Saturday, 1 August 2020

Week 1 - Let the grambling commence

Welcome to The Grambler, the most ill-informed blog you are ever likely to see.
Stewart was an amazing person - A wonderful husband, a fantastic brother, a loving son and an adored uncle. He was also a brilliant friend and colleague and is missed by so many people. His family are determined that his death will never be in vain and are doing their part to beat bowel cancer for good. We are fundraising for the Bobby Moore Fund which is part of Cancer Research UK and specialises in research into bowel cancer. If you wish to donate to the fund, you can via https://www.justgiving.com/Geraldine-Smith3 .
If you haven’t already done so, please read the article which appeared in the Daily Record and learn from Stewart’s story that you must never be complacent. It makes grim reading for us, his family, even though we were beside him throughout his ordeal, or battle; call it what you will. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/lifestyle/heartbroken-widow-geraldine-smith-raises-3452997
Similarly, if you haven’t heard it, please listen to Geraldine’s moving radio interview which was on Radio Scotland.
Stewart began writing The Grambler when he was between procedures and hoping for some form of recovery. He loved all aspects of football and was a lifelong Motherwell supporter. His wish was that The Grambler should continue after his death and I have been happy to oblige. Read on and enjoy

As I write this, Mrs G is watching a new Sunday-night drama called A Suitable Boy. It didn't appeal to me, so I am sitting in another room merrily typing the kind of incisive and insightful drivel you, both of my loyal readers, have come to expect. Unfortunately, I can still hear the programme from where I am sitting [Well, move then. - Ed.]. It doesn't bother me unduly, so why, you must be wondering, do I mention the fact?
The sound is low enough that I can't make out what is being said; it is just a murmur. What I can hear is music. Throughout the programme there is music being played. It is the music that bothers me. I am not concerned about it being there, but I am annoyed at the type of music being played. It is the sort of sitar and drum music that makes you immediately know that what you are watching concerns India or any of its sub-continental neighbouring countries such as Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Why do I have a problem with it? I find it rather patronising to us, the viewers, but also, to the country concerned.
It is as if the producer of this drama thinks we might forget that this programme deals with India if this style of music stops... 'Why has the music stopped? Are we not in India any more?'
And I am convinced that there are many Asian people who watch such programmes who, like me, dislike the music chosen.
It has always been the case. Any documentary that was ever made about India, or China, say, is punctuated with what we in the West perceive to be authentic Indian/Chinese music. Do programme makers think the audience is too stupid to work out that it concerns these far eastern countries without such music... even though the title of the programme has already explained the fact and the narrator/presenter constantly reminds us throughout the programme?
I think the whole practice should cease. I know that music can play an important part in a programme, especially a travelogue type of thing where there might be scenes which show the grandeur of a particular place and long sweeping aerial views seem to work better without commentary; a bit of music fills the aural void. However, any type of music would suffice at such moments, it doesn't have to be ethnically authentic... Or does it?
Another Sunday night programme that Mrs G and I both enjoy is called Countryfile. Quite often, it features moments where an area's best features are shown from the air in the style I have already alluded to. At such moments, music is played while the piece of drone footage is shown. Usually, it is a piece of contemporary, instrumental music, which might suit the scenery, that is played. Surely, (Don't call me Shirley.) if the programme's producer is doing his/her job properly, they should be applying the same guidelines as used for those far-eastern documentaries. Sorry pardon excuse me? Yes, when sweeping views of the Yorkshire Dales are shown, we should be hearing some brass band music or Ilkley Moor Bar T'at. Or if they head up north of the border, we should be listening to Donald Where's Yer Troosers. Wales? We'll Keep a Welcome in the Hillside sung by a male voice choir? What about London, guv? Any Old Iron? My Old Man's a Dustman? Silly? Is it any sillier than the Indian/Chinese music? It's all about authenticity.
You may be thinking that such suggestions are just daft. Are you sure about that? We assume that the music being played over these eastern documentaries and dramas is suited to the programme in question. Is it, though? Maybe, whoever selects the music has a wicked sense of humour and what we are listening to is the Indian equivalent of The Birdie Song or Yackety Sax.
Yes... not so certain now, are you?


.....oooOooo.....

Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we?
Were any famous or notorious individuals born on the 1st of August? Of course there were. Here are some that even I know.
Claudius 10 BC (The well-known Roman emperor. Looked nothing like Derek Jacobi.), Herman Melville 1819 (Orfer. Wrote that one about whales. [I’ve been there. Llanelli, it was... Everywhere you went, they were singing We’ll Keep a Welcome in The Hillside. - Ed.]), Charlotte Hughes 1877 (Supercentenarian. She died in 1993.), Raymond Mays 1899 (Racey car bloke. Helped develop the ERA and BRM racing cars.), Daphne Heard 1904 (Actress. Popular in her later years, often playing old crones. She played Mrs Polouvicka in To The Manor Born.), Richard Pearson 1918 (Jobbing actor. He usually played jovial or absent-minded types. Voiced Mole in the animated film of The Wind in the Willows. [Ooh, you don’t want wind in the willows; very embarassing, that is. - Ed.]), Jeffrey Segal 1918 (Another jobbing actor. Arthur Perkins in Rentaghost. Him.), Jack Kramer 1921 (Tennisy bloke.), Frank Worrell 1924 (Crickety mon.), Hannah Hauxwell 1926 (Farmer who became a celebrity after her bleak life was featured in the documentary Too Long a Winter.), Lionel Bart 1930 (Composer. Oliver was his biggie, but he had a few stinkers including Twang, a musical based on the legend of Robin Hood. Here’s a track from a more successful effort, Blitz.), Norman Bowler 1932 (Actor. Frank Tate in Emmerdale. Him.), Dom DeLuise (Actor. Dom Bell... oh, how we laughed... in Silent Movie. Him.), Yves Saint Laurent 1936 (Dressmaker.), Laurie Taylor 1936 (Sociologist and radio presenter.), Donald Neilson 1936 (Psycho.), Ian Hogg 1937 (Jobbing actor. Alan Rockliffe in Rockliffe’s Babies and Rockliffe’s Follies. Him.), Mervin Kitchen 1940 (Crickety bloke.), Jerry Garcia 1942 (A bit of Grateful Dead. A clip? Why not. Here’s Touch of Grey), Geoff Britton 1943 (Drummer. Worked with Paul McCartney during his Wings period. Have a clip. Here’s Listen to What the Man Said), Laila Morse 1945 (Actress. Mo Harris in Eastenders. Her.), David Calder 1946 (Jobbing actor.), Raymond ‘Boz’ Burrell 1946 (Singer and bassist. Formed Bad Company with Paul Rodgers, Simon Kirk and Mick Ralphs. Here they are with Bad Company), Tim Bachman 1951 (Musician. Part of Messrs. Bachman, Turner and Overdrive. One for Harry Enfield fans there. Another clip, vicar? Here’s Roll on Down the Highway.  Anyone else spot Sugar Sugar by The Archies in there? Just me, then.), Tommy Bolin 1951 (Musician. Here’s the title track from the album Teaser.), Mick Ford 1952 (Actor and writer. Starred as Archer in Scum.), Robert Cray 1953 (Musician. Here’s a nice toon, Right Next Door.), Trevor Berbick 1954 (Boxy bloke.), Michael Audreson 1956 (Actor. Brains in The Double Deckers. Him.), Adrian Dunbar 1958 (Actor. Ted Hastings in Line of Duty. Him.), Joe Elliott 1959 (Def Leppard singer. Here’s When Love and Hate Collide, their ‘crossover’ song.), Carlton Ridenhour aka Chuck D. 1960 (Rapper. Part of Public Enemy. I was searching for a clip... It's harder than you think), Artis Ivey Jr. aka Coolio 1963 (Another rapper. Another track? Ooh la la!), Amber Rudd 1963 (Politician.), Mark Wright 1963 (Footy bloke.), John Carroll Lynch 1963 (Jobbing actor.), Adam Duritz 1964 (Counting Crows frontman. Who’s this Mr. Jones?), Sam Mendes 1965 (Stage and film director.), Robert Beck 1968 (Jobbing actor. Jimmy Dockerson in Corrie. Him.), Martin Phipps 1968 (Composer. You might recognise this composition.), Stuart Wade 1969 (Actor. Biff Fowler in Emmerdale. Him.), Paul Tonkinson 1969 (Comedian and radio presenter.), Graham Thorpe 1969 (Crickety bloke.), David James 1970 (Footy bloke of no fixed hairstyle.), Mark Petchy 1970 (Tennisy bloke.), Elizabeth Bower 1976 (Actress. Aunt Corey in The Secret Life of Boys. Her.), Chris Iwelumo 1978 (Fitba guy.), Dhani Harrison aka Ayrton Wilbury 1978 (Musician. Son of George. A clip? I should say. Here’s Motorways (Erase it).), Honeysuckle Weeks 1979 (Actress. Sam Wainwright in Foyle’s War. Her.), Julia Mallam 1982 (Actress. Dawn Woods in Emmerdale. Her.), Monserrat Lombard 1982 (Actress. Shaz Granger in Ashes to Ashes. Her.), Kenny Wright 1985 (Fitba guy. Ex-Motherwell.), Henry Lloyd-Hughes 1985 (Jobbing actor. Mark Donovan in The Inbetweeners.), Lee Wallace 1987 (Fitba Guy.), Jack O’Connell 1990 (Actor. James Cook in Skins. Him.) and Jason Cummings 1995 (Fitba guy.).




