Friday 6 November 2015

Week 14 - Giving to charity the Grambler way

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 .

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.

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

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


It has been a week when the only Portuguese people I know have been making headlines. Jose Mourinho aka the (not so) special one seems to have the backing of Chelsea’s owner, but not the backing of his players, one of whom has been noted as saying that he would rather lose than win for Mourinho. The team winning only two out of the last nine matches, suggests the unknown player could be right. John Terry has claimed that this is not the case. In other words, Mr Terry, you are saying that the team is useless.

Another Portuguese gentleman has also been in the news. There is a film of Cristiano Ronaldo about to be released... Hang on, that doesn’t read too well. The film is about to be released; not Mr Ronaldo. What can I say about Cristiano Ronaldo that hasn’t already been said? He is shy, modest and self-effacing. That has certainly never been said about him. He is a guy who knows he is a good footballer and has a huge ego to match his huge salary. The film has been described as a ‘vanity project’ for the man who claims he is better than Messi and says that people come to see him because he is ‘magnificent on the football field.’  What a tw*t! 




What have Terrorvision and the Lighthouse Family got in common? Anyone? Yes, you at the back... No it’s not that they are both crap bands. I happen to quite like Terrorvision, I’ll have you know. I’ve even been to see them. Can’t recall if it was the first or second final reunion tour. No matter. Well, the answer to what they have in common is that, currently, you couldn’t give their albums away, let alone sell them. Let me explain. I recently gathered together a bundle of cds to sell, the proceeds of which were to go to the Bobby Moore Fund. The place to sell these seemed to be an on-line company called Music Mudpie, or something. Any road up, all I had to do was enter the barcode for each cd I wanted to sell and I could make a bundle of dosh for the fund. What could be simpler? Except it isn’t quite as easy as that. Most of the cds I tried to sell achieved a price of between 5 and 30 pees. Hmm... methinks the Bobby Moore Fund would not be receiving quite the fortune I was anticipating. Occasionally, something a bit more obscure would command a higher price... but, on the whole, 30 pees was the upper limit.

I must have had about 200 cds to sell, but could shift only about half of them. The reasons given for refusal to buy were that the cd had a barcode that was not recognised or, as in the case of the two bands already mentioned, they just weren’t interested. Sorry pardon excuse me? In the 80s, the Lighthouse Family were one of the highest earning bands on the planet; what has changed to make them so unpopular? Perhaps it is simply that they produced one brilliant single - Lifted - and then every record they produced thereafter was, basically, the same song. It all sounded a bit monotonous after a while. But Terrorvision? Why, they were the band credited with getting Stewart and Geraldine together. Yes indeed. It was their mutual appreciation of the band that first got them talking to each other. Isn’t that nice? In my humble opinion, Terrorvision were pretty darned good, back in the day. And I’m not just saying that because Tony Wright, their singer, follows The Grambler on Twitter. Surely, somebody, somewhere remembers them. According to Music Porkpie, nobody does.

Any road up, all you gramblerinis out there, I am going to repeat a suggestion I made back in July on The Grambler’s Facebook page. What do you mean, you didn’t know he/she/it had a Farcebook page? He/she/it is on Twitter too - @Lets Gramble. My suggestion is of a wonderful way to have a clear out and give money to the Bobby Moore Fund at the same time. How? Gather up all your unwanted cds and dvds that you are never going to listen to or watch again and send them off to musicMagpie (That isn’t my messing about with where the capital letters should be; that is how the company prints it.). When you receive your cheque, simply donate it to the fund via the usual means - . Thus, you have given the house a tidy up and donated to charity as well. Brilliant, or what?




Any birthdays to celebrate this Saturday, the 7th of November? Why, yes. Quite definitely, some. Aggripina the Younger 15 (Derek Jacobi’s wife.), Marie Sklodowska-Curie 1862 (I was going to make a comment about glowing in the dark but, given that her death was caused by too much exposure to radiation, it’s not really appropriate.), Leon Trotsky 1879 (Name checked in No More Heroes.), Albert Camus 1913 (Not an existentialist? How absurd.), Billy Graham 1918 (He’s still alive? Praise the Lord!), Wolf Mankowitz 1924 (Trivia: Writer Wolf was taken on by Cubby Broccoli and Harry Saltzman to co-write the original James Bond film, Dr. No. On seeing the early rushes, Mankowitz feared the film would be a disaster and would harm his reputation, so insisted on his name being removed from the credits. Who said numpty? A few years later he was employed to write the screenplay for the only non Broccoli/Saltzman Bond film of the era - the unmitigated disaster that was Casino Royale. Aye, numpty, right enough. Theme tune was okay, though.), Joan Sutherland 1926 (A bonzer singer, cobber.), Ivor Emmanuel 1928 (He was in Zulu, you know. Sang Men of Harlech a lot.), Peter Woods (Newsreader whose most famous TV moment was at the end of the Morecambe and Wise ‘There is nothing like a dame’ sketch.), Roberta Joan Anderson 1943 (Who? Joan is the clue. It’s Joni Mitchell, Mitchell being her married name.), Lucinda Green 1953 (Horsey woman.), Judy Tenuta 1956 (Accordian player.), John Barnes 1963 (Footy bloke. Stewart couldn’t stand him. He appreciated his skill as a player, but just couldn’t abide his voice when he talked. A fingernails down a blackboard moment.), Sharleen Spiteri 1967 (Trivia: Co-founder of Glasgow-based radio station ‘Beat 106’ in 1998 with Ally McCoist and Carol Smillie. They sold the station 8 months later for £32 million. Not a bad wee earner.), Mark Philippoussis 1976 (Huge tennisy bloke.), Rio Ferdinand and Jan Vennigoor of Hessilink 1978 (Footy blokes).

