Arthur Montford

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Gorgiewave
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Arthur Montford

Post by Gorgiewave » Wed Nov 26, 2014 10:50 pm

Arthur Montford has died. I was born in 1982 so he was not a major figure in my football following, but he is a familiar and well-liked figure from videos and for older fans.

The Daily Record has noted his passing in a short article. I imagine an obituary will be published tomorrow or soon after.

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scott ... ur-4702431
"He took about half an hour to do it, but he did it!"

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Re: Arthur Montford

Post by the hibLOG » Wed Nov 26, 2014 11:19 pm

Definitely within my era. His jackets were in direct contrast to his commentary style, though both could occasionally take you by surprise.
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Re: Arthur Montford

Post by Scottish » Thu Nov 27, 2014 11:15 am

This is sad news indeed. Growing up in the 1960s, Arthur - along with Bob Crampsey - was for me the TV face of Scottish football and 'Scotsport' was a 'must watch' show. No doubt there will be much talk of his checked jackets - the studio equivalent of Archie MacPherson's sheepskins - and "stramashes" in the wake of his passing but there's one story I would love to find out if it were true or not.

It has long been said (the notion was certainly in place by the mid-1970s if not before) that at one Scotland game being covered by Arthur, that he let slip the mask of impartiality - never the strongest of constructs for him, it must be said - with the injunction during the commentary to "watch your back, Denis" to Denis Law.

True or not? It would be lovely if it were and a fine farewell to a genuine legend if someone, somewhere could find the phrase in question.

RIP Arthur. You will be missed.

PS For Gorgiewave and those too young to have seen him, here's Arthur in action, delivering results from no less than ELEVEN friendly results in less than a minute. Three things to note: 1. It was most certainly not a cliché about the checked jackets. 2. Yes, that was the correct attendance figure from the Celtic v Spurs game (which was part of the celebrations to commemorate Queen's Park's centenary). 3. Note how he saved his beloved Morton's result till last, almost as if he couldn't bear reading out news of their defeat.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7lKP1vRuLI

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Re: Arthur Montford

Post by Scottish » Thu Nov 27, 2014 11:34 am

No doubt many will be watching this piece of commentary today, from the Wembley win in 1963. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLNTDlHHdjg

Other than "stramash," all the Montford trademarks are there, like "sensation" and "tragedy" (though in this instance it wasn't just a goal lost but a genuine tragedy as captain Eric Caldow suffered a double leg fracture and was never the same player again). In the "Scotsport Book For Boys" Montford relates the breathless - but successful - efforts to get the film of the game (finished approximately 4.45) from London to Glasgow in order to be shown on 'Scotsport' that evening. The match wasn't live on TV and radio commentary covered the second half only. There was almost a full card of league fixtures that day, and highlights of the game were broadcast by both the BBC and STV that night. 'Scotsport' got in ahead of the Beeb by five minutes, starting at 10.05, thus ensuring the bulk of the audience was with the commercial channel (only two channels in those days but for some strange reason BBC was Channel 3 and STV Channel 10 as if we already lived in the age of satellite TV). It really was the televisual dark ages with the BBC closing down at 11.25 and STV just 35 minutes later.

Some of the players on display in that match went on to become legends of the game - Banks, Greaves, Charlton, Moore on the England side and Law, Baxter, Mackay and White for the Scots. Those were two teams of high quality.

Gorgiewave
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Re: Arthur Montford

Post by Gorgiewave » Thu Nov 27, 2014 12:07 pm

scottish wrote: It has long been said (the notion was certainly in place by the mid-1970s if not before) that at one Scotland game being covered by Arthur, that he let slip the mask of impartiality - never the strongest of constructs for him, it must be said - with the injunction during the commentary to "watch your back, Denis" to Denis Law.

True or not? It would be lovely if it were and a fine farewell to a genuine legend if someone, somewhere could find the phrase in question.
I don't know if this is what you have in mind but from about 1:38, no attempt is made at impartiality in describing a Law attack.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJP_Z75PJxE
"He took about half an hour to do it, but he did it!"

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Re: Arthur Montford

Post by Scottish » Thu Nov 27, 2014 12:19 pm

That's the one. I was at the match and never heard it at the time but IIRC it was shown live then later again that evening. I've mixed up two quotes attributed to him - the "Come on Denis" and the "Watch your back" which I think was aimed at Billy Bremner.

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Re: Arthur Montford

Post by Snuff » Sat Nov 29, 2014 10:23 am

Arthur was always an absolute gentleman.

He telephoned me one evening, to congratulate me on a piece I had written on Scottish ice hockey, and, when I mentioned that my father-in-law had been one of the pioneering Canadian ice hockey professionals in Scotland before World War II, I later got another call, from his father, who had covered the sport then, with reminisces about my by then late father-in-law.

Arthur was also very supportive of younger journalists, in his days as a Morton director, he would frequently leave the directors box to have a word with the young and not-so-young reporters covering the games.

But, his main love was golf. Get him started on golf and the great golfrers he had interviewed and it was glorious to hear his sheer enthusiasm, not forgetting his great depth of knowledge of that game and its history.

They say you should never meet your heroes, but Arthur was one hero it was a joy to meet.
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Re: Arthur Montford

Post by Skyline Drifter » Sun Nov 30, 2014 1:32 pm

I never really saw or heard much of Arthur Montford's commentaries. We didn't get Scotsport as we were served by Border tv and got the "Big Match" on ITV instead. However, I heard him occasionally. I did however have the pleasure of meeting him in the Boardroom at Morton a few times and he was, as others have described him, an absolute gentleman. I'm sure he'll be a big miss at Cappielow.

