SAD to hear of the death of retired football commentator David Francey whose distinctive passionate voice was always recognisable.

The story was told that BBC Scotland in the 1970s held a David Francey soundalike competition.

David himself secretly sent in a tape – and came third. The winner simply repeated “Jimmy Johnstone” in frantic Francey-style diction for three minutes without pausing.

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Having a ball

AND John Scott in Port Glasgow recalls: “David Francey was once commentating from a table at the side of the pitch.

“Suddenly there was a thump, followed by silence, then after some seconds he came back with the words, ‘Sorry for the break in commentary. I have just been hit in the face with the ball. I don’t know who it was, but he won’t be having a very good game the next time I’m commentating’.”

Dram nuisance

OUR tourist stories remind Martin Morrison in Sutherland of an Italian visitor struggling to get round the names of whiskies in a local bar – Bruichladdich, Bunnahabhain and Caol Ila spring to mind.

Eventually the barman, impatient with the wait as the chap failed miserably, did his bit for Scottish hospitality by telling him: “If you can’t pronounce it, you can’t have it.”

Monkey business

WE asked for your shipyard stories, and Hugh Campbell tells us: “A foreman checking the work of a pipe-fitter was heard to comment, ‘Cry yersel’ a fitter son? Ye couldny fit a nut in a monkey’s mooth!’”

Steaming mad

AND Joe O’Rourke in Port Glasgow recalls: “I was a shop steward in Scott Lithgow’s Kingston yard when the company decided to step up security because of thefts.

“So one Monday several guys built like all-in wrestlers appeared in the yard; all walking around with their chests stuck out, looking very menacing indeed.

“Well that was until they went for their tea-break at 10 o’clock; someone had stolen the electric kettle out of of their office.”

Choose trams

READER Chris O’Reilly, pondering on Edinburgh’s latest crisis, muses: “Is there any truth in the rumour that well-kent Edinburgh writer Irvine Welsh is to publish a new book entitled Tramspotting?”

Naked ambition

AN exhibition by figurative painter Hazel Bowman opens tonight at Christo’s Great Western Road gallery in Glasgow with many paintings and sketches of ballet dancers.

We hear that one of the dancers, invited along tonight, is in for a surprise as he was originally drawn in his underwear, but Hazel used her artistic licence to take them off in her final works.

There’s not many men, it has to be said, who have their pants taken off by women and not be aware of it.