Hmm. Anyone in there to give us a toon to gramblerise? Well, no. Not really. However, there was a reference to a certain song by the Stranglers, so here is a little snippet [Snippet? Isn’t that a small greyhound type dog? - Ed.]...

Whatever happened to the gramblers?
Whatever happened to the gramblers?

No more gramblers any more
No more gramblers any more
No more gramblers any more
No more gramblers any more




Let’s move on to grambling matters. How did our bet go last week? We did better than the week before. Not too difficult, given that we won a big fat nothing that week. £1.84 back this time. Still 36 pees down, though. What happened?  All is revealed below, fair reader...

Swansea vs Arsenal - Prediction Away win

Result - Swansea 0 Arsenal 3


Swansea's Bafetimbi Gomis (Cracking name of the week.) squandered the best chance of an entertaining but goalless first half.

Olivier Giroud headed Arsenal in front soon after the restart, before Laurent Koscielny seized on an error by former Gunners goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski to double their lead.

Joel Campbell struck on his first Premier League start to seal victory.

Good start by The Grambler.

Crewe Alexandria vs Sheffield United - Prediction Away win

Result - Crewe Alexandria 1 Sheffield United 0


Jose 'Jim' Baxter forced a flying save from Ben 'Pat' Garratt with a long-range effort as the visitors started brightly.

However, Ryan Colclough's off-balance scuff and Marcus Haber's glancing header both skewed narrowly wide as the hosts settled into the game.

Colclough then scored Crewe's first goal in four games as he rifled past Mark Howard to seal the win.

Stevenage vs Oxford United - Prediction Away win

Result - Stevenage 1 Oxford United 5


Ryan Taylor opened the scoring for Oxford before Chris Whelpdale levelled with a 30-yard chip.

Boro keeper Jesse Joronen saved Liam ‘Harry’ Sercombe's penalty after Dean ‘Cap’n Flint’ Parrett's foul, but could not save Sercombe's second spot-kick, as Jamie McCombe was sent off for hauling Danny Hylton down.

Alex MacDonald notched the third before Michael Tonge saw red for a two-footed challenge, and Taylor and Kemar 'Up on the' Roofe completed the rout with further goals.


Alloa vs Queen of the South - Prediction Away win

Result - Alloa 1 Queen of the South 2


Graeme ‘Sherlock’ Holmes fired Alloa ahead with a shot from the edge of the area after just 31 seconds.

Gary Oliver converted a Derek ‘Tate and’ Lyle cross at the second attempt after Andy McNeil had saved his initial effort just 10 seconds into the second half.

Alloa's Jason ‘Andrew’ Marr's shot struck a post before Oliver netted the winning goal when he volleyed home Lyle's cross.


Cowdenbeath vs Dunfermline - Prediction Away win

Result - Cowdenbeath 0 Dunfermline 0

Ooh! ‘It the bar!

The hosts reacted to the effort as if it were a victory, as they superbly shut out a side which has been scoring at a rate of more than three a game this season.

David ‘Paddy’ Hopkirk missed two early chances for the Pars and Marc McAusland's header was cleared off the line.

Joe Cardle was a constant threat but Dunfermline could not break through.

Okay, that was last week; what can The Grambler come up with this week? There are only 35 senior league games taking place this Saturday, the 7th of November at 3pm, due to the teams from the English lower leagues taking part in the first round of the FA Cup (Now known as the Emirates FA Cup). So what has The Grambler randomly selected for us this week?

Game - Result - Odds

Sunderland vs Southampton - Prediction Away win - 4/5

Brighton vs Milton Keynes Dons - Prediction Home win - 4/6

St Johnstone vs Kilmarnock - Prediction Home win - 13/20

St Mirren vs Hibernian - Prediction Away win - 4/7

Brechin vs Ayr - Prediction Away win - 10/11

If the bets (10 x 20 pee doubles plus 1 x 20 pee accumulator) all go as predicted by The Grambler, the Bobby Moore Fund will benefit to the tune of fanfare please…


Will this be the week when... No, I’m not going to even say it.



Hooray, it’s teaser time. Last week I asked who was the last player to score more than 300 goals in top flight English football. Wurl Saint, the arnser is nan avver then Greavsie (A reference there to his ‘double-act’ with Ian St John when they were known as Saint and Greavsie.). Yep, Jimmy Greaves scored 357 goals, making him the highest scorer in the history of English top-flight football. 268 of those were for Totenham Hotspur - a record for that club. In case you are interested, there are only another two names in the ‘over 300 club’. Steve Bloomer scored 317 and William ‘Dixie’ Dean scored 310.

Now then, one for this week. Which club has conceded the most hat-tricks in the English Premiershit? One to ask ‘em down the pub.




Once again, let’s finish with a mention 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 .



And finally, Cyril? And finally Esther, I am indebted to a Mr P. Woods who appears in this week’s musical finale - There is Nothing Like a Dame .

Happy Grambling.






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