IAN Archer, one of Scotland's most prominent sports journalists and television pundits, died yesterday, aged 59.

His death was mourned by his many colleagues and friends in sport and the media. Mr Archer had fought a lengthy battle with cancer of the liver.

The former Herald sports journalist was widely recognised as a superb writing talent and a man who revolutionised the art of sports writing in this country.

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In 1975, during his time with The Herald, he received the Scottish Art Council's Munro award for outstanding achievement in journalism. It was one of many awards he received.

During his 40-year career in journalism, Mr Archer was also a regular pundit over two decades on Scottish Television's Scotsport and at one point presented the programme.

He also worked for many other national newspapers and was regularly heard on sports and light entertainment programmes on radio.

He wrote a number of books including: We'll Support You Ever More; The Impertinent Saga of Scottish Fitba; and From the Eye in the Sky, a book about Glasgow.

Mr Archer was born in Maryhill, Glasgow, but his family moved to Warwickshire where he attended Rugby public school. He studied law at Oxford but then the writing bug bit and he returned to work in Scotland. Mr Archer is survived by his wife, Irene, and two daughters.