I’ve received a letter...
Dear Mr Grambledore,
I was so pleased that you played a song by Paul McCartney and Wings. I was a big fan of theirs. I would be interested to know if they ever had a number one. Can you help?
Yours hopefully,

.....oooOooo.....

Time to gramble. Hey, guess what! It’s a new footy season! Yay! Definitely time to get The Grambler out and give him/her/it a rub down with an oily cloth til he/she/it gleams, in readiness for Week 1 of the new season.
What has the wise and wonderful Grambler randomly selected for our first bet of the season? First of all, there is a slight problem. You see, it is only the Scottish Premiership which begins the new season this week, so there are only four matches taking place on the Saturday. There is, however, a certain cup game being played in England. It might even be the final. I believe the competition is called the fa cup, which I thought described the way the end of the 2019-20 season was organised. Any road up, shall we break all the (unwritten) Grambler rules and include a cup match? Aye, go on, then.

Game - Result - Odds
Arsenal vs Chelsea - Chelsea to lift trophy - 8/13
Aberdeen vs Rangers - Prediction Away win - 2/5
Dundee U vs St Johnstone - Prediction Home win - 17/10
Hibs vs Kilmarnock - Prediction Home win - 21/20
St Mirren vs Livingston - Prediction Home win - 9/5

Oh dear. I have a bad feeling about this.
The bets have been placed: a 20 pee accumulator plus ten 20 pee doubles which, if they all came up, [Some hope! - Ed.] would mean that the amount winging its way to the Bobby Moore Fund would be a whopping...

£15.68

Sometimes, that total is a bit too whopping.

.....oooOooo.....

Teaser time. Yay! How did you get on with your five questions? Here are the answers.
1. Who am I?
I was born in 1940 in Aberdeen. I began my senior career at Huddersfield. Four years later I signed for Manchester City who paid £55,000 for me, a British record at the time. After a year, I signed for Torino for another record fee, before moving to Manchester United for yet another record fee. I hold the club record for most goals scored in a single season (46). I am the only Scot to have won the Balon d’Or award.
Answer: Denis Law
2. Who was the last English-born manager to win the FA Cup?
Answer: (Flash) Harry Rednapp
3. Which Premier League team’s original name was St. Lukes
Answer: Wolverhampton Wanderers
4. Which country has hosted the most UEFA European Cup/UEFA Champions League finals?
Answer: Italy (9 times)
5. Which nation became a full UEFA member in 2016 and played England for the first time in 2019?
Answer: Kosovo

Five for this week?
1. Who am I?
I was born in 1977 in Les Ulis, France. My first club at senior level was Monaco where I spent five years. I then went for a brief period to Juventus, before an eight year spell at Arsenal. During my time there, I scored 228 goals; a club record. I won the Premier League Golden Boot a record four times. I won the UEFA Champions League with my next club, Barcelona. Oh, and I played 123 times for France and won the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000.
2. One for facup day. What was the last club from outside the top division to win the FA Cup?
3. Who was the top-scoring Brazilian in the 2019-20 Premier League?
4. Which England manager won the most caps as an England player?
5. Which is the odd one out and why?
Aston Villa, Brighton & Hove Albion, Chelsea, Arsenal
There you have it; five teasers to test you. Can you answer them without resorting to Googlie (or any other search engine, for that matter)?

.....oooOooo.....

As usual (at the risk of repeating myself), I remind you of the main reason for continuing to publish this blog – to raise awareness about bowel cancer. If you have any bowel problems, don’t be fobbed off with the line that you are too young for bowel cancer to be a consideration. Just point your doctor in the direction of http://www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk/campaigns-policy/latest-campaigns/never-too-young-campaign

.....oooOooo.....

Please, also take the time to click on this link, an informative little video from Mersh (a great friend of Stewart’s).

…..oooOooo…..

And finally, Cyril? And finally, Esther, I am indebted to a Mr. P. Green who has recently passed away. So, it’s a bit of a sad one this week. Any Fleetwood Mac fans ought to be aware that Peter Green was Fleetwood Mac in its first incarnation. He was the front man, singer and writer of the band’s earliest material. I have a confession to make; when I was a nipper Mac was my favourite band. I saved my pocket money and bought the singles Albatross, Man of the Word, Oh Well, etc. I don’t, generally, do hero worship, but Greeny was up there.
Sadly, at the height of the band’s fame, he left and disappeared (almost) without trace. He had taken LSD and it affected his, already fragile, mental health.
Having left Fleetwood Mac in 1970, the next decade saw his health decline and he was diagnosed with schizophrenia. During those years, he became something of a recluse and rarely emerged from his modest terraced house. He would refuse money that he was due in royalties and even threatened his accountant with a shotgun when he had come to pass on money to him.
During the 1980s, he was helped by many musician friends, who would get him to guest on albums.
In the late 1990s, after several idle years, he was tempted back into performing by guitarist Nigel Green and they formed Peter Green’s Splinter Group with drummer Cozy Powell.
After quitting that band in 2004, Green moved to Sweden. He began playing and touring again with Peter Green and Friends.
I only saw my ‘hero’ playing live once; in the late 90s with his Splinter Group. It was a sad occasion for me. The bulk of the guitar work was handled by Nigel Watson, rather than Green who often stared vacantly into space as if he didn’t know where he was. Although he was only about 50 years old at the time, he shambled around like someone 20 years older.
Rather than dwell on that poor performance, let’s finish with a clip of Green when he was at his peak. Here’s Oh Well (Part 1) and the haunting B-side Oh Well (Part 2).

