Saturday 4 March 2017

Week 30 - The Grambler's Kick Cancer's Big Fat Backside Quiz of the Year

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


The first thing I want to mention is this year’s Grambler’s Kick Cancer’s Big Fat Backside Quiz of the Year which took place on Saturday the 25th of February.  It was the fourth time this annual quiz has been held in Stewart's (the founder of this wonderful blog) memory.  Thanks to the generosity of everyone concerned, there is another £2000 heading for the Bobby Moore Fund. A great total and everyone enjoyed a fun night.

You are welcome to add to the total if you wish. Just click on the justgiving link above and donate away.




Now for this week’s (g)ramble...

For years we have been told that we should be eating five 80 gramme portions of fruit or vegetables per day. This was the advice given in the UK, but it varies from country to country. However, in a survey (conducted some years ago, admittedly) of 19 European countries, Britain fared rather poorly compared with some. Only 5 of the 19 ate an average of more than 400 grammes per day. Britain was 15th on the list with an average consumption of only 258 grammes per day.

Anyway, new research suggests that we should be eating 10 portions of fruit and veg per day. What? Double the figure we’re meant to, but don’t, eat? Yes. Instead of not eating 400 grammes of fruit and veg a day, we’ll be not eating 800 grammes per day. What the 10 a day advisers are trying to get across is that we should vary what we eat. So instead of five different foods, they are suggesting we eat ten different things.

‘I’ve got four kids. How am I going to afford to give them ten portions of fruit and veg in a day?’

Sorry pardon excuse me? These were the words of a mum-in-the-street in answer to being asked what she thought of this new research advising us to eat at least ten portions of fruit and vegetables a day.

It is typical of modern society that our first reaction to some new advice is to complain. If the woman had actually thought it through, she would realise that it might actually be cheaper to feed her kids a healthy diet with more fruit and veg. How so, I hear you ask. Meat is considerably dearer than fruit and veg. Cut down on the meat and add another couple of vegetables at mealtimes. I wonder if she feeds her kids breakfast cereal? There is little goodness is these processed packets of dried flakes; why not take the time to give them (considerably cheaper) porridge for breakfast? Add some blueberries and raisins and you’ve already added three of your ten a day to your daily menu. Washed down with a glass of fresh juice or smoothie and you are well on the way to reaching that healthy target before the day has really started. What do you put in their schoolbags for lunch, missus? A sandwich? Some crisps? A biscuit? A can of fizzy juice? Change things a bit. Make sure the bread is brown for starters. Swap the crisps and for some nuts and swap the biscuit for an apple or a banana. Do away with the fizzy juice and simply give them a bottle of tapwater; there may be no nutritional value, but it is healthier than the fizzy stuff and costs nothing, thereby saving money for you to spend on fruit and veg. For goodness’ sake woman, think before you speak!

She is also not considering her children’s future. The point was made that different foods provide different benefits. The researchers who came up with the figures also tell us that by eating a more fruit and veg based diet we will reduce the risk of heart disease, strokes, cardiovascular disease and, of course, cancers. And there won’t be so much obesity; they forgot to mention that benefit.

Another thing they did not pinpoint was bowel cancer. The more fruit and vegetables you eat, can only be of benefit regarding colorectal problems. Another survey was conducted on a TV programme some time ago which compared the diet of wealthy countries with that of poorer nations. The richer nations used a lot of ‘processed’ foods, whereas the poorer ones used fresh food. Why do I mention this? I can’t remember how the programme researchers measured the results of a food comparison experiment, and I wouldn’t want to dwell on it, but bowel movement was compared. It transpired that people in the so-called wealthy nations retained food in their systems for much longer than those in the poorer countries. Folk from the rich countries did not pass what they had eaten for between one and two days; those from the poorer countries could shift their waste within an hour. Need I say that bowel cancer was far less common in the poorer nations?

What is the expression people use? Oh yes... it isn’t rocket science. Where is the lowest incidence of bowel cancers? The Indian sub-continent. And we all know what they love to eat: curry. Lots of it. We also know that it doesn’t spend much time in the system.

To me, the answer is simple. Follow the Indian method of taking lots of fresh vegetables, fruit, nuts, spices and herbs and mix them into a wonderfully tasty sauce and enjoy with rice. What could be healthier?

