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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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! Yet it is precisely Montford’s verbal style that he is loved for and his erudite expressions could enliven the most trying of sporting events. He and I never had an argument, though that might have been down to Arthur’s good nature more than mine. Greenock and the academy gave him a lifelong love of the town's club Morton FC and his friend from schooldays, Douglas Rae, owned the club later on in Montford's life. He soon concentrated on the latter, however, and one of the feats he personally claimed was to thwart the BBC’s attempt to have exclusive coverage of the famous Real Madrid v Eintracht Frankfurt European Cup Final at Hampden in 1960 – Montford and the STV crew marched in front of the North Stand and stayed there.

He was an actor, known for Charles Endell, Esq (1979), The Big Match (1968) and This Is Your Life (1955). Montford’s audition in Maryhill Burgh Hall was dismal, but he was given another chance at the Theatre Royal and more than passed muster. Montford may have been an ITV man rather than a BBC man, but for many he was the voice of Scottish football for more than three decades, both as a commentator and as the presenter of Scottish Television’s weekly highlights show Scotsport.BIG names from TV and sport got into a right stramash this afternoon - to remember the life of Arthur Montford. He said that, undeterred, they set up in the North Stand and ended up winning the local battle for viewers. 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.

During the 1978 FIFA World Cup, a technical fault with the feed from Argentina prevented ITV from broadcasting Hugh Johns' commentary on the Scotland-Peru game, so Montford's commentary, originally only intended for Scottish viewers, was used on the entire network (the same fault affected the BBC in reverse, with Scottish viewers having to listen to David Coleman instead of Archie MacPherson). Montford was raised in Greenock and was a lifelong supporter of local football club Greenock Morton. This was an early highlight in a career that would take in half a dozen World Cups, 380 domestic and European games as commentator including 38 Old Firm matches, and some of the most memorable moments in Scottish football – in 1973, he really did say “disaster for Scotland” when goalkeeper Ally Hunter let a shot from Zdenek Nehoda of Czechoslovakia through his hands at Hampden on an unforgettable night when Scotland came from behind to qualify for the 1974 World Cup. Throughout a long and hectic career, He interviewed all the greats from Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player to name amongst a few famous sport players whom Montford had the pleasure of meeting over time. Arthur Montford died at his home on 26 November 2014 at the age 85, after battling illness intermittently over a couple of years.Whilst at school 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. He also presented the Scottish version of World of Sport on STV and Grampian - with live coverage from England of events which were often not shown in their entirety due to the regional sporting events taking place in Scotland, Scotsport Special was also aired on Cup Final day, when the Scottish Cup Final was taking place on the same day as the Wembley event, with the Wrestling also being moved from its pre-lunchtime slot on Cup Final days back to the expected 16:00 slot in Scotland. He became a sports journalist and radio broadcaster before joining Scottish Television in 1957 to present its new sports programme, Scotsport. Though again he did not shout about it, his politics in the 70s favoured the SNP, and he helped the late Margo McDonald in her campaign in Govan in 1973.

But inspired as we all are by all these memories of Arthur, we fall far short of telling the whole story of the life of this most remarkable man. Born the son of a journalist, Sid, who spent a long career at the Glasgow Evening News and Daily Record, Montford was educated at Greenock Academy after the family moved there from Glasgow. LEGENDARY broadcaster Montford died last week aged 85 and famous faces from the worlds of TV and football paid tribute to the "ultimate gentleman" at a church service this afternoon. After retiring from television at the age of 60, Montford left STV and continued to comment on Scottish football, both in the national press and in the matchday programme at Morton, he also concentrated on playing golf at Glasgow Golf Club at Killermont. A diligent rector, he was reckoned by students to be on their side, and at the height of his fame he helped all forms of charity no matter their background, lending his name to good causes such as the Simon Community and Talbot Association.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. She said she had had a “wonderful” father whose only cross word with her had been to tell her it was cold outside as she stepped out as a teenage wearing a mini skirt and platform shoes.

Born in Glasgow, Montford was raised in Greenock where he acquired a lifelong love for the local football team, Morton.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. He served as a director of Greenock Morton [2] for several years under the chairmanship of his close friend Douglas Rae. He tackled the controversy quietly, preferring to show by example that a Christian need not take sides.



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