Peter Green - Axe-wielding god 


That’s all for this week folks, but remember you can read the musings of The Grambler every week (well, most weeks) by going to the blog at www.thegrambler.com where you can also catch up on any previous editions you may have missed.

Happy grambling.

Thursday, 23 July 2020

Weeks 50 to 52 - Grambling with Bozza and the Bears

Welcome to The Grambler, the most ill-informed blog you are ever likely to see.
Stewart was an amazing person - A wonderful husband, a fantastic brother, a loving son and an adored uncle. He was also a brilliant friend and colleague and is missed by so many people. His family are determined that his death will never be in vain and are doing their part to beat bowel cancer for good. We are fundraising for the Bobby Moore Fund which is part of Cancer Research UK and specialises in research into bowel cancer. If you wish to donate to the fund, you can via https://www.justgiving.com/Geraldine-Smith3 .
If you haven’t already done so, please read the article which appeared in the Daily Record and learn from Stewart’s story that you must never be complacent. It makes grim reading for us, his family, even though we were beside him throughout his ordeal, or battle; call it what you will. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/lifestyle/heartbroken-widow-geraldine-smith-raises-3452997
Similarly, if you haven’t heard it, please listen to Geraldine’s moving radio interview which was on Radio Scotland.
Stewart began writing The Grambler when he was between procedures and hoping for some form of recovery. He loved all aspects of football and was a lifelong Motherwell supporter. His wish was that The Grambler should continue after his death and I have been happy to oblige. Read on and enjoy

My favourite rag, the Daily Fail [You are being sarcastic, I take it. - Ed.], is at it again... Headline suggesting something important/startling/exciting etc. followed by a story that is actually pretty dull.
Last Saturday’s (Or was it the previous Saturday’s? Or perhaps even the week before that, even.) edition had an exciting headline on page 11... ‘Boris sees off the bear’. Wow! What a guy! Imagine that; Prime Minister Bojo fights off a bear... Hang on a mo... When would our esteemed leader ever be put in such a position that he single-handedly dealt with a large carnivore? Obviously, he wasn’t. The main headline is followed by the sub-headline... PM’s plane helps repel Russian jets. That’s more like it. Scramble, scramble, scramble... Biggles Bozza takes his crate up to save us all in a second Battle of Britain. Well done Bozza! I can just see him shaking his fist and telling us all, ‘Never was so much owed by so many to so few... We will fight them on the beaches... etc.’ Cue Dambusters theme.
Except, it was nothing like that. [Obviously. - Ed.] Bozza neither owns nor pilots a plane. The aeroplane in question belongs to, and is piloted by, the RAF. It is known as the RAF Voyager. It is painted in jingoistic red, white and blue with the words United Kingdom emblazoned across its fuselage. Boris obviously sees it as competition for Air Force One which ferries Mr Fart around the world.
You are probably wondering, repelling Russian jets? What the blibbing flip happened? I’ll tell you. Nothing. Well, almost nothing. Way back in March, two RAF jets were scrambled because some Russian planes, Tupolev Tu-95 ‘Bears’, were heading towards British airspace. No interception was actually required. That’s good, then.
Bears are really scary and so are the plane-type bears. Or, are they? They were introduced in 1956... 1956? 64 years ago. Not exactly state of the art, then. Indeed not. They are not even jets as the headline declared; they are turbo-prop driven with a top speed of just over 500 miles per hour.
No interception necessary, we are told. It seems that the Bears did not even enter British airspace; the RAF jets were not actually needed. It may have been that their mere presence was enough to make the Bear pilots [What? They were naked? - Ed.] ahem... turn for home. The article does not make this clear. Perhaps there was never any intention of getting even close to the UK. We will never know.
Hold on, you might be saying, where does Bozza’s Voyager fit into this non-story. Well, when this huge airliner isn’t ferrying Boris and his ego around, it is used for another task; it is used to refuel RAF planes in flight. That was its involvement. It was used to fuel the two RAF planes which may... or may not... have ‘encouraged’ the Tupolevs to turn home.
Boris sees off the bear? To paraphrase The Monks*, nice headline, shame about the story.
* The Monks - One hit wonders with this
 
I'm flying in the air...


.....oooOooo.....


Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we?
Were any famous or notorious individuals born on the 11th of July? Of course there were. Here are some that even I know.
Robert the Bruce 1274 (The original Spiderman.), Thomas Bowdler 1754 (Tw*t that f*ck*d up no end of English works of literature by removing anything he thought was ‘mucky stuff’. What a pr*ck!), John Quincy Adams 1767 (The well-known president played by Jack Klugman.), James Whistler 1834 (He could paint, too.), Harry Gordon 1893 (Entertainer.), Granville Slack 1906 (Judge and coal merchant.), Stuart Latham 1912 (Film and TV director and producer. He was the original producer of Corrie back in 1960.), Reg Varney 1916 (Actor about whom it was said, ‘I ’ate you, Butler.’), Gough Whitlam 1916 (The will-nine Strine prohm meenister.), Yul Brynner 1920 (Actor famous for shaving his head when baldness wasn’t trendy.), David Graham 1924 or 1925 (Voice actor famous for uttering the words, ‘Yus, milady.’), Patrick Wymark 1926 (Ectaw. John Wilder in The Power Game. Him.), David Kelly 1929 (Actor. Cousin Enda in Me Mammy. Him.), Tab Hunter 1931 (Actor. Had a hit record or two. Here’s Young Love.  He looks decidedly uncomfortable in that clip.), Georgio Armani 1934 (Tailor.), John Stride 1936 (Ectaw. David Main in The Main Chance. Him.), John Walters 1939 (Radio producer and broadcaster.), Tommy Vance 1940 (DJ. He called himself TV on the radio. Oh how we laughed.), Rolf Stommelen 1943 (Rennfahrer.), Bonnie Pointer 1950 (A sister. A clip is in order. Time to get funky. I said funky.), Leon Spinks 1953 (Boxy bloke. [How exactly does one spink? - Ed.]), Johann Lamont 1957 (Politician.), Mark Lester 1958 (Actor turned osteopath.), Richie Sambora 1959 (Musician. Bon Jovi guitarist, but here’s a solo toon Hard Times Come Easy), Suzanne Vega 1959 (Musician. Another clip? Why not. Here’s We of Me. [You what? - Ed.]), Tony Marchant 1959 (Playwright and screenwriter. Holding On. One of his.), Caroline Quentin 1960 (Actress. Dorothy in Men Behaving Badly. Her.), Pauline McLynn 1962 (Actress famous saying, ‘Ah go on go on go on go on go on...’), Craig Charles 1964 (Poet, actor, comedian and DJ. Dave Lister in Red Dwarf. Him.), Tony Cottee 1965 (Footy bloke.), Mel Appleby 1966 (Singer. Half of Mel and Kim. Have a clip. Here’s F.L.M.), Ricky Warwick 1966 (Musician. Vocalist with The Almighty. Have a bit of thrash. Here’s Wrench.), Daisy Donovan 1975 (TV presenter. [Didn’t she have a hit with Kylie Minogue? - Ed.]), Kimberley Jones aka Lil’ Kim 1975 (Singer. Have a clip. Here’s Lighters Up. Wouldn’t be allowed nowadays.), Katrina Bryan 1980 (Actress. Nina in Nina and the Neurons. Her.), Jody Firth 1981 (Racey car bloke.), Kellie Shirley 1981 (Actress. Kirsty in In the Long Run. Her.), Rob Heaps 1983 (Actor. Ezra Bloom in Imposters. Him.), Scott Agnew 1987 (Fitba guy. Guess what his nickname is. [Ooh, have the teasers started early? - Ed.] No... Aggy! Poor sod.) and Matthew Tarrant 1990 (Rowy boaty bloke. [Didn’t he used to present Who wants to be a Millionaire? - Ed.] No. Don’t be silly.).
And now... July the 18th
Robert Hooke 1635 (Polymath and Peter Pan’s nemesis.), Hugh McNeile 1795 (Calvinist.), William Makepeace Thackarey 1811 (Jake’s dad.), W.G. Grace 1848 (Amazing crickety bloke.), Philip Snowden 1864 (Politician.), Stuart Lindsell 1892 (Jobbing actor.), Phyllis Morris 1984 (Jobbing actress.), Vidkun Quisling 1887 (Nazi puppet.), Marie Ney 1895 (Jobbing actress. Her film career spanned five decades.), John Stuart 1898 (Jobbing actor whose film career spanned 58 years during which he appeared in more than 140 films. Take that Marie Ney!), Barry Gray 1908 (Composer and arranger... He arranged music, he wasn’t a ranger... I’ll get me coat. How about a clip? He did all the Gerry Anderson ‘Supermarionation’ scores in the 1960s. We’ve had the Thunderbirds theme before, so let’s have Joe 90 this time.), Harry Llewellyn 1911 (Horse jumpy bloke.), Hume Cronyn 1911 (Actor.), Red Skelton 1913 (Comedian, it says.), Eric Pohlmann 1913 (Actor. If any 1970s British production needed someone to play an authentic German, Eric was your man... even though he was actually Austrian.), Nelson Mandela 1918 (The greatest politician ever.), John Glenn 1921 (Spaceman.), Michael Medwin 1923 (Actor. Appeared in 86 films and 21 TV productions in a career spanning 62 years. Ha! Take that smuggy John Stuart!), Richard Pasco 1926 (Another jobbing actor. Made films for Hammer Studios.), Bryan Johnson 1926 (Actor and Singer. Provided the UK entry in 1960’s Eurovision Song Contest. Now where is it? Down there? No, it’s up here.), Kurt Masur 1927 (Conductor. Hold very tight, please.), Jalacy ‘Screaming Jay’ Hawkins 1929 (Musician. This was a hit back in 1956. I Put a Spell on You.), Burt Kwouk 1930 (Actor. If ever any British TV production was looking for someone to play Japanese with authenticity, Burt was your man... Even though - you’ll have already guessed - he was really English. Ha! That threw you. He was born in Warrington. ‘Only’ appeared in 58 films, and 38 TV productions.), Hunter S. Thompson 1937 (Orfer.), Ian Stewart 1938 (A Rolling Stone in all but name. Manager Andrew Loog Oldham thought he didn’t look right for the band and so, though he was still part of the band, his face was missing from any publicity material or photos. It says a lot for the guy that he stayed with the band as road manager and pianist for over two decades. You can hear his work on this rather well-known toon, Ayunjeh.), Brian Auger 1939 (Keyboard wizard. Here is Julie Driscoll and the Brian Auger Trinity with... no, not that one... Save Me.), Dion DiMucci 1939 (Musician. Have a clip. Here's The Wanderer. If he behaved like that these days, he’d be locked up.), James Brolin 1940 (Actor. Josh’s dad.), Johnny Hutchinson 1940 (Drummer and vocalist with The Big Three. Have a clip. Here’s Some Other Guy.), Franz Farian 1941 (Songwriter/producer. The ‘voice’ of Bobby Farrell, the miming dancer of Boney M. I think a clip is in order. Here’s Daddy Cool.), Martha Reeves 1941 (Singer. Had a few hits with a couple of Vandellas. Here is Jimmy Mack.), Dave Cash 1942 (DJ.), David Hemery 1944 (Runny jumpy bloke.), Danny McCulloch 1945 (The Animals’ bassist. Here’s a solo track Wings of a Man.), James Faulkner 1948 (Actor. Randyll Tarly in Game of Thrones. Him.), Jim Watt 1948 (Boxery guy.), Dennis Lillee 1949 (Strine creekuddy blake.), Glenn Hughes 1950 (A Village Person. He was Leatherman... Not the best superhero name, it has to be said. All together now... Young man...), Richard Branson 1950 (Rich bloke.), Terry Chambers 1955 (Ex XTC drummer. Here’s a track he featured on - Wonderland.), Nick Faldo 1957 (Golfy bloke.), Keith Levene 1957 (Musician. Co-founder of The Clash and PIL. Here’s If 6 Was 9.), Pauline Quirke 1959 (Actress. Sharon Theodopolopodous in Birds of a Feather. Her.), Simon Heffer 1960 (Journalist. Not a cow, in case you were wondering.), Alan Pardew 1961 (Footy bloke.), Davie Irons 1961 (Fitba guy.), Mark Sinclair 1967 (Who? You know him better as Vin Diesel, the well-known plank of wood.), Jonathan Gould 1968 (Footy bloke.), Gruff Rhys 1970 (A Super Furry Animal... among other things. Here’s Something 4 The Weekend.), Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasam aka M.I.A. 1975 (Singer. Have some Paper Planes.), Kelly Reilly 1977 (Actress. Kerra in Brittania. Her.), Micah Balfour 1978 (Actor. Jermaine Bailey in Emmerdale. Him.), Gareth Emery 1980 (Electronic dance music producer... He produces the music which is electronic... He isn’t electronic ... I’ll get me coat. Here’s Sanctuary.), Kashy Keegan 1983 (Musician. This is his dream.), James Norton 1985 (Actor. Sidney Chambers in Grantchester. Him.), Laura Carmichael 1986 (Actress. Lady Edith Crawley in Downton Abbey. Her.), Jordan Ramos 1995 (Athleticky bloke.) and Fionn Whitehead 1997 (Actor. Tommy in Dunkirk. Him.)
Don’t forget the 25th of July...
James I of Scotland 1394 (The well-known king.), Walter Brennan 1894 (Actor, mainly in cowboy roles.), Gavrilo Princip 1894 (Bosnian Serb revolutionary whose actions were responsible for the start of The Great War.), Cyril Luckham 1907 (Jobbing actor.), Woody Strode 1914 (Athlete turned actor., Kevin Stoney 1921 (Another jobbing actor.), Estelle Getty 1923 (Actress. Sophia Petrillo in The Golden Girls. Her.), Benny Benjamin 1925 (Drummer with the Funk Brothers. A clip? Deferably. This might start you scratching.), Dick Passwater 1925 (Racey car bloke. Actually, I’ve never heard of him, but how could I not include someone with a name like that?), William Marlowe 1930 (Yet another jobbing actor.), Annie Ross 1930 (Actor and singer. Snuffed it just this week.), Adnan Khashoggi 1935 (Rich bloke.), Brian Finch 1936 (Scriptwriter. Wrote over 150 episodes of Corrie.), Denis King 1939 (Composer. Started his career with brothers Mike and Tony when he was just 13. Here is one of their hits, Standing on The Corner.), Manny Charlton 1941 (Guitarist with this band. Here he is playing Razamanaz. Let’s rawwwk!), Bruce Woodley 1942 (A Seeker. Have a clip. Here’s Morningtown Ride.), Jim McCarty 1943 (Drummer with the Yardbirds. Here’s an oddity he and Keith Relf came up with... Henry's Coming Home.), Lynne Frederick 1954 (Actress famous for being married to Peter Sellers.), Sheena McDonald 1954 (Journalist and broadcaster.), Paul Hegerty 1954 (Fitba guy.), Iman 1955 (Mrs Bowie.), Darren Jackson 1966 (Fitba guy.), Matt LeBlanc 1967 (Actor.), Chloe Annett 1971 (Actress. Kristine Kochansky in Red Dwarf VII. Her.), Steve Mason 1971 (Musician. A clip? Certainly. Here’s the Beta Band with Assessment.), Kevin Phillips 1973 (Footy bloke.), Paul Epworth 1974 (Award-winning record producer. Here he is as Phones with Sharpen the Knives.), Louise Brown 1978 (First IVF baby.), Ali Carter 1979 (Snookery bloke.), Brad Renfro 1982 (Actor.) and Nelson Piquet Jr. 1985 (Card game.).