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Re: Arthur Montford

Post by Boris57 » Mon Dec 01, 2014 6:43 pm

After winning the Scotsport Annual competition in 1974 I was invited onto Scotsport in May 1974 to be given my prize - an all-paid trip for 2 to see Scotland play in the World Cup finals in West Germany. I'd only just turned 17 & Arthur was absolutely brilliant at putting a nervous laddie at ease before the cameras rolled. I remember saying to Arthur that I knew he was a Morton supporter - "GREENOCK Morton" he politely but emphatically pointed out!!! Marvellous man, superb journalist & TV presenter & like so many folk of a certain vintage I grew up with him as the voice (& jacket..) of fitba on Scotsport. They don't make them like that anymore.

Incidentally, it was the final edition of Scotsport of the season & as well as Scotland manager Wullie Ormond the "panel" (if I rember correctly) discussing Scotland's chances included George Farm, Davie White & Alex Cameron. Long time ago!

And I still have the slip that accompanied my £5 "artistes fee" for my appearance. To be kept for Inland Revenue purposes it said. Lot of money back then a good old £5. I'd just started my first job a few months earlier (funnilly enough wth said Inland Revenue!) & my take home pay was just over £9 per week.

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Re: Arthur Montford

Post by Scottish » Mon Dec 01, 2014 7:17 pm

Boris57 wrote: I'd just started my first job a few months earlier (funnilly enough wth said Inland Revenue!) & my take home pay was just over £9 per week.
Friend of mine started at East Kilbride the year before and another mate got a job down the pit. Both of them were told they had jobs for life. My mate at the Inland Revenue is still there........

£9 was robbery though. I worked from May-September that year (No "Gap Years" then, everybody started work the Monday after leaving school and left the Friday before going into higher education) in the office in Kilmarnock Bus Station and my bottom line was £11-50 which I considered so pathetic I topped it up with bingo-calling at night. Well, also the fact that I was the only male under forty employed there and their were about ten teenage girl checkers. That might have had something to do with it. I could make £12 per week from that, excluding tips from grannies who thought I was bringing them luck. All in all I made at least £25 per week but was still skint by the following Tuesday or Wednesday.

One weird thing I recall was having to sign the Official Secrets Act which was explained to me as being necessary as buses could be requisitioned in wartime and no one wanted the Russians to know how many the Western SMT possessed!

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Re: Arthur Montford

Post by the hibLOG » Mon Dec 01, 2014 9:29 pm

scottish wrote:... I topped it up with bingo-calling at night. Well, also the fact that I was the only male under forty employed there and their were about ten teenage girl checkers. That might have had something to do with it. I could make £12 per week from that, excluding tips from grannies who thought I was bringing them luck. All in all I made at least £25 per week but was still skint by the following Tuesday or Wednesday.
Aye, aye, never mind the money, did you get yer Nat King? :wink:
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Re: Arthur Montford

Post by Scottish » Mon Dec 01, 2014 11:39 pm

the hibLOG wrote:
Aye, aye, never mind the money, did you get yer Nat King? :wink:
One of me. Ten of them. Even I couldn't fall off.

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Re: Arthur Montford

Post by Snuff » Tue Dec 02, 2014 8:36 pm

Gentlemen,

Enough of this salacious inuendo. Scottish, being a well-brought-up boy from Troon and a Killie fan, would be too-much of a gentleman to ever give even a whiff of any improper behavious towards the young ladies in the Western SMT office.

In any case, they, being Kilmarnock ladies, would make all the running, and tell him, in no uncertain terms, what was required of him!!

But, to raise the tone of this thread and get back to the subject in hand: did anyone else notice ARthur's death notice in the Herald on MOnday included the information that his memorial service, in a church in Bearsden would be: "the final stramash"?
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Re: Arthur Montford

Post by Scottish » Tue Dec 02, 2014 11:03 pm

Snuff wrote:Gentlemen,

Enough of this salacious inuendo. Scottish, being a well-brought-up boy from Troon and a Killie fan, would be too-much of a gentleman to ever give even a whiff of any improper behavious towards the young ladies in the Western SMT office.

In any case, they, being Kilmarnock ladies, would make all the running, and tell him, in no uncertain terms, what was required of him!!

Two points. Firstly, Dundonald, not Troon, if you please. Secondly, no offence to the two very nice but approaching retirement age ladies in the office but I was referring to the George bingo hall.

Though your last sentence has more than a grain of truth in it.

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Re: Arthur Montford

Post by Aten » Fri Dec 05, 2014 2:30 am

scottish wrote:PS For Gorgiewave and those too young to have seen him, here's Arthur in action, delivering results from no less than ELEVEN friendly results in less than a minute. Three things to note: 1. It was most certainly not a cliché about the checked jackets. 2. Yes, that was the correct attendance figure from the Celtic v Spurs game (which was part of the celebrations to commemorate Queen's Park's centenary). 3. Note how he saved his beloved Morton's result till last, almost as if he couldn't bear reading out news of their defeat.
I well remember that game, a commemoration of the centenary of Queen’s Park. I had the privilege of a seat in the main stand; centre, courtesy of my grandfather who was secretary of Ashfield F.C. at the time. (My uncle now holds that dubious honour presently.)

This was the Lisbon Lions against a Spurs team containing Jennings, Knowles, Mullery, MacKay, Greaves, Gilzean and Venables – no wonder almost 92,000 people turned up to see it. A great advert for open attacking football and friendly or not a highly entertaining game. If I remember correctly Celtic hit the woodwork late on twice and could have won.

It was on the memories of this game that when I lived and worked in London during the late seventies, early eighties, I regularly went to White Hart Lane despite the fact that Highbury was much easier to get to. Sadly, the quality and entertainment value of recent Spurs teams fails to live up to the standards of that great sixties team.

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