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…
Let’s hear it for Sir Rod. Yes, Rod Stewart has been given a knighthood and is now known as Sir Rodney of Stewart. And his missus is now Lady Stewart. Could be awkward if ever they meet up with Sir Jackie Stewart and his wife.... ‘I’m Lady Stewart!’ ‘No, I’m Lady Stewart!’ It reminds me of an old Kirk Douglas film.
It seems that any singer who hangs around long enough gets a knighthood. There’s Sir Cliff of Richard, Sir Pauly, Sir Thomas the Voice, isn’t it. Loads of them. I reckon 50 years in the business without too much shenanigans, gets you a knighthood.
Sir Mick of Jagger. That’s another one. Mind you, some of the things he got up to when he was younger seem to have been conveniently forgotten by whoever hands out the honours. Constantly being busted for drugs? No problem. Getting hundreds of women up the duff? Carry on [That never happened, I have been assured by our legal representative. - Ed.]. That incident with the Mars Bar? Aye. Well. Mind you, Mars probably sold more chocolate bars on the back of that story than they ever did from their advertising campaigns. A Mars a day helps you work, rest and play? That wasn’t quite what they had in mind.
Sir Van Morrison. There’s another one. Even grumpy old Irish singers get them. [And Van Morrison, who is definitely not a grumpy old Irish singer you meant to say. Didn’t you? - Ed.].
So, if the criterion for a singer getting a knighthood is to hang around the top table of music for half a century, why hasn’t Eric become Sir Eric of Clapton? He was with the Yardbirds back in 1963. In 1965, he joined John Mayall (Why hasn’t he been knighted?) and his Bluesbreakers, leaving in 1966 to form Cream. In 1968, he moved on to Blind Faith. After that, although he worked with Delaney and Bonnie, not forgetting their friends, and later formed Derek and the Dominoes, he was more a solo artist. When you look through Clapton’s c.v. it is pretty impressive; surely, more impressive than the career of Cliff or Tom. So why hasn’t he received his gong? It isn’t as if he is averse to the honours system; he has accepted and OBE and a CBE in the past. Perhaps old Betty just doesn’t like his style of music.
It all makes me wonder who will receive knighthoods in the next few years. Brian Ferry, only six years away from 50 years at the top? Peter Gabriel, four years away? Phil Collins? Ian Anderson? No, my money is on someone who is a fine guitarist but not a singer. The fact that he has performed God Save the Queen from the roof of Buckingham Palace makes him the front runner in the knighthood sweepstake for me. Who? Brian May, of course. Sir Brian of May... It’s got a certain ring to it.
Sir Elton John. He’s one. He’s been knighted too. Oh dear. I’ve just had a thought. Penny Lancaster is now Lady Stewart. Does that mean David Furnish’s title should be Lady John?
Well, the Scotland football team have had a pretty crappy week. After drawing 1 - 1 with Lithuania at Hampden last Saturday, they travelled to Slovakia hoping to make amends. Sadly, it wasn’t to be. Defensive errors meant that a fairly ordinary Slovakian side managed to win 3 - 0.
Of course it can't be helping matters having a manager who doesn't seem very interested or, at least, that is the message Gordon Strachan conveys when he is talking to the press. Over the years his unwillingness to talk sensibly to the press has not always gone down too well...
Reporter: "You don't take losing lightly, do you Gordon?"
Strachan: "I don't take stupid comments lightly either."
Reporter: "What is your impression of Jermaine Pennant?"
Strachan: "I don't do impressions”
Strachan: "I don't do impressions”
Reporter: "So Gordon, any changes then?"
Strachan: "Naw, still 5ft 6", ginger and a big nose."
Strachan: "Naw, still 5ft 6", ginger and a big nose."
And, of course, everybody's favourite...
Reporter: "Gordon, can we have a quick word please?"