I’ve received a letter...
Dear Mr Tamblyn,
I am a great fan of The Rolling Stones and did enjoy hearing Angie again. Like so many Stones’ songs, it did better in the States than in the UK. It was their seventh No. 1 over there. They would have to wait another five years for another No. 1. Here is a teaser for your readers, can you name that eighth American chart topper?
Incidentally, I would be grateful if you don’t print my full name. Perhaps you could just put my title and the initial letter of my surname. Thanks.
Yours shyly,

.....oooOooo.....

Time to gramble. It has been two weeks since your favourite ill-informed blog was posted, so there is a bit of catching up to do. So how did those bets fare?
Blackburn vs Leeds - Away win
Result - Blackburn 1 Leeds 3
Yay!
The visitors took an early lead when Mateusz Klich tackled Lewis Travers 30 yards from goal and slipped the ball through for Patrick Bamford to slot home.
Lewis Holtby thundered an effort against the post for Rovers before Kalvin Phillips curled in a superb 25-yard free-kick to give the Whites a 2-0 lead at the break.
Adam Armstrong halved the deficit soon after half-time with a wonderful free-kick of his own, but Klich quickly restored the two-goal advantage with a shot that Rovers keeper Christian Walton probably should have done better with.

Brentford vs Wigan - Home win
Result - Brentford 3 Wigan 0
Yay again!
The Bees should have been ahead in the third minute when they had three efforts on target in quick succession - Bryan Mbeumo's volley was deflected over after Ollie Watkins' shot had been well blocked by Antonee Robinson following a Henrik Dalsgaard strike that was palmed away.
Wigan were rocked two minutes later when centre-back Leon Balogun was forced off with an injury and Kal Naismith was moved to centre-back.
Naismith's clearing header from Watkins' cross led to the opening goal as Emiliano Marcondes headed the ball back into the path of Said Benrahma, who calmly volleyed into the bottom corner.
Brentford's passing game started to come to the fore and Naismith was again on hand to clear off the line after Dalsgaard's cross was deflected goalwards shortly before Benrahma's speculative ball early in the second period floated over goalkeeper David Marshall and into the net.
Watkins then had two more close-range efforts cleared off the line, but the Bees only had to wait five more minutes for Benrahma to add the third as he shot low into the bottom corner after good work down the right flank from Josh Dasilva and Christian Norgaard.
Wigan failed to have an effort on target in the entire match and their day went from bad to worse when Garner was dismissed with nine minutes to go after his raised foot hit the torso of Jan Zamburek.

Fulham vs Birmingham - Home win
Result - Fulham 1 Birmingham 0
Once more, Yay!
Josh Onomah swept home from 12 yards in the fifth minute of added time to reward a late Fulham flourish.
It took them more than 85 minutes to truly threaten Blues keeper Lee Camp, who then produced fine saves to deny Joe Bryan, Bobby Decordova-Reid and Onomah before the latter's decisive strike.
Blues had created the better chances to that point and teenager Jude Bellingham could have had a hat-trick in the first 15 minutes.
The 17-year-old fluffed his first opening and was later denied by Cottagers keeper Marek Rodak and the woodwork as Fulham escaped unpunished for a string of sloppy early defensive errors.

Bristol City vs Cardiff - Away win
Result - Bristol City 0 Cardiff 1
And again, Yay!
Danny Ward came off the bench to score a late winner for Cardiff City at Bristol City.
The visitors had most of the limited scoring opportunities in a gritty first half, though both sides sharpened their attacking threat after the break.
Cardiff midfielder Will Vaulks had a shot well saved by Daniel Bentley, before a volley from Bristol City's Nakhi Wells was brilliantly stopped by Alex Smithies.
Robins substitute Filip Benkovic missed a glorious chance when he headed wide from a corner and, with five minutes left, his miss was punished as Lee Tomlin threaded a perfect through ball for fellow substitute Ward to finish clinically.

Stoke vs Barnsley - Home win
Result - Stoke 4 Barnsley 0
Blimey! Yay again!
The Potters raced into a two-goal lead inside the opening ten minutes with Sam Vokes rising to head home a Sam Clucas corner, before Tyrese Campbell tucked home James McClean's cut-back with a clever backheel.
Campbell scored his second in the 38th minute through a well-worked corner routine, side-footing McClean's low cross beyond Barnsley keeper Jack Walton.
The visitors created very few chances and Stoke rounded off the victory with a fourth late on when substitute Tom Ince curled in a powerful strike off the underside of the bar.

There’s more. Even though there was no grambler.com last week, there were five predictions made by The Grambler. They were posted on Facebook and Twitter and were as follows.
Blackburn vs West Brom - Away win
Result - Blacburn 1 West Brom 1
Ooh! ’It the bar!
Albion went ahead on 41 minutes when Charlie Austin picked out Krovinovic with a far-post cross who found the bottom-left corner from 12 yards.
Having scored four minutes before the interval, he should then have done so again four minutes after the restart, but when Mateus Pereira shot from range and Christian Walton could only parry, Krovinovic hit the right post with the rebound.
It took a quadruple substitution [Four subs. What is going on? - Ed.] by Mowbray to turn the game Rovers' way as two of the replacements combined to level within two minutes of coming on.
Sam Gallagher galloped down the right, and outmuscled Kyle Bartley before pulling it back and the untracked Joe Rothwell drilled home from 12 yards.
Albion's own newly-arrived subs nearly put their team back in front when, from the artful Pereira's lovely chipped ball over the top, Hal Robson-Kanu squared left to Grady Diangana, but he missed his kick.
It was Rovers who came closest to snatching all three points.
West Brom needed a point-blank save by advancing keeper Sam Johnstone to deny the fifth of Mowbray's subs, Jacob Davenport. [Fifth sub? This is madness. - Ed.]
Then, in a crazy scramble, Albion were finally rescued when Bartley cleared off the line from another of the Blackburn 'game changers', Lewis Holtby.

