Wednesday 16 April 2014

Week 33 - Grambling old gracefully

The Grambler is the brainchild of Stewart David Smith, who lost his wonderful life to Colorectal, or Bowel, cancer aged just 28.  He fought a horrendous battle for 2 years and 1 month, defeating septicemia, multi-organ failure, antibiotic-induced hearing loss, kidney failure and countless other complications with a bravery none of us will ever see again. 


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 will be 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 .


His wish was that The Grambler should continue after his death and I have been happy to oblige.  Welcome to The Grambler, the most ill-informed blog you are ever likely to see. Read on and enjoy…


 Who is this man?


I’m in grumbling grambler mode again.  This week my pet hate of the moment is ageing.  Sorry pardon excuse me?  Ageing.  Nothing wrong with getting older.  My moan is about people who don’t want to get old.  It is a particularly specific group of people I wish to discuss.  Not women.  Not just men.  I am talking musicians of the male variety.  Those musos who think that dyeing their hair a ridiculous shade of red (eg. Paul McCartney, Ray Davies) or black (eg Bryan Ferry, Colin Blunstone) will somehow detract from the fact that their face belongs to a 70 year old. 

Yes Paulie, that hair and that face complement each other perfectly

Then there are the wig wearers.  Step up Sir Michael Jagger.  Who do you think you are kidding?  No one of 70 has a mop of dark brown hair like that.  Okay, you do, but there is no way it is actually attached to you head.  There is a piece of film of Sir Mick when he was about 14 doing various exercises for his PE instructor dad (which I can’t find on line, unfortunately).  I reckon Mick senior (whose name was actually Basil Fanshawe Jagger but he preferred to be known as Joe.  With a name like that, can’t say I blame him.) was no more than 40 when that film was shot; he’s as bald as a coot [Coots aren’t bald.  They are birds. They are covered in feathers. – Ed].  Now, strange as it may seem, most kids do take after their dads; not just in looks, but follically (if there is such a word) as well.


Is this the real Mick Jagger? Or is that Brian Eno’s forehead?

Forget about just hair for a moment.  What about the guys who go in for the complete works - cosmetic surgery –  Kenny Rodgers, Smokie Robinson, Dave Clark.  Have you seen what these guys have done to themselves?  Here’s Dave Clark.


Yeah, Dave, you really look a lot younger with that constant surprised look on your coupon.


Then, take a look at the guys who don’t try to find everlasting youth; the ones who are happy to grow old gracefully – Peter Gabriel, Andy Fairweather-Lowe, Peter Frampton.  I think you will agree that these guys not only look right (or should that read ‘realistic’? Because no one would accuse Mr Clark of looking real), they look younger than the guys trying to mess with their looks.  To me, they are the epitome of cool.


Peter Frampton – Axe-wielding god.  Yay!


Any birthdays of note this week?  Yes indeedy.  The rhinestone cowboy himself Glen Campbell, 78 on 22nd of April.  I think we can find a song to gramblerise out of his repertoire (That’s a good word; must look it up).

Grambleston, oh Grambleston, I still hear your sea winds gramblin'
I still see her dark eyes gramblin'
She was 21 when I left Grambleston

Grambleston, oh Grambleston, I still hear your sea waves grambling
While I watch the cannons grambling
I clean my gun and dream of Grambleston

I still see her grambling by the water
Grambling there gramblin' out to sea
And is she grambling there for me?
On the beach where we used to run

Grambleston, oh Grambleston, I am so afraid of grambling
Before I dry the tears she's grambling
Before I watch your sea birds grambling in the sun
At Grambleston, at Grambleston

Oh yes he was good.  So was his soup.  I tried them all.  I remember having cockaleekie, but that’s not surprising at my age.  Wasn’t he married to an bloke?  What was his name?  Bobby Gently, that’s him.  Must have been one of them transvestibules, cos he looked very much like an woman to me.  And another thing – he was an beach bum, that Glen Campervan.  Only for an few months.  Mmm.  He took over from that Brian Wilton when they went on tour.  There.  Stick that in your wotsit and smoke it.  You thought I didn’t know anything but you read the bits I write, in amongst all the other blibbing rubbish, you might learn something.  He did lots of good songs did that Glen…Soup bloke.  By the time I get to feel it…that was one.  Rhino’s cowboy…that’s another.  Witch eats a lemon…ho yes, I know them all, then there was etc. etc. ad infinitum.

Shall we crack on?  Before we get on to grambling matters, old Glen looks as if he’s had some ‘work’ done…


Hmm…something definitely not quite right there.  Where have his ear lobes gone?  He looks as if everything has been tugged upwards.  There’s probably a knot on top of his head.

Any road up, on to grambling matters.  Did we win last week?  Did we f…no we didn’t.  What went wrong?  Read on my little grambler chums.

