name in Scotland came when he was chosen to present Scotsport (originally known as Sports Desk), which became the world’s longest-running sports programme. Voted in as Rector of Glasgow University in 1974, Montford had a tough act to follow in Jimmy Reid, the Clydeside shipyard union leader whose rectorial address in 1971 is one of the greatest Scottish speeches of all time.

He was an actor, known for Charles Endell, Esq (1979), The Big Match (1968) and This Is Your Life (1955). During his time on Scotsport, Montford became famous for his trademark checkered pattern sports jackets, and some classic lines of football commentary, including What a Stramash! He became a sports journalist and radio broadcaster before joining Scottish Television in 1957 to present its new sports programme, Scotsport. Sports coverage at the time could be mired by technical faults and of course, the weather, but processing the reels of film in time for broadcast proved the most risky aspect for the presenters.Indeed, with Archie McPherson and others at the BBC, he was one of the pioneers of sports broadcasting in Scotland, his career covering the era of canned film of games that were rushed to the Glasgow studios to be broadcast to cathode ray tubes, up to the age of constant live satellite transmissions, electronic video machines and instant replays. He chose a hymn - The Day Thou Gavest Lord, is Ended - because it was played at his mother Peggy’s funeral in 1977. Thanks to his friend, Douglas Rae, at whose house Montford’s second marriage took place with Rae as best man, Montford was appointed director of Morton FC, and latterly became honorary vice-president. Despite being committed to Scotsport, Montford continued to continuity announce with STV by covering irregular shifts as a relief continuity announcer (often out-of-vision, sometimes in-vision) on occasions of holidays, illness or other staff absences - where he would often read the lunchtime and evening Scottish news bulletins, announce the daytime and evening programmes as billed and close the station at around midnight with, of course, the friendly and reassuring closedown sequence when “we hoped you enjoyed our programmes today and you will join us again in the morning at 9. His recollections of some of golf's greatest players, moments, and tournaments were popular with the magazine's readers and he was the title's longest-serving regular contributor.

He would often read the evening Scottish news bulletin, announce the evening programmes and, on Wednesdays, present the midweek magazine programme, Scotsport. Arthur Montford (1929–2014) was a Scottish broadcaster, best-known for his 32-year tenure as the presenter of Scottish Television's Scotsport. It was a golden era in Scottish football, and Montford was at the heart of it from the late 1950s through the glory days of the 1970s to the late 1980s, always finding something positive to say about the game – even in Argentina in 1978. Montford told the Academy rector, a Mr William Dewar, that he would become a journalist and after national service in the army, he joined the News as an office boy, before making the graduation through the ranks to reporter, working for the News, then the Daily Record before joining the sports desk of the Evening Times. Montford was President and captain of Glasgow Golf Club, and was Rector of the University of Glasgow, 1974-1977.These went well, and when BBC sports editor John Wilson joined Scottish Television in 1957, he asked Montford to join him in the new commercial visual age. Montford also commentated or presented items on many other sports, particularly ice hockey – a favourite of his – and golf, where his work for ITV brought him to the notice of a wider public. He also presented Radio Clyde’s version of Desert Island Discs (billed as Montford's Meeting Place) where he interviewed many famous people who dropped by for a chat with the STV legend that was an unmissable sample of Clyde's weekend schedule in the 1970s and 1980s as well as writing the Scotsport Annual among other books.

He remained as anchorman for 32 years, hosting more than 2,000 editions of Scotsport, during which time he became famous for his trademark checkered pattern sports jackets, and some classic lines of football commentary, including "What a Stramash! He interviewed all the greats from Bobby Jones and Ben Hogan to Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player.I just went up, did my ad-lib, did my wee bit to camera, did an interview and I thought no more about it. While there he covered numerous sports, but it was football that became his main sport, and he was asked by the BBC’s well-known producer Peter Thomson to do some match reports for radio. Then, at the age of 28, he was signed-up as an announcer with the new commercial broadcaster Scottish Television ahead of its launch on 31 August 1957. A couple of weeks later I thought no more about it, but he invited me back to the Theatre Royal: really to make the numbers up for someone whom they had in mind, but at the last minute he decided he didn't want the job. I met him on 2 January many years ago when I played junior football for Downfield Juniors in Dundee.

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