Saturday 30 August 2014

Week 4 A tribute to our founder

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…


Let’s get the grambling out of the way quickly, shall we?  Four out five predictions were correct last week.  Head to our ‘Winnings’ page to see how we are doing this season.

This week’s predictions?  Once again, I will give you the deal without the spiel…

Game - Result – Odds

Derby County vs Ipswich – Prediction Home win – 4/6

Gillingham vs Crewe – Prediction Home win – Evens

Cheltenham vs Hartlepool – Prediction Home win – Evens

Stenhousemuir vs Ayr – Prediction Away win – Evens

Stranraer vs Dunfermline – Prediction Away win – 5/6


If results go our way on our bet of 10 x 20p doubles and 1 x 20p accumulator, then the Kick Bowel Cancer’s Backside Fund could benefit by…


Okay, let’s leave the usual stuff for now; normal service will be resumed next week. 
I promised a slightly different version of the article this week.  One year ago, on the 29th of August 2013, Stewart David Smith died.  When I sent messages to everyone telling them of the fact, I said simply this: Stewart’s suffering has ended.  It was true.  The bowel cancer that killed him had caused him untold suffering. 

His death affected many people; wife, family, friends, workmates.  It also affected those people who had treated him throughout his ordeal; the medical staff.

But this week’s is not going to dwell entirely on the sadness associated with his death.  I have asked some close family and friends of Stewart to give me a short message about Stewart.  They were set no rules; it could be happy or sad; short or long.  In fact, whatever they wanted to say.  Here are some memories of Stewart David Smith, aka Smit, aka The Grambler, aka Greg Evigan (on


I first met Stewart when we both worked at the local Co-op.  I was not too keen on his hairstyle or sarcastic nature. But as I got to know him I recognised what a genuinely nice person he was; always polite and helpful to customers, even tolerant of Co-Op Bob.  When we discovered a mutual love of Terrorvision I thought we were surely meant to be.

We became best friends as well as husband and wife.  Stewart was the kindest, funniest, loveliest, bravest person I have ever known.  It will never be right that we won't get to grow old together.  No matter what happens in my life I will always love Stewart; I will always miss my best friend every day and it will never be ok that he died aged 28.

I'm not sure what I believe is waiting for us when our time comes, but the idea that I will get to see my husband and best friend once more is one of the only things that gives me a real sense of peace.

Geraldine Smith


Stewart was the wisest person I knew.  Who ever heard of a father asking his son’s opinion on anything?  But that is how it was with Stewart.  He was the original Grambler and, if you read the earlier articles written by him, you will see that his knowledge of football was immense.  He was a lifelong Motherwell supporter and actually got me, his dad, into supporting them.

He was a clever guy too.  He did two degrees at university and had ambitions to be a political adviser.

However, his two great passions in life were sport and music.  He swam for the local swimming club from the age of 6, was a member of his school’s football team and athletics team; he even tried the crazy sport of roller-blade hockey.  As an adult, he ran many 10 k races, eventually getting his personal best time down to a creditable 40 minutes.

He loved music and his tastes took in many genres, from metal to synth with some classical and folk in between.  I like to think he was influenced by my own weird tastes – I introduced him to Kraftwerk, Ozric Tentacles and Fourtet.  He introduced me to Animal Collective, The Errors and F***buttons.  If either of us heard an interesting piece of music, the other was immediately informed of this great ‘find’.

From his early teenage years he played the guitar; rather well, actually.  Like all teenagers, he had aspirations to be a rock star and formed a band with his friends.  It had a typical Stewart name: The Incredible Monkey Man.  They actually got quite a bit of support locally and even won a ‘battle of the bands’ contest.  And it is one of the band’s gigs that I want to tell you about…

As well as the guitar, Stewart could play, of all instruments, the trombone.  How uncool is that?  However, at one of TIMM’s gigs he astounded everybody, including the other members of the band, by putting his guitar down in the middle of a song, racing offstage, to return moments later brandishing his trombone.  I would like to say he gave a brilliant impromptu performance.  But I can’t.  It was dreadful.  The other band members, and Stewart too, couldn’t play for laughing.  It certainly brought the house down (as theatrical types say), but it was just awful.  However, everyone who was there that night would agree with me – it was a never-to-be-forgotten moment in music.