Game 1 – Sunderland vs Everton – Prediction Away win – Yay

Sunderland 0 Everton 1

Everton moved into the Premier League's top four after Wes Brown's own goal gifted them a seventh straight win and left Sunderland bottom of the table.

A spirited Black Cats display was undone with 15 minutes to go when Brown diverted Gerard Deulofeu's cross into his own net while trying to clear. What a pillock!

Sunderland's best chance came when Fabio Borini's shot was cleared by John Stones with Tim Howard beaten.

Gus Poyet's side remain seven points adrift of safety, with six games to go.

Would you like to see what Uruguayan Poyet had to say after the the game?  Of course you would.

"I donna have di word because issa not a one feeling, really. It hurt, it hurt because it a doesn't matter whatta we do, something heppen. And issa not excuse, I donna really believe inna luck."

What?  Even if that was in perfect English, it would still be bollocks.

Game 2 – Burnley vs Middlesbrough – Prediction Home win – Boo!

Burnley 0 Middlesbrough 1

Burnley's wait to secure promotion back to the Premier League goes on after Middlesbrough confound The Grambler by winning at Turf Moor.

Jacob Butterfield scored the only goal on 51 minutes to leave the Clarets needing five points from their last four games to return to the top flight.

Michael Kightly had earlier struck the bar for the hosts, while Danny Graham and Butterfield went close for Boro.

The visitors finished the game with 10 men after Daniel Ayala was shown a second yellow card in added time.

Game 3 – Notts County vs Port Vale – Prediction Draw – Again I say Boo!

Notts County 4 Port Vale 2

Jimmy Spencer and Jamal Campbell-Ryce both scored twice as Notts County came back from 2-0 down to beat Port Vale and climb out of the relegation zone.

Curtis Thompson headed into his own net (Plonker!) and Gavin Tomlin's close-range effort gave Port Vale an early 2-0 lead.  And then they go and ship 4 goals!!!

Spencer's quick-fire double, which included a header and a toe-poke, sent the hosts in level at half-time.

A second-half volley from Campbell-Ryce gave Notts the lead before he met Jack Grealish's pass (‘Hello, Jack Grealish’s pass.’) to add a fourth.

Game 4 – Walsall vs Bristol City – Prediction Draw – And again – Boo!

Walsall 0 Bristol City 1

A first-half penalty by Sam Baldock moved Bristol City up to 13th in League One while all but ending Walsall's slim hopes of making the play-offs.

Baldock hammered home his 23rd goal of the season after Andy Taylor fouled him needlessly in a corner of the box (Ooh…You don’t want to get fouled in the corner of the box.  Sounds painful.) a minute from half-time.

The Saddlers should have equalised in the 57th minute when Greg Cunningham fouled Michael Ngoo in the area.

However, Sam Mantom's soft spot-kick was comfortably saved by Simon Moore.  What a pillock!  That might have made the difference between The Grambler winning and losing!


Game 5 – Northampton vs Burton – Prediction Away win – One more time – Boo!

Northampton 1 Burton 0

Mary’s boy John Marquis* struck to give relegation-threatened Northampton a crucial win against Burton Albion in League Two.

Marquis fired past keeper Rob Lainton at his near post before home keeper Matt Duke denied Shane Cansdell-Sherriff from close range.

Burton went close to an equaliser when Adam McGurk's effort hit the bar.

Northampton nearly doubled their lead when Chris Hackett blazed over and a fine save from replacement keeper Dean Lyness denied Marquis a second late on.

* That ‘joke’ probably only works in the central belt of Scotland and, even then, would only be appreciated by those of us who remember the sixties.  Mary Marquis presented Reporting Scotland back then in the days of black and white telly.


So that was last week.  Pretty rubbishy, huh?  Can The Grambler make amends this week?  Well, we won’t find that out until Saturday afternoon at about 5 o’clock, so that was an unnecessary question.  Or should that be Friday at 5 o’clock?  Come again?  Yes it is Good Friday and that doesn’t half fmuck up the footie schedules.  There are 25 games on the Friday at 3pm and there are 29 games on the Sat’day.  And the problem with Saturday’s games is that the majority of them take place north of the border.  It’s a dilemma and no mistake, guv.  Nope.  Rules is rules.  The rules state that The Grambler chooses from games that take place on a Saturday afternoon at 3pm, so we must abide by them.

So from those 29 games taking place on Saturday the 19th of April at 3pm The Grambler has chosen…

Game – Result – Odds

Newcastle United vs Swansea – Prediction Home win – 13/8

For us furst geem we head up to New’astle bonny lad, why aye man, to seent Jeemses Paurk…I can’t keep this up.  Ahem.  For our first game we head to St James’s Park where the Magpies (Squawk!) play host to the Swans (Hissss!).  The Grambler in his/her/its wisdom predicted that New’astle will take all the points here.  Hmm.  Granted, Newcastle sit 6 places higher in the league than Swansea, but they haven’t won any of their last 4 games.  It should also be pointed out that in the 3 previous encounters between these 2 teams, it is Swansea who have taken the spoils.  You sure about that home win prediction, Grambler?

