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Broadcasting legend Crampsey dies

Broadcasting favourite Bob Crampsey
Crampsey had an encyclopedic knowledge of Scottish football

Writer and broadcaster Bob Crampsey has died, aged 78, after a long illness.

Over the years, he had contributed to sports programmes on BBC Scotland, Scottish Television and Radio Clyde.

He came to prominence in 1965 when he won the BBC's Brain of Britain competition and was a semi-finalist on Mastermind in the early 1970s.

His early career was in education, where he became rector of St Ambrose High in Coatbridge. He is survived by his wife and four daughters.

Crampsey attended Glasgow University, but his thirst for learning was such that his education did not end with his graduation.

He was a keen musician, historian and linguist and wrote books on subjects as diverse as Glasgow's 1938 Empire Exhibition, football manager Jock Stein and merchant Sir Thomas Lipton.

Of his many interests away from sport, he had a love of American musicals and the American Civil War was his specialist subject on Mastermind.

Crampsey was born and brought up within a few yards of Hampden Park in the south side of Glasgow, and close to Cathkin Park, home of Third Lanark, on whom he became an authority.

He often spoke fondly of his favourite football match, the classic 1960 European Cup final at Hampden between Real Madrid and Eintracht Frankfurt.

For many people the enduring memory will be of his Now You Know column in Glasgow's Evening Times and his engaging contributions to radio sports programmes.

He became a part of the BBC Radio Scotland Sportsound team in 1987 and his observations were enjoyed by thousands of listeners until he retired in 2001.

Sportsound anchor Richard Gordon spoke warmly of his former colleague: "Bob had the sharpest mind of anyone I have ever known. He was a genius.

It was an honour to work with Bob, I will remember him with great affection

SFA chief executive Gordon Smith

"It was such a joy working with him. If anything historical ever came up during a programme, Bob could describe not only the match in question, but name the referee and give the size of the crowd. He was a real football man.

"Once when we were on a flight to Wales to cover an Aberdeen match, I kept throwing topics at him, just to see how broad his knowledge was. He could give a discourse for 10 minutes on any subject I cared to mention."

The Scottish Football Association chief executive Gordon Smith, who worked with Crampsey on BBC Radio Sportsound, said he would be sadly missed.


"I will remember him with great affection and respect too," said Smith. "He was a wonderful person to work with when I came onto Sportsound in 1993.

"It was an honour to work with Bob. He was so intelligent and his knowledge of the game was fantastic. I learned a lot from working with him."

For all Crampsey's love and knowledge of football, he always insisted he got most enjoyment from watching English county cricket and, in particular, Somerset.

BBC Radio Scotland will broadcast a Bob Crampsey tribute on Saturday 2 August at 1400 BST, on both frequencies.

see also
In quotes: Bob Crampsey reaction
28 Jul 08 |  Scotland
The greatest game
13 May 02 |  Champions League

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