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 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…
Yay! They’ve done it. Leicester City, the 5000/1 outsiders to win the Premiershit title, have done just that. Ever since Jamie Vardy started racking up his record-breaking run of scoring in every game, every football supporter in Britain (and other places undoubtedly) has been rooting for the team that last year was struggling to stay in the division.
Earlier in the season I wrote that people involved in the American film industry were considering making a film about Jamie Vardy’s life. Will Hollywood now consider making a film about Leicester City? Please, no...
‘Okay, here’s the scenario. Ly-sester City are a struggling soccer team at the bottom of the league... the lowest of the low. If they don’t start winning, the bailiffs will close them down...’
‘Erm.. That isn’t really what happened...’
‘Screw accuracy... I want a good story. Okay, the bailiffs give em 24 hours to sort things out, see... Just then, the manager sees a kid outside the stadium, kicking a ball about. This kid’s got no shoes; he’s that poor. But hey, he’s got something... The things he can do with his ball... they’re just amazing... just like that Madonna guy...’
‘Whatever. Anyhows, this guy is so good, the manager signs him there and then. This guy... What’s his name again?’
‘Jamie Vardy. But that wasn’t how it...’
‘Yeah... him. Okay, he starts training with the rest of the guys. He runs rings round em. So they resent him, see... but the manager guy... What’s his name again?’
‘(Sigh) Claudio Ranieri.’
‘Nah. Too Italian. Claudio... Claude! That’s it. Ranieri? Sounds like rain. Yeah, that’s it. Claude Rains. Anyhows, he’s gotta get the other guys on his side. This Hardy guy’s going to save the team, see. Rains pleads with them to work with Varney and one by one, they come to like him and he gets them all playing the same way as him. But there’s this one guy in the team who is in the pay of another club... Totting-ham Chutzpah. And they don’t want Ly-sester to win. So this bad guy kidnaps Hadley so he can’t play, see. But Hartley escapes and there’s a shootout...’
‘A shootout. Like you said. Some games are won by a shootout, yeah?’
‘A penalty shootout... It’s nothing to do with guns.’
‘Let’s not spoil a good story with facts... Anyhows, after a chase...’
'Oh. Of course. A chase.’
'Yeah. All good films end with a chase...’
‘A good few bad ones, too...’
‘Anyways, Mardy guns down this bad guy...’
‘Sure, the hero always kills the bad guy. Anyways, Lardy gets to the game just before the end. Ly-sester are three points down...’
‘Whatever... He runs onto the pitch without even putting his boots on...’
‘This is preposterous.’
‘Darn tooting, it is. He’s got three minutes to save the game. He gets them goal things one by one. He’s just about get the winner when this guy poleaxes him. The clock’s ticking... Headley’s out for the count. The umpire is about to signal the end of the game and our hero jumps up and scores the winning point...’
‘Yeah, yeah. You said. Anyhows, Hamley is the hero of the hour; and Ly-sester win the title...’
‘(Sigh) That isn’t how it works...’
‘Like hell it isn’t. Do you want to earn two million dollars to write the screenplay or not?’
‘Well... if you put it like that...’
Okay, maybe I am exaggerating, but I hope Hollywood never, ever makes a film about Vardy, or Leicester City. I still remember Escape to Victory; one of the worst films ever made. Certainly the worst concerning football.
However, I can’t let Leicester’s victory go without a special Grambler-type tribute. So, please enjoy Leicester City’s own special song which actually reached number one in the charts back in 1976. Honest. Click here for proof.
This week’s news has been dominated by politics. Election time don’t you know. Other than that, actual news stories seem to have been a bit thin on the ground so we have been treated to non-news stories. Sorry pardon excuse me? I’m talking about dancing policemen. You what? Dancing polis. It is an internet sensation, it says here. Now, it doesn’t bother me that police folk want to film themselves dancing. Badly. Really, badly. What bothers me is that these police are in uniform. Yeah? Well, police don’t wear uniform unless they are on-duty. Thus, we have a bunch of plods jumping about like complete t*ts when they are actually on duty. They are dancing when they are being paid (by you and me, ladies and gentlemen) to do something a tad more constructive, like catching criminals. Mind you, it changes things a bit if you are a felon being apprehended with the line ‘I would like you to accompany me to the station,’ because our prancing polis might add, ‘in a military quick-step.’ Mr Plod would then radio in to the station, ‘I have arrested Feathers McGraw and am now heading to the station foxtrot tango.’
Another non-news story concerns the naming of a polar exploration ship. Yeah, interesting or what. What made it just a teeny bit interesting was that suggestions for its name were sought from the general public and the most popular suggestion would be the name chosen. Some wag came up with Boaty McBoatface. Oh how we laughed. Obviously, it wasn’t meant to be taken seriously. It was probably put forward as a suggestion to show how easy it was for a silly idea to grow arms, legs, wings or any other appendage of choice. Not surprisingly, it was the name which received the most votes. There is definitely something a bit weird in the human psyche. Think of John Sergeant winning Strictly Come Dancing week after week after week and you will begin to understand. Naturally, a different name was chosen. David Battenburg or something.
Why am I even telling you this? Today a bus passed by and on its destination board it read ‘Bussy McBusface’. Well, I liked it.
