This is the scene … A little Scottish kid of the mid-1970s comes in for his Sunday lunch, his knees skint and muddied from football up the park.

His mother shouts kindly but severely upon him: "Get your hands washed and get to the table for lunch … you're late!"

"I can't, mum," the little boy pleads, noting that the clock is nudging 2pm. "Scotsport is about to start." Skedaddling through to the lounge and the TV, the old black and white is switched on just in time to hear the opening, thrilling bars of Scotsport chiming up. In a few moments Arthur Montford will be presenting an hour - an utter feast - of football.

Dad arrives. "Your mum says you've to get to the table for lunch," he says, settling into his chair for the football. "Do I have to, dad?" asks the boy. "Can't I stay here and watch Scotsport with you? Please?"

"Yes, you can," says dad.

Thus was sweet Scottish footballing life in the world of Montford in the mid-1970s. Arriving on our STV screens in his dazzling sports jackets, coiffured and exquisitely mannered, he was a Mr Perfect, a smooth, unflappable presenter who ironed out all the world's woes while announcing imminent highlights packages between, say, Rangers and St Mirren, or Hibs and Hearts.

You felt, hearing and watching Montford, that the entire universe was trouble-free. He was an incredibly comforting presence.

The night before, Archie had been on. This was a bit more daring: a late night Saturday show called Sportsreel - soon to become Sportscene - for which you already had to be bathed and in your pyjamas before the 10.10pm start, later to become a 10.30pm start. Archie, no less watchable, could be haughty and even a touch self-important, whereas Arthur the next afternoon was simply smooth, down-to-earth reassurance.

No Scottish football-loving kid of these times could live without Archie or Arthur. They were gatekeepers to a magical world called televised football. You arranged your life, to a degree, according to when they were on.

Montford's on-screen presence was enviable, with not a thread or a syllable amiss. Not just that, but he pulled off this trick for decades - 32 years in all - before the time came for him to be put out to grass and a young Turk called Jim White, wearing a 'tache that said "hi, girls", breezed in to take his place.

It was the end of an era when White replaced Montford in 1989. Your childhood was over, the age of innocence was gone, it was time to go off to college or university or get a job. Bye-bye, sweet childhood.

You can find quite a lot of the  Montford archives on YouTube, and yes, of course he had his faults, though none of us knew it at the time. He studiously steered clear of controversy. He was not outspoken, frankly, on any of the sore Scottish football issues of the time, such as bigotry, though perhaps as Mr Perfect TV presenter, this wasn't his role in any case.

Everybody knew that, essentially, Montford was a fan and, more than anything, a Scotland supporter. "I quite often used to say that, under my big winter coat for the big internationals at Hampden, I'd have a Scotland rosette pinned to my jacket on the gantry," he once told me. Thus his commentaries, such as for the Scotland-Czechoslovakia World Cup qualifying decider in September 1973, were not so much impartial observations as urgent paeons for us to do the business.

"Argentina here we come!" he famously hollered as Scotland put Wales to the sword at Anfield in 1977 en route to that unspeakable national tragedy in South America eight months later. Few quibbled at Arthur's miked-up patriotism.

One or two might have sneered - and it might not work today - but back then such commentaries were magnificent, they absolutely captured the mood.

During those Sunday afternoon Scotsports there was, in an editor's perfect mix of light and shade, an appropriate moment when the kid could go off to replenish his Creamola Foam. At one point mid-broadcast Montford would hand over to Bob Crampsey, who would duly deliver a three-minute homily to camera about some issue of the moment. These tended to be wordy, high-brow despatches.

"I'll be back in a moment, Dad," says the kid. "Shout me when the football's back on." Montford would then return to introduce an English highlights package, where the crowd, the noise and the drama seemed even greater.

Many years later, the autumn and then the winter of Arthur's life set in. He was said to still be supporting Morton with a passion, and following golf as avidly as ever, and occasionally that little kid who had watched him on TV would receive a typewriter-written note from him, full of praise and well-wishing.

The world had turned full circle. No longer was Montford a sepia-tinted TV star, but an elderly colleague, and a much-cherished one at that. But his days as a national institution were gone.

Thankfully, the memories are warm and plentiful. To paraphrase David Letterman on Johnny Carson: "He tucked you up safe on your sofa and made you feel that everything was fine." Life in Scotland was wonderful when Arthur Montford was on the telly.