Kevin Smith


To me Smit was a genuine, kind and caring person, who was the same person from the first time I met him before P1 right up until we were in our 20s (that's a long time).  Smit was one of those people who would go out of their way to help a friend no matter what. He would be the one who would be the first to try out all the stupid n senseless pranks (once the boys knew he was ok they would then participate).  I'm so glad that I got to see him grow up from being one of the only Motherwell fans in primary to being someone with a great sense of humour and who meant so much to everyone he knew.  I have lots of memories; some that shouldn't be printed, but one I carry on at every BBQ I go to is that he introduced me to cheese racing which, in turn, I try to teach everyone else.

Suzy Wilson


Stewart was a diamond of a gentleman: a loyal and caring friend whom I shared a great love of music with. Always was my right hand man for going to gigs with, he and I shared many great times together at many different bands' gigs. While he may well have been a master of the cringe factor with his jokes, he was a genuinely funny and dependable guy who is still sadly missed. Stewart, Rest in Peace buddy.

Michael Herd


I think about Smit every day. The photo card that the family gave out (see below) sits on top of my dressing table and I look at it every morning and try to smile, because it tells me to. But sometimes it’s hard. Because it is so very sad and so many people miss him so very much.

But Smit was incredibly funny, witty and silly, so he does make it slightly easier in that a lot of the memories I have involve him doing something daft or outrageous. (The worst of which I think we’ve relayed back to his mum. Sorry Smit!) So then you do smile, or laugh, because you’re glad you were there, that he had you in stitches, and you are lucky to have known him. And I think he’d prefer it that way.

Julie-ann Murray


I always remember when Stewart would be attempting to grow his hair long, but every time he got it to a certain length he would have it cut, saying it was ‘at the Beatles stage’.  It took many such attempts to finally get it past that dreaded point.

Andrew MacDonald


Stewart was a kind, funny person. He was extremely brave throughout his illness and kept his sense of humour throughout. He is missed by a lot of people and it was a pleasure to have known him.

Lyndsey Murphy

We think of you [Stewart’s family] and of Stewart so often, and although this day brings to mind the sorrow of his passing, it is also an opportunity to revisit some wonderful memories of him. I could list hundreds if not thousands of moments I've had with Smit, but I feel that this statement below will summorise Stewart’s role he played in our lives.

"Your refusal to be anything other than who you were, has cemented your place in the hearts of every person who loved you.
But perhaps your greatest legacy is the fact that those whom you loved, know they are loved still."

Andrew Tinney


I read something recently that struck a chord. It said that missing someone isn't about how long it has been since you last saw them or spoke. It is about that moment when you are doing something and wishing they were right there with you. In the past year there have been many of these moments; for me it is strongest when we are all together as a group or when something funny happens, usually at john's expense! I find myself wishing he was there to share the laughs, add a dry comment or, pre-hair cut, join in with the nonsense! Although these moments can be terribly sad I like that it is fun and laughter that spark my memories, it just seems so fitting for my funny reformed nutter pal.

Miss you Smitney x

Debbie MacLennan


Someone once remarked, rather sagely, that it's a funny old game.  Someone else once sang, rather less sagely, that you only swing when you're winning.

In the week that saw Liverpool replace a striker with bite with a striker with a petted lip, Man Utd realise that the van gaals are well and truly on the slates, and Celtic shaken all about in their game of Champion's League hokey cokey, it is fitting that we remember Stewart's Rubbertoe Mankini and Grambler blogs which aimed a well-placed kick in the go*lies at footie's pompous pr*cks.

Irreverent?  Of course it was.  Irrelevant?  Of course it wasn't.  It was a blog about football.  By a bloody good bloke.

Mitch Kerr


I first met Smit in my first year of secondary school and we quickly became very close friends and from the end of our 1st year to our last day in school we walked to Claremont in the rain, snow or sun. From then our friendship grew as we embarked on many adventures from going to the Leeds Fesitival 3 years in a row to Cinema Wednesdays after University to see such classics as Finding Nemo.

Smit also had a significant impact on my music taste introducing me to bands like Iron Maiden, Pearl Jam, Kiss, and Poison but then again he did introduce me to Ozric Tentacles. I don’t think there was ever a time where the Foos were in town where we didn’t go see them. Whether it be Gigs, holidays, or pub quizzes we always had a great time.

Stewart may be gone but he will never be forgotten, the impact he had on my life was significant. I could write pages and pages of memories and superlatives about the man but I am no wordsmith like he was. I would not do him justice. The memories highlighted and so many more will be etched in my mind forever. Never a truer friend; never a nicer guy. He is missed every day.

