Archie Macpherson


Archie Macpherson

:"For the former footballer, see Archie McPherson (footballer)"Archibald "Archie" Macpherson (b. 1937 in Glasgow) is a Scottish football commentator.

He has been commentating on Scottish football, via both radio and television, for over four decades. Well known for his unique commentary style, Macpherson describes the action on-field with a passion that normal fans can easily relate to, frequently getting overexcited whilst play is under way.

Broadcasting career

He has worked for the BBC, STV, Eurosport, Setanta Sports, Radio Clyde and Talksport although he initially struggled to gain a foothold in broadcasting. Indeed, his first job was as a teacher where he supplemented his meagre income by getting short stories published in local newspapers. Such efforts, though, were to pay off and helped Archie gain his initial big break at the BBC. He continued to work as a teacher until 1969 when he joined the BBC on a full-time basis.

From then on, Macpherson went from strength to strength, commanding a certain deal of respect with his approach to Scottish football coverage beyond more satirical representations of his work. Indeed, he has developed a manner that is both candid and articulate, ensuring that he has remained a staple of Scottish football coverage, often causing controversy with his forthright views that are often critical and penetrative. Most recently this work has been recognised at the 2005 Scottish BAFTA ceremony with Archie picking up a prize for "Special Contribution to Scottish Broadcasting".

A cult figure

Such is Macpherson's cult status, he has often been caricatured within Scottish culture. Most notably this has happened on BBC Scotland's hit comedy show "Only an Excuse?" which takes a light-hearted look at Scottish football, where he is portrayed by impressionist Grant Smeaton. Within this, Macpherson's memorable hairstyle takes prominence (often being referred to within Scottish footballing circles as the 'Shredded Wheat' style) along with his customary sheepskin coat. Indeed, such is the legendary status of Archie's sheepskin that one of his old jackets takes pride of place at the Scottish Football Museum, at the home of Scotland's national team, Hampden Park.

Of course, Macpherson has made his own personal appearances within Scottish popular culture. Famously he once appeared on Rikki Fulton's "Scotch and Wry" (a prominent comedy sketch show screened by BBC Scotland) being mistaken for former University Challenge host Bamber Gascoigne. In the film adaptation of Irvine Welsh's cult novel "Trainspotting" he re-voiced his commentary for Archie Gemmill's famous goal for Scotland against the Netherlands at the 1978 World Cup as a sex scene unfolded at the same time, both pieces of action climaxing simultaneously.

His popularity saw him elected as Rector of the University of Edinburgh in 1985. He was essentially a candidate of the left, beating Teddy Taylor.

Modern day

At the moment, Macpherson currently commentates on STV's coverage of UEFA Champions League and UEFA Cup matches which involve Scottish teams. Archie also became famous for his appearances on STV's "Scotsport", which aired highlights from the Scottish Premier League (SPL) on Monday nights during the football season, until its axe in 2008.

Recently, Macpherson has occupied his time away from television by writing two books. One is a best-selling biography of legendary Scottish football manager Jock Stein and the other is a recently published book called "Flower of Scotland?" about Archie's trials and tribulations whilst following Scottish football for the past four decades. Archie has also proved he can look after himself in his private life, once memorably apprehending a mugger who had tried to steal the handbag of his wife at a Paris Metro station. Later he recounted that he was "protecting his wife's honour".

Has also gained the catchphrase "Woof !" due to the repeated use of the word in his frequently over excited commentary style

McPherson provides match predictions and analysis for betting-shop chain Ladbrokes

References

'Off the Ball', BBC Radio Scotland, 13 October 2005.Daily Record, 14 Jan 2004.

External links

* [http://www.archiemacpherson.co.uk Archie Macpherson Tribute website]
* [http://www.stv.tv/content/sport/infocus/Archie_Macphersonxs_column/ Archie's World] at stv.tv


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