Middlesbrough vs Bristol City - Home win
Result - Middlesbrough 1 Bristol City 3
Boo!
Nahki Wells put the Robins ahead with a looping shot off the post.
Dael Fry wastefully blasted over and George Saville saw a header tipped on to the bar for the hosts, before Jamie Paterson doubled City's advantage from an acute angle just before the break.
Wells poked home a third for the visitors with 11 minutes remaining, and while Britt Assombalonga pulled a goal back soon after, it was little more than a consolation effort.

Stoke vs Birmingham - Home win
Result - Stoke 2 Birmingham 0
Yay!
Danny Batth turned in Nick Powell's cross at the back post.
Captain Sam Clucas added a second just before the break with a curling right-footed shot into the top corner.
Sam Vokes and James McClean both hit the crossbar, while McClean and Powell also had efforts well saved by Blues goalkeeper Lee Camp.

Swansea vs Leeds - Away win
Result - Swansea 0 Leeds 1
Yay!
A game of few clear-cut chances looked set to end goalless until Swansea old boy Pablo Hernandez's low shot rolled in off the post a minute from time.

Sheff Utd vs Chelsea - Away win
Result - Sheffield Utd 3 Chelsea 0
Boo!
David McGoldrick opened the scoring, pouncing after Kepa Arrizabalaga had saved brilliantly from a deflected Oli McBurnie shot in the 18th minute.
Chelsea's defence was shaky throughout and they were ruthlessly punished just 15 minutes later when Enda Stevens crossed and McBurnie was left completely unmarked in the six-yard box to power home a simple header.
The damage was completed when McGoldrick capitalised on a dreadful defensive mix-up to plunder his second late in the second half.

And to cap things off, it is possible to give you the results from the 18th of July which were...
Fulham vs Sheffield Wed - Home win - Evens
Result - Fulham 5 Sheffield Wed 3
Yay!
Aleksandar Mitrovic and Neeskens Kebano both scored twice as Fulham won a nervy eight-goal thriller against Sheffield Wednesday.

The first of two well-taken Kebano goals put the hosts ahead early on before Mitrovic scored his goals.
His first was a coolly taken first-time finish from a tight angle, while his second was somewhat less assured as he slipped in the process of putting his penalty away after Dominic Iorfa brought down Kebano.
Marek Rodak's foul on Jacob Murphy soon after the interval allowed Atdhe Nuhiu to pull a goal back from the spot, but a Kebano free-kick restored the three-goal advantage before Murphy grabbed a second late on for the Owls.
Nuhiu set up a tense finish with an 89th-minute header, but Bobby Decordova-Reid's injury-time goal from distance made the three points safe for a Fulham side that finished a man down after Harrison Reed was shown a second caution.

Preston vs Birmingham - Home win
Result - Preston 2 Birmingham 0
Yay!
A goal in each half from Patrick Bauer and Brad Potts won the hosts the three points.
German defender Bauer put them ahead two minutes before the break.
Paul Gallagher's cunningly floated out-swinging corner somehow evaded all the jumpers at the near post and Bauer was left unmarked eight yards out to slide a low right-foot finish on the half volley, to Blues keeper Lee Camp's left.
Birmingham came closest to levelling just after the break when, after a half-cleared corner dropped to Gary Gardner five yards outside the box, the City midfielder's stunning right-foot volley was brilliantly saved by home keeper Declan Rudd, who somehow tipped it over.
But Preston settled it three minutes from time when a poor clearing header fell square to Potts, who raced on into the box before drilling a low left-foot shot across Camp into the far corner.

QPR vs Millwall - Away win
Result - QPR 4 Millwall 3
Boo!
R's defender Conor Masterson turned in to put the hosts ahead, but Matt Smith swept home soon after the restart to draw the Lions level.
Rangers quickly regained the lead through Ryan Manning's long-range strike and Ebere Eze raced away from the Lions defence to add a third just after the hour mark.
Shaun Hutchinson gave the Lions hope of a comeback, but Todd Kane headed in to make it 4-2 before Jayson Molumby grabbed a consolation deep into stoppage time.

Stoke vs Brentford - Away win
Result - Stoke 1 Brentford 0
Boo!
The only goal came in the first half when Lee Gregory tapped in after visiting goalkeeper David Raya palmed out Sam Clucas' long-range strike.
Brentford put in arguably one of their poorest performances of an otherwise excellent season and their prolific front three of Ollie Watkins, Said Benrahma and Bryan Mbeumo were kept quiet.
Centre-back Ethan Pinnock almost scored a dramatic leveller deep into stoppage time but his stinging effort was superbly tipped wide by Adam Davies.

Swansea vs Bristol C - Home win
Result - Swansea 1 Bristol City 0
Yay!
Connor Roberts struck from close range late in the first half.
Swansea had to hang on after the break, with Bristol City's Famara Diedhiou wasting a chance to equalise from the penalty spot.

There being no footy taking place at the weekend, thanks to the leagues all coming to what has been a faltering conclusion, we will take a wee break from grambling this week.
 
 
.....oooOooo.....


Teaser time. Yay! How did you get on with your five questions? Here are the answers.
1. Who am I?
I was born in the Ivory Coast in 1978. I was the all-time top scorer for my national team. Most of my playing career was spent at Chelsea (2 spells) where I played 254 games and scored 104 goals including a hat-trick in the UEFA Champions League.
Answer: Didier Drogba
2. Who is the top scoring Belgian player in the Premier League?
Answer: Romelu Lukaku with 113 goals
3. Who was the youngest manager to win the Premier League?
Answer: The special one himself, Jose Mourhino who was just 42
4. Which Scottish club’s ground is called Cliftonhill?
Answer: Albion Rovers
5. Apart from Bobby Moore who is the only World Cup winning captain to play for an English club (at the time of winning)?
Answer: Hugo Lloris
Five for this week? Why not.
1. Who am I
I was born in 1940 in Aberdeen. I began my senior career at Huddersfield. Four years later I signed for Manchester City who paid £55,000 for me, a British record at the time. After a year, I signed for Torino for another record fee, before moving to Manchester United for yet another record fee. I hold the club record for most goals scored in a single season (46). I am the only Scot to have won the Balon d’Or award.
2. Who was the last English-born manager to win the FA Cup?
3. Which Premier League team’s original name was St. Lukes
4. Which country has hosted the most UEFA European Cup/UEFA Champions League finals?
5. Which nation became a full UEFA member in 2016 and played England for the first time in 2019?
There you have it; five teasers to test you. Can you answer them without resorting to Googlie (or any other search engine, for that matter)?

.....oooOooo.....

As usual (at the risk of repeating myself), I remind you of the main reason for continuing to publish this blog – to raise awareness about bowel cancer. If you have any bowel problems, don’t be fobbed off with the line that you are too young for bowel cancer to be a consideration. Just point your doctor in the direction of http://www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk/campaigns-policy/latest-campaigns/never-too-young-campaign

.....oooOooo.....

Please, also take the time to click on this link, an informative little video from Mersh (a great friend of Stewart’s).

…..oooOooo…..

And finally, Cyril? And finally, Esther, I am indebted to a Miss K. Bryan an actress who appears mainly in children's television programmes.  However, for this week's finishing clip, here she is famously choosing a name for her new born baby.