Okay, what about those folk who don’t like eating ‘that foreign muck’, as a friend of mine would have it? Soup. You can put any amount of different vegetables into a homemade soup. Lentil soup, a favourite of mine, is usually made with the said pulse and carrots, but there are no rules. Onions? Sure; as they say in Dundee ‘fling an ingin in’. Potatoes? Well, oddly enough, they don’t count. Celery? No problem. Peas? Turnip? Parsnips? Cauliflower? Honestly, soup can have whatever you want in it. And a good soup can work its way through the system as quickly as a curry.

This may seem like it is turning into a cookery article, but I am simply trying to make the point that it is easy to make healthy food. Soup is one of the easiest foods to prepare, yet people still buy tinned or packet varieties because they ‘haven’t got the time’ to make a pot of soup. Nonsense. The same goes for porridge. People won’t spare the time to make a healthy breakfast. Do you people want to stay fit? Do you want to improve your chances of not getting the diseases mentioned earlier? The Grambler’s advice? Make and enjoy plenty of porridge, soup and curry.

Mind you, any money saved might end up buying a few extra rolls of Andrex.



Following on from this, please take the time to read a recent article from Cancer Research UK.  Click on... 



Last week’s big footy story was the sacking of Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri. This week’s news sees yet another sacking: Mark McGhee. Who, I hear you ask. Motherwell manager Mark McGhee has been given the boot. A lack of form in recent weeks [Months? - Ed.] has been cited as the reason for his departure. The manager of any team shipping 17 goals in just four matches would probably get the chop. But is McGhee just a scapegoat? Well, possibly; but it is his team selection, so he is deemed responsible. Motherwell have won just six games this season and only one of those since the turn of the year.

My own view is that the Well’s biggest problem is a shocking defence. The only times this season that the goalkeeper has kept clean sheets were two nil nil draws, which suggests a lack of attacking skill, as well, I suppose. Saturday’s 5-1 defeat at home was the final straw for many.

I wasn’t the only one who left Fir Park after 45 minutes having watched the last action of the first half being our goalie retrieving the ball from the back of the net for the fifth time.

Hopefully, a management change will affect the Motherwell team the same way as Leicester who won their first game of the year following Ranieri’s departure.




Were any famous or notorious people born on the 4th of March? Of course. Here are some I’ve even heard of. Channing Pollock 1880 (Wrote stageplays for the Ziegfield Follies productions.), John Garfield 1913 (Once a top American actor. He was called before the US Congressional House Committee of Un-American Activities. He denied affiliation to the Communist party and refused to ‘name names’. His career came to an abrupt halt and he died soon after of a heart attack probably triggered by the stress caused by the HUAC decision. He was 39.), Ward Kimball 1914 (Animator for Disney. Jiminy Cricket was his creation.), Joan Greenwood 1921 (Ectress. Sibella in Kind Hearts and Coronets.), Patrick Moore 1923 (Eccentric xylophone-playing astronomer.), Alan Sillitoe 1928 (Orfer. Wrote Saturday Night and Sunday Morning. [That was a short working week. - Ed.]), Bernard Haitink 1929 (Dutch violinist and conductor [But what do others think? Geddit? - Ed.]), Jim Clark 1936 (One of the greatest racey car blokes ever.), Paula Prentiss 1938 (American actress. Often worked with actor husband - of 55 years - Richard Benjamin.), Harvey Postlethwaite 1944 (Racey car chassis designer. Worked for March, Hesketh, Wolf, Fittipaldi, Ferrari, Tyrrell, Sauber and Honda. A bit of info for Formula 1 fans out there in Gramblerland.), Bobby Womack 1944 (Singer, songwriter and musician. Ready for the first link of the week?  He wrote this.  That was the Rolling Stones’ first number one. At the time, Mick Jagger’s dance moves were considered quite shocking; now they just look ludicrous.), Bob Lewis 1947 (Musician with Devo. So for our second link of the week, let’s stick with a Rolling Stones' theme.  Hope that wasn’t too disturbing for you.), Chris Squire 1948 (Yes bassist. Time for another link... A bit of good old prog rock.), Kenny Dalglish 1951 (Mibbes aye. Mibbes naw.), Emilio Estefan 1953 (Musician, producer and member of Miami Sound Machine. Another link? Aye, go on then. Here is wife Gloria in MSM’s first international hit, Dr Beat.  That is possibly the worst promo video ever.), Andrew Collins 1965 (Broadcaster. The man who invented secret dancing.), Evan Dando 1967 (A Lemonhead.), Tim Vine 1967 (The joke meister.), Patsy Kensit 1968 (Actress, it says here. First appeared on TV aged 4 in an ad for frozen peas.), Johannes ‘Jos’ Verstappen 1972 (Dutch racey car bloke.), Alison Wheeler 1972 (Singer with the Beautiful South. [What? No link? - Ed.] No, because she wasn’t the singer during the band’s golden era; she was only with them during the period before they split due to ‘musical similarities’.) and John Lawler aka Jon Fratelli 1979 (Go on... have a guess what band he is in.).




