DAVID Hodge, who has died at the age of 82, was one of the most

popular lords provost Glasgow has had, a man of the people whose own

problems as a council house tenant with ill-fitting windows made news

and who characteristically demitted office by sliding down the Italian

marble bannisters of the City Chambers.

The current Lord Provost, Mrs Susan Baird, said yesterday: ''David was

always one of my favourite colleagues. He gave me a lot of help and

assistance when I first came on to the council.''

Mr Hodge first served on Glasgow Corporation in 1971 and was chairman

of the magistrates committee, becoming chairman of the licensing

committee after local government reorganisation in 1974.

He was chairman of Glasgow Constituency Labour Party and secretary of

the Labour group on the council before becoming Lord Provost from May

1977 to 1980.

It was a period during which he had a high public profile and which

laid the groundwork for the promotion of Glasgow as a tourist

destination for the Glasgow's Miles Better campaign during the term of

his successor, Michael Kelly.

A retired insurance agent, Mr Hodge had also had a career as a

footballer, playing outside left for Morton in the 1930s. During the war

he served with RAF Coastal Command.

His enthusiasm for sport survived into his time as Lord Provost, when

his enthusiasm for boxing coincided with the career of Jim Watt. After

he had handed over the chain of office, he served on the area committee

of the British Boxing Board of Control.

Picked as a safe candidate for the provostship by the Labour group, Mr

Hodge proved to be a bit of a dark horse who was not afraid of

controversy. The Labour whip was withdrawn from him after he entertained

the South African ambassador to lunch at the City Chambers.

The issue went as far as the Labour Party conference, but Mr Hodge was

unabashed, choosing to repeat the exercise and then accepting a trip to

South Africa for himself and his wife after he left office.

Only days before he slid down the bannisters he was still causing

controversy by entertaining Russian ambassador Nikolai Lunkov shortly

after the invasion of Afghanistan.

These rows did not diminish the general approval for his contribution

to the image of the city. He was awarded in CBE in the 1980 New Year

Honours list, and also received an honorary Doctor of Laws from

Strathclyde University.

A Roman Catholic, he was entertained by the Grand Lodge of the Orange

Order, and a Texan trade delegation made him a freeman of El Paso.

At the end of his term in office a Glasgow Herald editorial suggested

that he should be appointed an ambassador for Scotland. Instead he

became a public relations adviser for builder Frank Lafferty.

His wife Mary, who accompanied him to most civic functions and

deputised for him during a short period of illness in 1980, died two

years ago. The couple had three children.