That’s all for this week folks, but remember you can read the musings of The Grambler every week (well, most weeks) by going to the blog at www.thegrambler.com where you can also catch up on any previous editions you may have missed.

Happy grambling.


Sunday, 5 July 2020

Week 49 - Good evening and here is the gramble


Welcome to The Grambler, the most ill-informed blog you are ever likely to see.

Stewart was an amazing person - A wonderful husband, a fantastic brother, a loving son and an adored uncle. He was also a brilliant friend and colleague and is missed by so many people. His family are determined that his death will never be in vain and are doing their part to beat bowel cancer for good. We are fundraising for the Bobby Moore Fund which is part of Cancer Research UK and specialises in research into bowel cancer. If you wish to donate to the fund, you can via https://www.justgiving.com/Geraldine-Smith3 .

If you haven’t already done so, please read the article which appeared in the Daily Record and learn from Stewart’s story that you must never be complacent. It makes grim reading for us, his family, even though we were beside him throughout his ordeal, or battle; call it what you will. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/lifestyle/heartbroken-widow-geraldine-smith-raises-3452997

Similarly, if you haven’t heard it, please listen to Geraldine’s moving radio interview which was on Radio Scotland.


Stewart began writing The Grambler when he was between procedures and hoping for some form of recovery. He loved all aspects of football and was a lifelong Motherwell supporter. His wish was that The Grambler should continue after his death and I have been happy to oblige. Read on and enjoy

 

As this lockdown continues, one thing that really bugs me [Only one? You must be slipping. - Ed.] is the news coverage. There isn't much to report right now so a lot of interviews are taking centre stage; the man in the street or doctors or politicians or so called experts. Actually in the street is wrong; such interviews are usually transmitted from the home. Here's a thing; why are all of them sent from a room with a rather full bookcase behind the person being interviewed? Are they hoping that we will be impressed by the fact they have got loads of books? I like to amuse myself by thinking that these heaving bookcases are filled with Viz or Beano annuals rather than anything highbrow. It brings a smile to my cynical old face.

Anyway, back to the topic. These 'experts ' generally do nothing but moan. We have become a nation of whingers...

Cue silly boom boom noises which constitute a news programme theme tune...

‘This is the six o’clock news...’ Bong! ‘NHS workers complain about the shortage of PPE...’ Bong! ‘We talk to PPE manufacturers who tell us about being unable to keep up with demand...’ Bong! ‘Some pub owners who want to reopen and are grumbling about the two metre distancing rule being unnecessary...’ Bong! ‘We talk to other pub owners who don't want to reopen because they fear that social distancing will be impossible...’ Bong! ‘We hear from a head teacher who thinks the government should reopen schools...’ Bong! ‘Another head teacher will be telling us why schools shouldn't reopen...’ Bong! ‘A hotelier will be having a right old moan about how their business will be going up the Swanee if they don't get some financial assistance...’ Bong! ‘A government spokesman will be telling us that hotel owners can whistle for assistance...’ Bong! ‘Some care home owner will be mumping on about it being the government's responsibility to provide protection equipment, not his... even though he owns nine care homes, drives a Bentley and has a dirty great villa in Majorca...’ Bong! ‘A restaurant owner will be bleating on about not being able to open...’ Bong! ‘A fast food chain operator will be telling us why he can't keep up with demand...’ Bong! ‘A barber well tell us how he is struggling to make ends meet... That'll be split ends presumably...’ Bong! ‘And we'll finish with a happy story (even though it's difficult to flaming well find one) as a hair clipper manufacturer enjoys a boom in sales. But first the weather with Thomas Knickerknackerknocker... Good God! Look at the length of his hair!'

Okay, it's not quite like that (Mind you that weather forecaster Thomas Nicknackynicknocknickynackynoo would do well to invest in a set of hair clippers; he's starting to look like Shaggy from Scooby Doo.) but it isn't far from the truth.

In Scotland, the coronavirus news bugs me another way. Old Nicola will be giving her spiel about what we can and can't do, after which we are redirected to the studio. Now, let's just say that on this particular day Ms Sturgeon tells us that we can finally meet friends or family in the open in groups no larger than eight as long as we still socially distance two metres. The news reader will then say something like...

'That was the First Minister informing us that it is now all right to see friends or family as long as it is outside and the total number doesn't exceed eight and social distancing of two metres is maintained.'

We know that. She's just told us...

'Let's go over to our political correspondent Ann Drookerr for analysis.

'Ann, the first minister was telling us that we can now meet up with friends or family...'

'Yes, Sally, that's right. The first minister tells us that it is now okay to meet up with friends or family...'

'And what does that mean?'

'Well, Sally, what that means is that it is now okay for you to visit friends or family. And if they wished to visit you, that would also be fine.'

'But only in the open, is that right?'

'Yes, Sally, that is correct...'

'So what should we take from that?'

'Well, Sally, the long and the short of it is that we can only meet up with friends or family in the open rather than indoors. And that means that if anyone comes to see you, or you go to visit them, you must all stay outdoors...'

'And only in groups of up to eight?'

'Indeed, Sally. That means any number as long as it doesn't exceed eight. So, you could meet in groups of say five, six, seven... whatever you want as long as it's no more than eight.'

'But we must still socially distance?'

'Absolutely, Sally. We must all still keep to that social distancing figure of two metres.'

'Thanks, Ann. That was our political correspondent Ann Drookerr explaining that the first minister has determined that we can now meet friends or family, outside, in groups of no more than eight as long as we maintain social distancing... and now the weather forecast with that bloke whose voice gets ever quieter as he finishes each sentence.'

That is pretty much it... although they manage to string it out to last five minutes or so. However, no more information is actually imparted. Why? Why, when we have just heard what Nicola Sturgeon had told us, does it take two people to basically repeat what she has just said? Are they assuming that the viewers are so thick that they need to be told simple information three or four times?

Even dafter, is the fact that this isn't an actual news bulletin; once the weather forecast is out of the way, the next programme is, you've guessed it, the news... And we are told the whole thing again. Argh!

Do...not...get...me...started [That's quite good how you grit your teeth like that. - Ed.]

Bring back Mary Marquis, I say... There. That's got anyone under the age of fifty stumped.

 

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we?

Were any famous or notorious individuals born on the 4th of July? Of course there were. Here are some that even I know.