I can reveal the reason why the Scotland team was so woeful. It had nothing to do with Mr Strachan. No. It was because they were utterly embarrassed at having to wear this horrible away strip.
I think whoever put those white shirts in a hot wash with the red socks should be sacked.
This week Arthur is providing our rundown of birthdays. God help us.
Ahem, any barthdays of note to celebrate? Did any famarse or notoriarse folk come into this world on the 15th of October? Well, obliviously some did. Stupid blibbing question if you arsk me. Virgil 70BC (He drove Thunderbird 2, didn’t he? One of the Tracy brothers. The others were... um... Spencer and then there was Dick... and... some others. There was that brainy bloke with the marssive spectarcles and the big head. What was his name? Brian! Him. Then there was that eastern-looking bird called Rin Tin Tin. I think old man Tracy brought her back from one of his visits to Thailand, meself. Oh yarss. I reckon he had a bit of the yellow fever.), Friedrich Nietzche 1844 (Bless you!), P.G. Wodehouse 1881 (That was her that used to train them dogs. Mind you, the way she spoke to them... it’d be an brave dog that didn’t do as he was told.), C. P. Snow 1905 (Isn’t that the bloke that used to jump about a lot when it was election night? Always playing with his swingy thing, he was.), Yitzhak Shamir 1915 (Bless you!), Mario Puzo 1920 (One of those plumber blokes from that computer game.), Nigel Green 1924 (Ooh, someone I do remember. He was called the Bear in William Tell. The makeup was an bit rubbish in them days, cos he looked nothing like an real bear. He just looked like someone with an beard.), Karl Richter 1926 (Bless you!), Barry McGuire 1935 (Oh yes. Another one I know. He was an boxer. From Ireland and he was the world champion... Hang on... That’s Barry McGuigan. So who’s this bloke?), Richard Carpenter 1946 (Oh, I definartly know him. He used to be in an duo consisting of two people. Him and his sister, Carmen Carpenter. Can’t for the life of me remember what they called themselves. Anyway, they had lots of hit records... that one about sheep, Close to Ewe. That was them. Then they went all a bit weird and tried sending messages to spacemen.), Chris De Burgh 1950 (Ooh, he was good as Perry Mason and that bloke Iron thighs. I used to watch all of them... What do you mean that was Raymond? Chris Raymond? No such bloke.), Roscoe Tanner 1950 (Oh, I know this one. He was Elsie’s son in Coronation whatsit... That one with Ken Barman.), Victor Pecce 1955 (Bless you!), Dougie Vipond 1966 (Ooh, I hate snakes. That’s an poisonarse one, the vipond is.), Didier Deschamps 1968 (Bless you!), Dominic West 1969 (That’s an station on that London Underground, isn’t it?) and Andy Cole 1971 (You don’t see much coal these days, do you? Of course, that central heating’s put paid to it. We used to keep it in the bath. Stupid place to put the central heating, I reckon.).
Er... Thank you, Arthur. That was really... Yes, definitely.
Let’s move on to grambling matters. What happened last week? We won. Yay! No. Not yay. We won £1.81 pees, so we actually lost 39 pees on our £2.20 bet. Actually, it was The Grambler’s best set of predictions for a long time. Why? Read on...
Bradford vs Shrewsbury - Prediction Home win
Result - Bradford 2 Shrewsbury 0
Former Motherwell midfielder, Nicky Law fired the hosts in front after 21 minutes, drilling home from 10 yards after a Filipe Morais shot had been blocked by Abu 'Einstein' Ogogo.
Substitute Haris Vuckic secured Bradford's win with a stoppage-time penalty after Antoni Sarcevic brought down Daniel Devine. [Devine intervention. Ha! - Ed.]
Scunthorpe vs Northampton - Prediction Home win
Result - Scunthorpe 1 Northampton 1
Ooh! ’It the bar!
The hosts took the lead late in the first half through Josh Morris' curling free-kick from the edge of the box.
