CHARLES Fraser Riach was one of the great athletes of his day, in the last golden age of javelin throwing enjoyed by Scotland. He was born into a sporting family; his sister, Nancy Riach, was a British record-breaking swimmer. Both were members of the old Motherwell swimming club which produced a succession of champions, and Fraser was an accomplished swimmer himself, before switching to the javelin.

He was not a big man, but had immense arm strength. He was a legend as a physical education student at Jordanhill. During charities week he walked the length of Glasgow's Sauchiehall Street on his hands, between the tram lines, holding up a procession of trams behind him. These were gleefully invaded by students rattling their cans.

Riach won eight Scottish javelin titles, and from 1951 to 1966 was only once out of the medals at the Scottish championships. Duels between him and Watsonian Ross Mackenzie helped improve the Scottish record by more than 10 metres over a decade.

From 1951-60 they had five titles apiece. Riach set three Scots records and finished with a best of 61.88m. That was achieved in 1960, a distance beaten by only two Scottish throwers last year. Mackenzie finally gained the upper hand with 62.46m, a Scottish record that lasted for a decade. They were the first two Scots beyond 200ft and 60m, but Riach was the more consistent.

His elder sister, Nancy, who died at the age of 20, was one of only four women inducted into the Scottish Sport Hall of Fame, on St Andrew's Day last year. Riach accepted the nomination on her behalf, and spoke of his pride at the recognition she was afforded.

''She was hailed in her day as the British Empire's finest swimmer,'' said Fraser, ''but sadly she never had the chance to prove it.'' She set 28 Scottish and GB records, and died at the European championships in Monte Carlo in 1947. She was pulled from the water at the end of her 100m freestyle race, having contracted polio. She never regained conciousness.

Fraser had a distinguished career on the PE staff at Glasgow University. He died aged 74 on May 14.