To Scottish football followers of a certain age (that’ll be me for starters) the name of Arthur Montford is shrouded in misty memory. Well, given that one of his trademarks was the checked jacket and in black and white TV days that caused all sorts of weird effects on the domestic TV screen that should be strobed in misty memory.
The news that he has died is sad. One of the last links to the golden age of sport (for which read football, mainly) on television – golden because there was so little of it it was all precious.
Arthur was a stalwart of STV’s Scotsport programme for many years when it was in its pomp.
No-one who heard one of his commentaries could ever forget it. Liberally sprinkled with the phrase “what a stramash” he also rarely missed the opportunity to say “up go the heads” when two or more players contested a ball in the air.
He never hid his allegiance when commentating on Scotland games, “Mind your legs, Billy” when a scything tackle came in on Billy Bremner. This perhaps reached its peak in the crucial qualifier for the 1974 World Cup at Hampden versus Czechoslovakia with his cry of “Disaster for Scotland” when the Czechs scored first. His euphoria when the game was turned round is there for all to hear.
Nevertheless he seemed a gentleman and his background knowledge of the game always shone through.
Today’s presenters have big footsteps to follow.
Arthur Montford, 1929-2014. So it goes.