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Archibald (Archie) MacPherson


1937 -

Sports commentator. Born in the Shettleston district of S Glasgow, MacPherson was the son of a professional athlete. He was educated at Coatbridge High School and Jordanhill College of Education. He became a primary school teacher and, in 1965, rose to become a Headmaster of Swinton Primary School (Glasgow).

He maintained an amateur interest in football, but his real passion was writing. Yet, despite submitting several short stories for publication he had little success. His break came when the BBC broadcast one of his stories and, in 1965, this led to an offer of working as a freelance sports reporter. He accepted a permanent position with BBC Scotland in 1969 and became a leading sports commentator on television and radio in the 1970s and 80s. In 1986 he presented sports on BBC Breakfast News in London. He was sent to Argentina for the 1978 World Cup, which proved to be so disastrous for Scotland, but it was another World Cup which ended his association with BBC Scotland in 1990, when he was accused of being insufficiently supportive of the national team despite another humiliating defeat. He went on to work for Radio Clyde, Eurosport, commentating on further World Cups in 1994 and 1998, and Scottish Television (STV), where he presented the flagship ScotsSport.

MacPherson was elected Rector of the University of Edinburgh in 1985 and, in 2005, was awarded a Scottish BAFTA in recognition of his contribution to Scottish broadcasting.

His books include Blue and Green (1989), which recalls the great derbies between Celtic and Rangers, Action Replays (1991), Jock Stein: The Definitive Biography (2004) and his own recollections of Scottish football To buy Flower of Scotland? (2005).


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