Barnsley vs Leeds United – Prediction Away win – 15/8

Nah then, we head to’t Oakwell where t’Tykes play host t’Yoonited int Yorkshire derby.  That’s how they talk.  They talk about having ‘an extension to me arse’ – an extension to my house – or ‘tintintin’ – it isn’t in the tin.  I love the Yorkshire accent or would you call it a dialect?  I suppose a north Yorkshire person would sound totally different to someone from, say, Sheffield and would be quite annoyed at my generalisation but, then again [Will you stop waffling and get on with it! – Ed.]  Sorry, ahem.  Fort Yorkshire derby T’Grambler [Stop it. – Ed.] has decided that Leeds will take all the points.  Again, I must question The Grambler’s sanity.  Leeds have lost 8 of their last 10 matches.  Do you really reckon they can turn it around this Saturday?  Barnsley may well be further down the table but, on current form, they are undoubtedly the better side.  And they are in the relegation zone and know that a couple of good results could move them a few places up the table.  In short, they have more to play for.  Think you are wrong, wrong, wrong on this one Grambler.

Burton Albion vs Hartlepool United – Prediction Home win – 5/6

For our third game of the weekend we head to the Pirelli Stadium where the Brewers play host to the Monkey Hangers.  Burton let us down last week, but The Grambler has, for the second week on the trot, predicted a win.  You would think that with Burton being in 5th spot and the Pool down in 18th position, he/she/it has called this one right.  However, in their encounter earlier in the season, the points were shared.  Maybe, with the home advantage, Burton could take the points.  Yeah, I will go with The Grambler on this one.

Greenock Morton vs Dundee – Prediction Away win – 4/7

For our penultimate, not to mention second last, game of the week we head to Cappielow Park where the ‘Ton play host to the Dark Blues.  The Grambler has chosen – what a cop out – an away win here.  I say a cop out because Dundee are at the top of the table and Morton are at the foot.  You would think, then, that The Grambler has probably called this one right.  But hold on there Bald Eagle (not done that one for a while), Morton are 11 points adrift at the bottom of the table.  With only 3 games remaining, they are definitely going down, so who’s to say they won’t swagger out on Saturday with a ‘f*** em’ attitude and actually win?  Admittedly, it is unlikely but – you never know…

Stirling Albion vs Elgin City – Prediction Home win – 8/13

And finally, Cyril?  And Finally Esther we head to Forthbank Stadium where the Binos play host to City.  And The Grambler’s last prediction of the weekend is a win for Albion.  Stirling are in 3rd spot in the table and Elgin are down in 9th.  That doesn’t sound much of a difference unless you realise that there are only 10 teams in the Scottish 2nd (or 4th) division.  It would appear that, once again, The Grambler is playing it safe.  In the last encounter it was Stirling who took the points, but in the previous meeting Stirling were humped 4 nil.  Might Elgin prove The Grambler wrong?  Hmm.


And so we come to the end of another week’s grambling.  How much money will be winging its way to the Kick Bowel Cancer’s Backside Fund this week if all predictions come up?  Well, our 10 x 20 pee doubles and 1 x 20 pee accumulator will net…


Wow!  That is absolutely… average.

Would you like to know the answer to last week’s teaser?  You would?  You remember I asked you which two Scottish football stadiums (or more correctly stadia.  I did Latin, you know) are ‘listed’ buildings.  The first you probably guessed – Ibrox Stadium home of Govan United or someone…only joking all you lovely Rangers fans out there.  The second?  Netherdale, home of Gala Fairydean Rovers and here it is…

What do you reckon?  Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Would you like a little teaser this week?  Well, you’re getting one anyway.  Here goes…

Who was the first goalkeeper to be awarded England’s ‘Player of the Year’ award?

Once again, I will end by asking all you regular readers out there in Gramblerland [What?  Both of them? – Ed.] to tell your mates, family, neighbours, nodding acquaintances all about the wonderful blog we call The Grambler.  Tell them to read, and take heed from, Stewart’s story.  Thanks.

And who exactly was that man?  Only Shane Warne, the famously stocky Australian fast bowler.  It fits in with this week’s rant and begs the question – WHY FOR GOD’S SAKE?



I will finish with a story he told.  As I said, he used to be fairly stocky (for a sportsman, anyway) and England captain Graham Gooch taunted him with ‘Why are you so fat?’  Warne’s reply was, ‘Cos every time I f*** your wife she gives me a biscuit.’

Happy grambling.








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