Sports commentator and broadcaster.

Born: 1929; Died: November 26, 2014

Arthur Montford, who has died at the age of 85, was a sports commentator and broadcaster who was the face of Scotsport for 32 years.

Born in Glasgow in 1929, he was brought up in Greenock and became a lifelong supporter of his local team, Morton Football Club, eventually becoming a club director and honorary vice-president - a post he held until his death.

The young Arthur Montford followed in the family tradition in journalism and worked as both a journalist and radio broadcaster before, in August 1957, being approached to join Scottish Television as a continuity announcer. An initial reluctance to move to the new company was quickly overcome by the realisation his weekly wage would increase from £14 to £20.

He was soon fronting the new twice-weekly Scotsport programme (it was originally called Sports Desk), which quickly brought the presenter to the public's attention, as did his enthusiasm and knowledgeable commentary on sports events, particularly football matches.

The games were being screened on a regular weekly basis for the first time, bringing the action into the homes of football fans in flickering black-and-white images.

Conditions were, it is fair to say, basic - camera and recording equipment were not of the same standard as they are in the 21st century - but Montford's enthusiasm in the commentary position made for enjoyable viewing and often it would be his words and descriptions that were remembered just as much as the action. He was always positive, following sound advice he had received from his father early in his career.

An absolute gentleman on screen and off, Montford was instantly recognisable with his chequered-pattern sports jacket, which he appeared to always wear on screen.

Amongst those who joined him as commentators on the sports programme were the likes of Bob Crampsey and Alex Cameron, who themselves would go on to enjoy distinguished careers in sports writing and broadcasting.

In those early days, Scotsport was broadcast from the Theatre Royal and many was the time - due to the primitive working conditions - that Montford found himself apologising for the loss of film "somewhere in Hope Street".

He was an early proponent of set-piece interviews and amongst the legendary figures interviewed by Montford were golfers Arnold Palmer, Ben Hogan and Gary Player, and from another, earlier, Scottish football perspective, Mattha Gemmell of Clyde. His football commentaries and phrases were the stuff of legend - "what a stramash!" was a particular favourite.

Scotland's World Cup Qualifier against Czechoslovakia at Hampden in 1973 was one match where Montford later admitted he had made the cardinal error of allowing himself to become personally involved with comments such as "Watch your back Billy" and "Watch your legs, Denis" as Scotland qualified for the World Cup Finals for the first time since 1958.

Another World Cup Qualifier four years later - this time at Anfield against Wales - saw Montford admitting "I can hardly watch" as Don Masson prepared to take a crucial second-half penalty, then later proclaiming "It's there … Argentina here we come!" as Kenny Dalglish made it 2-0 in the closing stages.

From 1974-77, he served as rector of Glasgow University, the first sports journalist to be so honoured. He succeeded Jimmy Reid.

By the 1980s, Montford was fronting the new Sunday afternoon hour-long Scotsport programme, a position he held until his retirement in 1989. In three decades he had hosted an astonishing number of programmes: in excess of 2,000.

One year later he narrated the documentary Scotland - The World Cup Story as the 1990 World Cup Finals in Italy loomed. He continued to work in the media with columns in the national press and contributions to the Morton programme.

Away from the television screen, he did an enormous amount of charitable work with the homeless, at times collecting much-needed warm clothing from friends and colleagues for distribution to those in need.

He was Father of the Chapel (or union branch) of the National Union of Journalists, bringing both diplomacy and dedication to that area of his work.

In many respects, golf was his favourite sport and for many years he was a regular contributor to the Scottish golf magazine Bunkered; indeed he was that publication's longest-serving contributor. He served as both president and captain of Glasgow Golf Club.

In May 2010, he was awarded the SPFA Special Merit award for services to football broadcasting and journalism alongside his friend and fellow broadcaster Archie Macpherson.

That same year, he embraced the new technology by serving as a commentator on the Greenock Morton web-cast.

He served his beloved Morton as a director for several years under the chairmanship of his friend Douglas Rae and in later years, after leaving the board, he continued to serve as honorary vice-president, a position he held until his death.

Ten years ago in The Herald Diary, he declared: "I have a recurring fear that when the day comes for my obituary to appear in The Herald, they'll be talking about my sports jacket instead of the 2,000 programmes I presented or the 400 match commentaries I supplied."

Arthur Montford made broadcasting history and will be remembered fondly and with admiration by sports fans of a certain vintage and by all who knew and admired him professionally.

He died at home having suffered from ill health in recent years.