Any birthdays to celebrate this Saturday, the 7th of May? Let’s find out. Robert Browning 1812 (Inventor of Bisto.), Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky 1840 (Crap Scrabble letter selection.), George ‘Gabby’ Hayes 1885 (Played the same toothless character in what seemed like hundreds of cowboy films. The odd thing was, he detested the genre.), Gary Cooper 1901 (His hobbies included hunting, fishing, riding, swimming and... wait for it... taxidermy!), Edwin Land 1909 (Gave the band Japan a name for their fourth album. There’s an obscure reference for you.), Huw Wheldon 1916 (a Beeb Beeb Ceeb presenter.), David Tomlinson 1917 (All together now... Let’s go [and] fly a kite...), Eva Peron 1919 (A teaser for you. What is the link between Eva Peron and the sixties’ hit The Locomotion?*), Teresa Brewer 1931 (All together now... Put another nickel in...), Jimmy Ruffin 1936 (All together now... What becomes of the broken-hearted...), Richard O’Sullivan 1944 (Trivia: he appeared in the 1953 film The Stranger’s Hand when he was aged just eight.), Christy Moore 1945 (A Planxty member.), Peter Wingfield 1948 (All together now... I’m 18 with a bullet...) and Eagle-Eye Cherry 1948 (Neneh’s wee brother.).
Let’s move on to grambling matters. What happened last week? We won. We didn’t make a profit though. Only £1.95 won so we really lost 27 pees. All is revealed below, fair reader...
Leeds vs Charlton Athletic - Prediction Home win
Result - Leeds 1 Charlton 2
Johann Berg Gudmundsson struck the post from 25 yards before latching onto Morgan Fox's cross to put his side ahead.
Ademola Lookman fired past Marco Silvestri to double the Addicks' lead after the break.
Leeds' Chris Wood then struck the post with a header before Sol Bamba nodded home to reduce the arrears.
Southend vs Bradford - Prediction Away win
Result - Southend 0 Bradford 1
Lee Evans gave the Bantams the lead with style early on as he curled home from 20 yards into the bottom corner.
The Shrimpers fought back and Ryan Leonard forced Bradford goalkeeper Ben Williams into a fine save with a fierce effort from long-range.
The hosts almost restored parity when Tyrone Barnett volleyed against the crossbar but Bradford held on.
Hartlepool vs Portsmouth - Prediction Away win
Result - Hartlepool 0 Portsmouth 2
Kal Naismith gave the visitors the lead after the break with a close-range finish from Gareth Evans' tee up.
Conor Chaplin secured three points for Portsmouth late on with a low finish past Pools goalkeeper Trevor Carson.
Stevenage vs Wimbledon - Prediction Away win
Result - Stevenage 0 Wimbledon 0
Ooh! ’It the bar!
Dons goalkeeper Kelle Roos prevented Stevenage from taking a first-half lead, keeping out two Greg Luer efforts before the interval.
Adam Marriott nearly put the hosts ahead but his long-range effort curled just wide.
Wimbledon's best opportunity fell to Sean Rigg, but the winger scuffed his shot.
Wycombe vs Accrington - Prediction Away win
Result - Wycombe 0 Accrington 1
All together now... Everybody Stanley. Keep it in the family...
Mark Hughes tapped in from close range after Wycombe keeper Benjamin Siegrist tipped Josh Windass's free-kick onto the post.
Wycombe went close to taking an early lead when Aaron Pierre fired over from close range.
Oh well, another week, another bet. Can The Grambler finish the season with a bang? A small pop, even? Let’s see what he/she/it has come up with this week. As we are now getting near the end of the season, the powers that be have decided that each division should play at different times. Thus all the English Championship games are being played at 12.30pm today (Saturday 7th) and all the League One games are being played at 12.30pm tomorrow. Why can every game not take place at 3pm today? Ah, that would mean the TV people would have nothing to show. For some odd reason, they still won’t show a Saturday 3pm game live; even though some weeks there are very few games actually taking place at that time. This week, there are only 21 senior games taking place at 3pm today and five of those are the playoffs for the Scottish leagues. Daft I calls it.
Any road up, what five games has The Grambler randomly chosen for us?
Game - Result - Odds
Aston Villa vs Newcastle - Prediction Away win - 13/20
West Ham vs Swansea - Prediction Home win - 4/11
Morecambe vs York - Prediction Home win - 10/11
Dundee vs Hamilton - Prediction Home win - 10/11
Hearts vs Ross County - Prediction Home win - 3/4
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…
It’s that frosty year again.
Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you what was unique about the FA Cup Final of 1927 between Cardiff City and Arsenal. Cardiff won that game making them the only non-English side to have ever won the FA Cup.
Okay, one for this week. When Manchester City reached the semi-final of the Champions League it meant that the city of Manchester had joined an elite group of cities having had two teams reach the semi-final of a European competition. There are only ten cities can boast that fact. England now has two cities in that group; London being the other. Which is the only other country able to claim this accolade?
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 http://www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk/campaigns-policy/latest-campaigns/never-too-young-campaign
And finally, Cyril? And finally Esther, I briefly mentioned that Britons went to the polls this week to elect councillors (in England), Scottish Parliament members and Welsh Assembly members. As always in such elections there were surprises. Who would have thought that anyone in Scotland would vote Conservative? One political party was very pleased with itself and its members (and there are few of them) - UKIP. So to end this week I give you the brilliant Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre and a song for UKIP ** .
*Eva Peron was known as Evita, which translates as Little Eva. It was Little Eva who had a hit with The Locomotion. [How interesting. Yawn. - Ed.]
** The views expressed are those of UKIP and not those of The Grambler***.
*** Or the Scottish Falsetto Sock Company for that matter.
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