Saturday 9 July 2016

Week 46 - Euro 2016 - the final gramble

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


Well, thank goodness Wales are out of Euro 2016. Sorry pardon excuse me? Yes, I am glad they are out. Why, you may ask. It’s nothing to do with them; I actually did want them to win. It is because of Ron Moody impersonator, Larry Gineker that I am glad they are out. After last week starting to turn into a Welshman, can you imagine what he would have been like if Wales had reached the final?

‘Welcome to Match of the Day, isn’t it, look you boyo, with me, Taffy Lineker, bach. Tonight on the pannnnnnel, we have Henry the footballer, isn’t it look you bach and Shearer the... erm... footballer. Yaki da boyos. Thierrrrry, bach...’

‘Er.. Yaki da. Sacre bleu!’

‘Hmm. Sounds even dafter with a Frennnnch accent. Alan, bach...’

‘Er.. Yaki da, laik bonny lad.’

‘No Alan, drop the Geordie... we’re Welsh, isn’t it.’

‘Isn’t it what laik?’

‘No no no. I’m not asssssking a question; it’s the way I talk because I’m Welsh, boyo, isn't it, ee by gum.’

‘Nah, canny lad, you’re from Leicester, man.’

‘Not tonight I’m not; yaki da, isn’t it, och aye the noo. I am Welsh through and through; look I’m wearing a miner’s helmet, isn’t it, why aye man.’

‘Ah wundered aboot that laik. Is that why me maicrophone’s disguised as a leek?’

Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

The main problem with Wales being beaten, is that it is Portugal who have reached the final to play against France. And? And that means that the already highly inflated ego of a certain player will be pumped up even further. You know the one I mean - the posing, preening, Portuguese popinjay who goes by the name of Cristiano Ronaldo. If ever there was a chocolate guy - as in, if he was made of chocolate he’d eat himself - he is it. Doesn’t he just love himself? Just look at this picture of him;


I think he is having his makeup applied. Whatever. Something about him just does not look right. Agree?  I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Then, it dawned on me. And I have found a song just for him. What song, I hear you ask. You’re so Vain by Carly Simon, the singer who can get a whole wagon wheel in her mouth? That was a possibility. Incidentally, I have never quite understood the lyrics to that one. ‘You’re so vain’, she warbles and then goes on to say, ‘You probably think this song is about you.’ Yes, well it is, surely (Don’t call me Shirley.). You, ie. the person who is being sung about, thinks this song is about you. Where’s the problem? I can’t see the point, but then I am incredibly thick and immune to irony. What about the old Sparks song Yes I think I’m Falling in Love with Myself Again. Much more Ronaldo’s style. However, it still isn’t the one I have plumped for (They can’t touch you for it.). As I stated, there is something not quite right about the way he looks and I think this song by the Kinks describes it perfectly - click here .




Any birthdays of note to celebrate? Did any famous or notorious folk come into this world on the 9th of July? Of course they did. Elias Howe 1819 (Who? All you trivia buffs out there will know. Anyone? Yes, you at the back? Correct; He invented the sewing machine.), Daniel Guggenheim 1856 (Miner.), Ottorino Respighi 1879 (Liked Roman fountains, festivals and er... pines.), Barbara Cartland 1901 (Wrote 723 romantic novels. Sales totalled more than 1,000 million!!!), Edward Heath 1916 (Ex PM whose centenary will probably not be celebrated.), Vince Edwards 1928 (Who? Can anyone remember Ben Casey? That was him.), Lee Hazelwood 1929 (Wasn’t he married to Nancy Sinatra?), Donald Rumsfeld 1932 (‘There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know’. You been on the bevvy again, Donald?), David Hockney 1937 (Aka the Milky Bar Kid.), Dean Koontz 1945 (Writer with unfortunate surname.), OJ Simpson 1947 (Bart’s dad.), Debbie Sledge 1954 (A sister.), Tom Hanks 1956 (Doesn’t always pick winners - Polar Express, The Ladykillers, The Terminal. He is also a fan of Aston Villa. Nuff said.), Marc Almond 1957 (The stomach-pumping story was also attributed to him. You know the story. You do. I told you about it. Rod Stewart. Do you remember? Yes, you do.), Paul Merton 1957 (On Have I got News for you he has the honour of being the only person to have been a team captain, host and guest.), Jim Kerr 1959 (Simple Minds, Simple Minds, Simple Minds... Sung to the tune of Hooray for the Red, White and Blue by fans who share a brain cell.), Courtney Love 1964 (Mrs Cobain.), Paulo di Canio 1968 (Footy nutjob.), Dani Behr 1971 (Not a real bear.), Jack White 1975 (A stripe.) and Ashley Young 1985 (Footy bloke.)



Let’s move on to grambling matters. What happened last week? We won. Really. Well, we made a profit; put it that way. £2.43 back from our £2.20 stake. Better than a kick in the pilchards.

Once again, we have to have a bet on the donkeys. What has The Grambler randomly selected for us this week?


Meeting - Time - Horse - Odds

Chester - 2.00 - Full Intention - 10/11

Newmarket - 4.00 - War Decree - 9/4

Ascot - 4.25 - Gershwin - 15/8

Salisbury - 6.00 - Isomer - 2/5

Hamilton - 6.45 - Rio Deva - Evens


The bets have been placed (10 x 20 pee doubles plus 1 x 20 pee accumulator) and if they all go according to The Grambler’s Prediction, the Bobby Moore Fund stands to receive a whopping...


Oh dear. If anything, that’s a bit too whopping.





Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you who has earned the most caps for Wales. The answer is Neville Southall who amassed 92 from 1982 to 1997. Chris Gunther who last week was number seven on the list pop pickers has moved up to number five. Not arf!

One for this week? Cristiano Ronaldo [Him again? - Ed.] has won more caps than any other Portuguese player with 132 (133 after the final). He has a long way to go before he can match the player who has earned the most caps - Ahmed Hassan of Egypt on 184. Sorry, did you think that was going to be the question? No. Here is my question. Which footballer, who also played in the Euro 2016 finals, has accrued the same number of caps as Plastic Man aka Ronaldo?




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 birthday celebrant Mr P. Merton who provides us with a few of his favourite jokes to end this week’s edition...

I'm always amazed to hear of air crash victims so badly mutilated that they have to be identified by their dental records. What I can't understand is, if they don't know who you are, how do they know who your dentist is?

I think Iran and Iraq had a war simply because their names are so similar. They keep getting each other's post.

My school days were the happiest days of my life, which should give you some indication of the misery I've endured over the past twenty-five years.

The first Underground station ever opened was Baker Street in 1906. What was the point of that? Where would you go?

On my first day in New York a guy asked me if I knew where Central Park was. When I told him I didn't, he said: Do you mind if I mug you here?

Am I the only one who's always tempted to light the wick on top of a beret?

My aunt died at precisely 10.47am and the old grandfather clock stopped at precisely the same time also. It fell on her.

There are various ways to give up smoking – nicotine patches, nicotine gum. My auntie used to pour a gallon of petrol over herself every morning.

My hair’s got a life of its own. Last week I found it in the kitchen, making an omelette…

[On reading the A to Z] Can't wait to see what happens at the end. The characters aren't up to much but the places, they seem so real.


Happy grambling.


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