When Arthur McTague decided to put the lid on his pen and three decades of match reporting for The Falkirk Herald, David Oliver looked back over the Warriors wordsmith’s career, and also looked back on his first interactions with the veteran scribe.
Following Arthur’s sad passing this week, the sports editor’s ‘On the Wing’ column, from the Falkirk Herald of June 22, 2017, is re-published here.
We’ll just wait on Arthur,” said Des McKeown, then Stenhousemuir manager after a game I was covering for one of the national papers at Ochilview. He was surrounded by outstretched arms proffering dictaphones... it was the days before mobile phones recording interviews you see.
The Warriors boss was perched on the wall just outside the tunnel, and we looked up in the direction of his nod to see a wrapped up figure with a cigar in one hand and a desk-phone handset in the other. That was my first experience of Arthur McTague. Little did I know I’d encounter him again so often a few years later.
Who was this man so important that the boss would keep us all waiting? Keep our Sunday newspaper deadlines waiting for his words of wisdom, just so this man – who was STILL on the phone – could also be part of the post match summing up. That’s just the esteem that Arthur McTague has around Ochilview though. It was with much sadness when I took the message and then subsequent call that he wanted to call full-time on his weekly match reporting for The Falkirk Herald. It was reliable, clean and knowledgable copy and a real asset to the sports pages.
But times change. The Herald’s sport will be changing in the near future too. But like Arthur, it’ll still be around Ochilview and the local sports scene, just a bit different.
Thanks for all the copy, stories, tips and help over the past seven and a half years (and on the visits before that too) Arthur, and I hope you had better luck with the meetings at Ascot this week than I did!
And another thing...
Speaking of Stenny, it was noted that the Warriors signed a few players while meeting in a McDonald’s restaurant. With Tim Horton’s expected to pitch up on Gladstone Road – could this be a new venue to thrash out some deals over donuts?