Saturday 7 June 2014

Week 40 - The Grambler on 1966 and all that

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 .


If you haven’t already done so, please read the article which recently 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.


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…


Right this week’s rant is not going to surprise anyone.  As the World Cup approaches I am going to have a go at ‘the media’.  Specifically those involved with coverage of sport, more specifically football, even more specifically World Cup football.  And yet more specifically a World Cup that took place the best part of 50 years ago.  It was won by a country who had never come close to winning it before and has never been particularly close to winning it since.  If it had been any country other than Engerland it would have been dismissed as a fluke.  Nothing more, nothing less.  However because it was Engerland, every English football spokesperson (and Alan Hansen) bleats on about our plucky lads every chance they get and think that at every World Cup the English team actually stands a chance.  Sorry all you Engerland fans out there but it isn’t going to happen.

Think about it.  The team that won back in…when was it again?...was made up of players who all played in top clubs.  In England.  They were the crème de la crème of English football.  They were all great players certainly, but they played at a time when English clubs employed mainly English players.  Thus, they were the very best players in England at that time.  You saw my statistics a few weeks ago (see ) in which I pointed out that in the top tier of English football nowadays a very low percentage of players is actually English.  So the ‘pool’ from which players are picked is considerably smaller than it was back in…no, I can’t remember.  If only there was somebody around who would remind me what year it was…  Also the team that won it back then, had the advantage of playing for the World Cup in their home country.  It was at a time when the highest percentage of spectators were from that country; not many could afford to travel the world to watch their team back then in 19…erm…no, it’s gone.  So, basically the whole crowd was cheering them on.

It was also a team that had played with a fairly unchanged lineup for quite a while.  Alf Ramsay, the manager, didn’t chop and change his team too much.  Do you want a fact about Alf Ramsay?  Do you know what his nickname was in his playing days?  Bear in mind that we live in more enlightened times now. [You reckon? – Ed.]  It was a word that would have anyone using it these days ending up charged with racism.  He was called Darkie Ramsay because of his swarthy complexion.  As I say, changed days.  Where was I?  Oh yes.  The players knew each other’s game inside out and played as a team and not as a group of preening, overpaid and over-tattooed primadonnas.

And of course there was that dodgy linesman decision which snatched the game from West Germany.

I digress.  I don’t want England to fail.  I would be very happy if they could win.  After all, they live in a country attached to my own.  The closest team for me to choose to support.  Unfortunately, as soon as the first match starts, no matter who is playing, the football commentators and pundits will start prattling on about some tournament of nearly half a century ago that was flukily won by a talented/lucky team who just happened to come from England.  It puts me (and every non-English person in the British Isles) right off.  In fact, it probably pisses most Engerland supporters off too.

How long from the start of the very first game will somebody be compared to Bobby Moore, a goal will be compared to one by Geoff Hurst or a save will be made that was nearly on a par with one by Gordon Banks?  How long until there is a piece of film with Three lions on our shirts/World in motion used as background music.

There is only one cure for all this ‘Engerland is bound to win the World Cup’ nonsense – TURN THE SOUND OFF!

If England were to actually win, I can promise you one thing - come September and the Scottish people vote in the referendum for independence – the decision will be a resounding yes, just because the jingoism from south of the border would be utterly unbearable!

Right, having got that off my chest, let’s move on.  Any birthdays of note this week?  None other than Sir Thomas Jones Woodward.  Who the fu… Who’s he?  It’s only Jones the voice, look you.  Yes it is Welsh Wales’ very own boyo, Tom Jones isn’t it, dai bach.  Yes, Jones the voice was born in Pontypridd in Glamorgan on the 7th of June 1940.  Do we have anything in his repertoire worth gramblerising?  Something old?  From the 60s perhaps?  It’s not unusual to gramble with anyone…No, perhaps not.  It’s good to gramble the green green grass of home…Nah.  I know; here’s one from 2000, a gramblerised version of Sex Bomb


Grambler, grambler, you're a grambler
You can gramble to me when I need to come along
Grambler, grambler, you're my grambler
And baby you can gramble me on.


