‘Final stramash’ at Arthur Montford service

Friends and family attended the funeral of football commentator Arthur Montford. Picture: Hemedia
Friends and family attended the funeral of football commentator Arthur Montford. Picture: Hemedia
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BROADCASTING legend Arthur Montford was remembered as a loving family man and an “iconic figure” in the lives of many at a memorial service held in his honour.

The sports broadcaster and journalist died at home last week, surrounded by his family, at the age of 85.

Morton boss Jim Duffy. Picture: Hemedia

Morton boss Jim Duffy. Picture: Hemedia

Montford - well-known for his sports jackets and classic lines such as “what a stramash” - hosted more than 2,000 episodes of STV’s Scotsport programme over three decades.

He was the programme’s first anchor when it launched as Sports Desk in 1957 and remained with the programme until he retired in 1989.

Mourners, including figures from the worlds of sport and broadcasting, packed into Bearsden Cross Church, East Dunbartonshire, for a service to celebrate his life.

The event, described by his relatives as “the final stramash”, followed a private family funeral service at Clydebank Crematorium.

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Among those in attendance were broadcasters Sally McNair, John MacKay and Jim Delahunt. Football’s Jim Duffy, manager of Montford’s beloved Greenock Morton, also attended.

Leading the service of more than an hour, Rev Graeme Wilson paid tribute to a man he described as “this most celebrated of figures in Scottish life” and a “remarkable man”.

He spoke of Montford’s family life, his love of his “spiritual home” of Greenock and his times holidaying in Scotland and the south of France.

He said: “Here was someone who had been a constant presence in most of our lives for many, many years, Scotsport being part of the tapestry of Sunday afternoon television. It was part of the fabric of our lives.

“As we gather to give thanks for the life of Arthur Montford, we also remember that this most iconic of figures in our lives was indeed a more iconic figure in the life of his family.”

Montford’s daughter Vivian and grandchildren Julie and Craig then recalled their own memories of the broadcaster, who also worked in print and radio journalism.

Vivian said she has “1,001 happy memories” of her father.

“He was a wonderful dad, brother, grandfather, who helped shape our lives,” she said.

“He was a kind, loving, modest, generous man with no pretensions. We will miss him so much but he will always be in our hearts.”

Craig said: “We will miss him but it has been a privilege and an honour to call Arthur Montford ‘grandpa’.”

The tributes added to the many which were paid to the broadcaster by football fans and fellow journalists following news of his death on Wednesday November 26.

One such tribute was from Greenock Morton, where Montford was an honorary president.

Speaking after the ceremony, Duffy praised Montford as a real professional.

He said: “If you had a good game, he didn’t go overboard. He wouldn’t say too much other than keeping it very professional.

“With the Scotland games and a few bigger games, then I think he really showed that he was a real Scotland supporter. He was very diplomatic when it came to club football.

“From my own point of view it was just a pleasure to know him on and off the pitch.”

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