Northampton had Matt Taylor sent off on the hour mark for a bad tackle on Scunthorpe midfielder Neal Bishop.
The Cobblers restored parity when Jak McCourt's initial shot was blocked, but he was on hand to tap in the rebound.
Rochdale vs Southend - Prediction Home win
Result - Rochdale 3 Southend 0
Dale were awarded a free-kick on the right after Adam Barrett's attempt to wrestle Calvin Andrew to the ground and Joe 'Bugs' Bunney's set-piece was perfect for defender Niall Canavan, who sent a thumping header into the roof of Mark Oxley's net.
It was 2-0 after 27 minutes when Joe Rafferty's delivery was only partially cleared before both Nathaniel Mendez-Laing and Andrew had efforts blocked. But on the second occasion the loose ball ran for Rafferty and his cross was headed home by Andrew.
The Shrimpers offered nothing going forward in the opening half, and precious little after the break, with Dale goalkeeper Josh Lillis enjoying a trouble-free afternoon.
Aaron Morley, a 16-year-old making his league debut for the home side, went close to a third for Dale, his curling effort from 18 yards clipping the outside of Oxley's post.
Mendez-Laing netted the third in the 84th minute, racing onto Steven Davies' through ball and beating Oxley to wrap up a routine win.
Doncaster vs Barnet - Prediction Home win
Result - Doncaster 3 Barnet 2
Goals from James Coppinger and Matty Blair had given Doncaster a deservedly comfortable lead at the break.
But dogged and industrious Barnet rallied well, pulling a goal back through Bira Dembele before substitute Luke Gambin glanced home four minutes from time.
But Andy Williams clipped home at the death to win it, a result which kept Doncaster second in League Two.
Luton vs Crewe - Prediction Home win
Result - Luton 1 Crewe 1
Ooh! ’It the bar!
Luton went ahead just before half-time when Pelly Ruddock released Jake Gray and his volley was turned home by Danny Hylton.
In the second period, Tom Lowery dragged wide for the visitors and Bingham's half-volley from distance flew narrowly past the post, with George Cooper's free-kick landing on the roof of the net.
The visitors were deservedly level in the 64th minute when Cooper's exquisite cross was headed beyond Walton by Alex's top scorer Ryan Lowe.
So there you have it my little gramblerinis, last week The Grambler came so close to getting all five predictions correct; those two draws spoiling things.
Let’s have a look what he/she/it can come up with this week. At least there are no internationals getting in the way. The Grambler has 56 games kicking off at 3pm this Saturday to select from. So which five has he/she/it randomly selected?
Game - Result - Odds
West Bromwich Albion vs Spurs - Prediction Away win - 7/10
Wimbledon vs Swindon - Prediction Home win - Evens
Bristol Rovers vs Gillingham - Prediction Home win - 4/5
Carlisle vs Hartlepool - Prediction Home win - 11/20
Queen of the South vs Morton - Prediction Home win - 5/6
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...
Hmm... a bit more whopping than last week.
Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you which former Labour politician was escorted from his seat in the home section of Fulham's Craven Cottage ground after 'wildly celebrating' a goal scored by visitors Cardiff City in a Premier League fixture. I think Cardiff is a pretty big clue there. The answer was, of course, former leader of the Labour Party, Neil Kinnock. He was Welsh, see.
One for this week? The Second Division match between QPR and Luton Town played at Loftus Road on 1st September 1981 was a first in League history. Do you know why? Hmm... one to ask down the pub.
As usual, 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 am indebted to Messrs P. Cook and D. Moore who provide us with this week’s closing link. In this week’s birthday list our guest compiler got a little confused about the poet Virgil, confusing him with a character from the nineteen-sixties’ puppet series, Thunderbirds. No, you are not getting a link to a children’s TV programme, but you are getting a link to a brilliant spoof item from Peter Cook and Dudley Moore. Ladeez and gennulum, I give you Superthunderstingcar .