Do you want to know how The Grambler’s predictions fared last week?  You do?  We won!  Yay!  Sort of.  Boo!  But we got a lot of money to give to the Bobby Moore Fund.  Yay!  Just not as much as anticipated.  Boo.

Let me explain.  We had a bet on 5 races. 

Right, with you so far. 

10 doubles and a single 5 race accumulator. 

Getting a bit technical, now. 

However, only 4 of the horses picked by The Grambler actually ran. 


In one race our choice didn’t run; it was a non-runner.

Ooh look, a bee.

Yeah.  It’s not particularly interesting, is it.  The upshot is that instead of the £21.18 we could have won, we got back just over 15 quids.  Never mind, it is all heading for the Grambler’s Kick Cancer’s backside fund (or Bobby Moore Fund).

So here is a quick roundup of what happened.

Meeting – Time – Horse – Odds

Fakenham          2.30            Midnight Diamond               5/2

It won.

Nottingham        2.15            Mubtaghaa                           4/11

It won.

Nottingham        3.45            Foxy Forever                        7/4

It couldn’t be bothered running.

Nottingham        4.15            Manderley                             3/10

It won

Nottingham        4.45            Kalahari                                2/1

It won

All this means that The Grambler has done very well on the gee gees.  In three weeks he/she/it has amassed more than he/she/it did in 35 weeks of footie predictions.  It gives us a dilemma.  Do we continue with the gee gee bet after the football season starts?  Hmm.  Need to think about it.  What do you think about it out there in Gramblerland?

So to this week’s nags.  What has The Grambler come up with today?  Believe it or not, there are 36 meetings that The Grambler could choose.  We are talking worldwide, here.  That means there are 316 races taking place!  I think we might restrict The Grambler to races reasonably close to home.

Okay, the predictions are in and, I have to say, they don’t look too promising.  I know I always say that but, this week, I think I am right.  In the races that came up for us in previous weeks, there was a gulf between the favourite (The Grambler’s choice) and the second favourite.  Whatever, here they are.

Meeting – Time – Horse – Odds

Hexham              2.10            Man With Van                      4/5

Epsom Downs    2.40            Cirrus Des Aigles                  5/4

Limerick             5.35            She’s Complete                    6/4

Worcester          6.20            In The Rough                        1/2

Lingfield             7.25            Newton’s Law                      6/4


There you have it my little gramblerados; five meetings, five races.  The usual 10 doubles and a 5 race accumulator at 20 pees a bet.  So this week, for our 2.2 quids and if all predictions come up, the Bobby Moore Fund will benefit to the tune of…


Not bad.  Will it come up?  Who knows?

Did you know this was Derby Day?  Well, it is.  Here’s a nice little toon with a film to go with it - Derby Day

Right.  Time for the answer to last week’s teaser.  I asked what was the answer if you subtracted the smallest ever crowd at a senior football match in Britain from the largest ever crowd.  First up – the facts.  The smallest crowd was at a Scottish League Cup tie between Clydebank and East Stirling on the 31st of July 1999 when just 29 folk bothered to turn up.  The biggest crowd in Britain took place just a few miles away at Hampden Park, a few years earlier, for the Scotland Engerland clash of 1937 when (officially) 149,547 supporters were present.  I added that ‘officially’ because in those days parents would lift their kids over the turnstiles to avoid paying for them, so I am guessing that the figure is lower than the real amount.  Thus, the answer to last week was 149,518.

Now for this week’s teaser.  The World Cup is less than a week away, so a World Cup themed teaser is apt.  Who has scored more goals in World Cup finals tournaments than any other individual?  I’ll give you a clue, it’s not a Brazilian with erectile disfunction.

To finish with, here’s a new feature to amuse you (I hope).  Oh goody. Lookalikes!  Been done.  Not like this it hasn’t.  First up a rather fancy building…


It’s the headquarters of the ING Bank in Amsterdam.  Take a look at it and try convincing me and yourself that the architect wasn’t a fan of Doctor Who back in the 70s.


Doctor Who’s annoying robot sidekick, K9.


Happy grambling.


  1. Argentina to win the world cup with messi as too scorer

    Ladbrokes 16/1