With over 2000 episodes of Scotsport to his name, Arthur Montford’s voice is synonymous with Scottish football’s triumphs and tragedies. Montford began as a journalist and radio presenter before the opening of the STV studios at the Theatre Royal offered another opportunity.
In August 1957, Montford was offered the job, but remembers he needed some convincing “I hadn’t really thought much about it but when he said that my salary would jump from £14 a week to £20 a week, I became extremely interested and I was hired on the spot as the newscaster, sportscaster, continuity announcer and jack of all trades…”
Sports coverage at the time could be mired by technical faults and of course, the weather, but processing the reels of film in time for broadcast proved the most risky aspect for the presenters. Montford remembers “very often we went to air on a Wednesday night while the film was still being processed. It was a great learning curve in the art of waffling.” Yet it is precisely Montford’s verbal style that he is loved for and his erudite expressions could enliven the most trying of sporting events.
Having come from a long line of newspapermen, Montford gives credit to his father’s influence. “My father told me that no matter how poor the game was, whether you were writing it, describing it on radio, or commentating on it, you must look for something worthwhile to talk about and do not be negative. And it was a thought that I always carried with me”.