George Everest 1790 (Surveyor and geographer who had something very famous named after him. [What? A double-glazing company? - Ed.] Ahem... Apparently, his name is pronounced Eve-rest, rather than the Ever-est that we all, wrongly, use.), Hiram Walker 1816 (Distiller. Introduced the world to Canadian Club.), Stephen Foster 1826 (Composer. Wrote some rather un-PC songs. Put it this way, if there was a statue of him, it would probably have been hauled down in recent weeks. I won’t bother with a clip.), Christopher Dresser 1834 (Industrial designer.), Ronald Hutchison 1872 (Who? Better known as comedian Harry Tate. He chose that as his stage because he worked for a certain sugar refiners prior to taking to the stage. Wikipedia offers this piece of trivia: Harry Tate had the original personalised number plate on his car; it was T8.), William Halcrow 1883 (Civil engineer. [Very polite, he was. - Ed.] He designed many of the underground tunnels and bunkers used in London during WWII. Post war, he designed the massive hydro-electric power stations and dams for the Scottish Hydro-Electric Board.), Gertrude Lawrence 1898 (Actress, singer, dancer and musical comedy performer.), Chris Gittins 1902 (Actor. Walter Gabriel in The Archers, me old pal, me old beauty. Him.), Vernon Sewell 1903 (Film director; mainly of what were known as B-movies.), Angela Baddeley 1904 (Actress. Mrs Bridges in Upstairs, Downstairs. Her.), James Curtis 1907 (Orfer. They Drive By Night. That was one of his. Factoid: He is often cited as being the first author to use the slang expression ‘Gordon Bennett!’), Woodrow Wyatt 1918 (Politician and orfer.), Eric and Alec Bedser 1918 (Crickety twins.), John Elliott 1918 (TV writer. A for Andromeda. He came up with that. The Troubleshooters. That was another.), Anthony Barber 1920 (Politician.), Anthony Oliver 1922 (Jobbing actor.), Willoughby Goddard 1926 (Jobbing actor. Sir Jason Toovey in The Mind of Mr. J. G. Reeder. Him.), Stephen Boyd 1931 (Actor. Messala in Ben Hur. Him. Her. Him. [Ooh I love a tikka messala, me. - Ed.]), Colin Welland 1934 (Actor/screenwriter. P.C. Graham in Z Cars. Him.), David Prentice 1936 (Artist.), Dave Rowberry 1940 (Keyboardist with The Animals. A clip? I think that can be arranged.  Here's We [have] Gotta Get Outa This Place introduced by David McCallum of all people.), Prince Michael of Kent 1942 (Beardy royal.), Adam Hart-Davis 1943 (Scientist, author, photographer, historian and broadcaster... In fact, a right old smarty boots.), Michael N. Harbour 1945 (Jobbing actor. Appeared in all sorts of things. Perhaps his most famous role was as Sextronaut in Shafted!. Then again, perhaps not.), Jeremy Spencer 1968 (Musician. One-time member of Fleetwood Mac. Have a clip from 1968 where Spencer provides piano and vocals on Hellhound on My Trail.), Alex Miller 1949 (Fitba guy.), David Jensen 1950 (DJ with an increasingly inappropriate nickname. Happy 70th birthday ‘Kid’.), Doug Somner 1951 (Fitba guy.), John Waite 1952 (Musician. Shall we have his hit? Yeah, let’s have his hit, Missing You. [Missing you, too. Damn this lockdown. - Ed.]), Francis Maude 1953 (Politician.), Anne Lambton 1954 (Jobbing actress. Glenda in Soul Man. Her.), Jenny Seagrove 1957 (Actress. Jo Mills in Judge John Deed. Her.), Mark Steel 1960 (Comedian.), Neil Morrissey 1960 (Actor. Been in loadsa stuff.), Andrew Colins 1965 (Writer/broadcaster.), Jo Whiley 1965 (DJ/presenter.), Ronni Ancona 1968 (Actress/impressionist.), George ‘Doddie’ Weir 1970 (Rugby guy.), Jonny Owen 1971 (Actor. Ady in Shameless. Him.), Claire Price 1972 (Actress. Miriam Brindsley in Home Fires. Her.), Shelly Poole 1972 (A bit of Alisha’s Attic. Have a clip. Here’s Alisha Rules the World.), Michael Johnson 1973 (Footy bloke.), and Allan Campbell 1998 (Fitba guy with the ’Well.).

 
I don't know why, but I've got a notion
for a Toblerone right now.


 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve received a letter...

 

Dear Mr Gramreaper,

We were so pleased to see that you chose a Fleetwood Mac song that was performed with Jeremy Spencer as vocalist; there weren’t many of them. He always preferred the more bluesy style. There was a particular Elmore James song that the band recorded on their first album where Spencer got the chance to shine. Can you remember its title?

Yours from the bottom of our hearts,


 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Do you fancy a gramble? [Ooer missus! - Ed.] Yes indeedy! The Grambler is back with his/her/its predictions. Here is what has been randomly selected for you to have a little flutter on. [Ooer mi... I’ve done that already, haven’t I? - Ed.]*

Game - Result - Odds

Blackburn vs Leeds - Away win - 4/6

Brentford vs Wigan - Home win - 8/15

Fulham vs Birmingham - Home win - 3/4

Bristol City vs Cardiff - Away win - 5/4

Stoke vs Barnsley - Home win - 6/5

The bets have been placed (10 x 20 pee doubles plus 1 x 20 pee accumulator) and if they all go according to The Grambler’s Predictions, the Bobby Moore Fund stands to receive a whopping...

£11.34

Whopping? Don’t think so.

 *As this is going to print on the day after the matches were played, the results are already known.  Details next week but, if anyone actually followed the advice given in The Grambler's post on Farcebook yesterday... I'm sure you were pleasantly surprised.

 

Teaser time. Yay! How did you get on with your five questions? Here are the answers.

1. Who am I?

I hailed from Belshill. In my playing career I was at Manchester City for eight years before spending nine years at Liverpool. When I moved into management I coached the same club for 24 years, during which time I led them to European Cup victory.

Sir Matt Busby

2. Which Norwegian was in Liverpool’s 2005 UEFA Champions League winning team?

John Arne Riise

3. Who made the most Premier League appearances for Derby County?

Darryl Powell with 170 appearances

4. Which company sponsored both Rangers and Celtic in 1984?

C. R. Smith [Not Eve-rest? - Ed.]

5. What first was seen at the 1933 FA Cup Final between Everton and Manchester City?

Numbered shirts. Everton players were numbered 1-11 and Man City 12-22

How about another five for this week? Why not.

Who am I?

I was born in the Ivory Coast in 1978. I was the all-time top scorer for my national team. Most of my playing career was spent at Chelsea (2 spells) where I played 254 games and scored 104 goals including a hat-trick in the UEFA Champions League.

2. Who is the top scoring Belgian player in the Premier League?

3. Who was the youngest manager to win the Premier League?

4. Which Scottish club’s ground is called Cliftonhill?

5. Apart from Bobby Moore who is the only World Cup winning captain to play for an English club (at the time of winning)?

There you have it; five teasers to test you. Can you answer them without resorting to Googlie (or any other search engine, for that matter)?

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

As usual (at the risk of repeating myself), I remind you of the main reason for continuing to publish this blog – to raise awareness about bowel cancer. If you have any bowel problems, don’t be fobbed off with the line that you are too young for bowel cancer to be a consideration. Just point your doctor in the direction of http://www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk/campaigns-policy/latest-campaigns/never-too-young-campaign

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Please, also take the time to click on this link, an informative little video from Mersh (a great friend of Stewart’s).

 

…..oooOooo…..

 

And finally, Cyril? And finally, Esther, I am indebted to a Mr. M. Steel for this week’s final item. Those of you who live in the Yuk will no doubt recall Prime Minister Bozza’s speech to the nation about staying safe during the coronavirus lockdown... Go to work, but don’t go out, so don’t go to work, or something like that. Well, birthday boy, Mark Steel, gives us his take on that broadcast. Hmm... Probably makes more sense than the original.

 

That’s all for this week folks, but remember you can read the musings of The Grambler every week (well, most weeks) by going to the blog at www.thegrambler.com where you can also catch up on any previous editions you may have missed.

 

Happy grambling.