Scott McGillivray


Smit was a great friend.  We shared a passion for the random, going to gigs and a well-considered wee dram.  He was one of my best mates and he will never be far from my thoughts.  Without The Grambler and Rubbertoe Mankini there may never have been a Meat Filled Pastries and I think we can all be thankful for that.

Chris Marshall


As the anniversary of Stewart’s death approaches I remember the bad times a year ago and the two years leading up to it, but in remembering the bad times I can’t help but remember some of the good times.

I remember when he was very young and we couldn’t get him to come out from under the table when anyone came a visiting (or maybe that was just for me). I am going to take this personally now as I also remember both him and Colin would run from the room when I used to sing that Michael Jackson classic Heal the World. This was a good tactic though if you wanted them to go up to their room.

When he grew up he seemed to find my company a bit more palatable and I have a treasured memory of having the honour of doing a reading at his wedding to Geraldine. Other happy times included the lovely meals he and Geraldine made for us and the many games nights we had where I would often accuse him and Kevin of cheating especially at Scrabble.

Stewart you are sorely missed by everyone who knew you. It was a privilege to have known you.

Definitely taken too soon!!

Rest in peace

Lots of Love

Linda Godfrey


Stewart (Smit) was always the 'quiet' one in our group as kids, or at least that's what the parents thought, many a great night was had down the boating pond, up the Key (a youth club), Suzy’s house and all the random streets we wandered for hours where he was always the life and soul of the party, getting up to mischief and making us all laugh till our sides hurt. 

Kirsty Boyle


It’s hard to believe that’s a year past.

On some occasions it feels like a lifetime ago that we lost our friend and that time has moved on.  However, on other occasions it still feels like yesterday that I received the phone call informing me of the inevitable.  One thing is for sure though, that regardless of how long or short ago it seems, Stewart will never be forgotten and still plays an influential part in all our lives.  His presence was still felt at our good friend Steve’s wedding earlier this year and it will continue to be felt as our group of friends progress through our own lives, taking each challenge as it comes and taking absolutely nothing for granted as we have been shown just how cruel and final our world can be.  In Stewart’s memory, we will always be connected and there’s not a single day that goes by where I don’t think of him in some way.  Some days I may think for hours about how things could be different and what life would be like if Stewart was still with us.  Would he be successful? Would he have children with Geraldine on the way?  Would he have seen Terrorvision another 30 times?  Other days I may only have passing thoughts or memories about his love for Sublime or how ridiculous he looked in that flame-patterned hat he wore each and every day for about three years as a teenager.  Either way though, he is always on all of our minds.

Stewart was absolutely fantastic.  There’s just no other way of putting it.  He was there for his family when needed, he was there for his friends when needed.  He spent more time making sure we were all coping with his condition instead of making sure he was coping himself.  I always felt that he made me assess my own life, as he was the first of our team to take on the responsibility of growing up.  He was hilarious, witty, on some occasions an absolute clown, but he had the ability to switch onto sensible mode whenever necessary and that’s one of the many skills that led him to become a great young man with a great future on the cards.

I understand the pain shall still be strong and that each day is a challenge for all of Stewart’s family, but I pray that, one day, the hurt will minimise and you will be able to think of his grin, smiling and be able to remember how truly great he was without the great sadness being attached.  He is still with you, you just don’t get to feel his physical presence or hear his voice but I hope you all agree that deep down, he will never truly leave any of us.

I can imagine the following lines being put to a classic pop punk song with Stewart racing through four random power chords on a continuous loop and myself piercing everyone in the room’s ear drums with a mix of screeching and out of tune chanting in true Incredible Monkey Man style.

‘We’re one down but we’re still strong. My friend for life, farewell, so long.

Your memory lives on and on, As another star is shining down on us’

Stewart Smith, 1985-2013

John McGrorry


And finally…

I am currently completing research toward an MD in colorectal cancer surgery.  It is traditional when completing a thesis for a higher degree to dedicate it to a person who supported or influenced you on your journey toward it.  In a couple of years time, when I take my thesis to be bound, a few pages from the cover,  it will be dedicated so…

“Dedicated to the memory of Stewart Smith, my friend.  This thesis describes the illness which took his life in the prosaic, dry and objective language required of medical research.  He is a constant reminder to me of the personal story underlying each case, patient and statistic.  His bravery and good humour lifted us in those dark moments and made the most of what time we had.”

I am confident that my thesis won’t change the world  or win any prizes but in it his name will remain, even if it is only in a copy on my shelf and in a dusty University library.

Stephen McSorley

Thanks to everybody who contributed to this week’s