Let’s move on to grambling matters. How did we do last week? We won. Yay! Yes, indeed, yay. We actually got £3.55 back from our £2.20 stake. What happened? Read on...



Charlton vs Bury - Prediction Home win

Result - Charlton 0 Bury 1


Charlton thought they had grabbed a seventh-minute lead, only for Patrick Bauer to see his strike cancelled out for a foul on Leon Barnett.

Stephy Mavididi flashed a low drive just wide as the hosts continued to press, but it was Bury who broke the deadlock in the 21st minute after Charlton failed three times to clear their lines before Ryan Lowe converted from 10 yards.

Lee ‘Kim’ Novak came agonisingly close to restoring parity with a header which cannoned back off the crossbar and the striker was denied again moments later by the quick-thinking of Joe Murphy.

Barnett cleared the danger from Mavididi's deflected shot, while Charlton keeper Declan Rudd had to be alert to push behind Hallam Hope's volley at the other end.

An unmarked Novak really should have done much better with his header after getting on the end of an inviting Ricky Holmes cross as Charlton continued to push for an equaliser.

Bury were a threat going forward as well though, and Greg Leigh produced a decent save from Rudd before Jacob Mellis blazed over from the rebound.

Tony Watt's 87th-minute curler tested Murphy but Charlton could not find an equaliser and Bury almost added a second deep into stoppage time when George Miller's shot was somehow kept out by Rudd.


MK Dons vs Shrewsbury - Prediction Home win

Result - MK Dons 2 Shrewsbury 1


MK's took an early lead as Darren Potter's clever through-ball found George Baldock in acres of space alongside the Shrewsbury box, before the full-back's accurate cross reached Kieran Agard unmarked in the six-yard box to tap home his 12th goal of the campaign.

The hosts added a second when Harvey Barnes was found unmarked inside the visitors' box after a clever corner-kick routine, before the youngster's cross through a crowded box found Paul Downing at the far post to finish.

The visitors huffed and puffed as Jack Grimmer forced MK keeper David Martin into a decent save, before Stephen ‘I’m free’ Humphrys snatched a late consolation goal from close range.


Sheffield Utd vs Bolton - Prediction Home win

Result - Sheffield Utd 2 Bolton 0


The home side created more chances in the game and skipper David Wheater was called into action early on when he headed Jake Wright's volley off the line.

Shortly after, though, his defensive partner Mark Beevers let John Fleck's through ball to Billy Sharp go under his foot and the striker slotted past goalkeeper Mark Howard.

Second-half substitute Samir Carruthers combined well down the right-hand side with Kieron Freeman to break into the area, before Beevers brought down Carruthers in the area as he turned inside and Sharp slotted home the penalty.


Colchester vs Hartlepool - Prediction Home win

Result - Colchester 2 Hartlepool 1


Pools goalkeeper Joe Fryer made an 11th-minute save to deny Brennan Dickenson, who also fired straight at Fryer midway through the first half.

Chris Porter had an effort disallowed for offside and Sean Murray's deflected effort whistled just over for Colchester. George Elokobi also came close to scoring for the U’s at the far post before half-time.

Pools striker Padraig Amond steered Brad Walker's curled ball into the area over the bar from close range early in the second half.

But Colchester went ahead just after the hour mark when Kurtis Guthrie headed home Richard Brindley's cross at the near post after a fine attacking move.

Porter doubled Colchester's lead from the penalty spot with 12 minutes remaining after Guthrie had been fouled by Liam Donnelly in the area.

Pools halved the deficit four minutes later through Nathan Thomas, who burst into the area and planted a low shot past Colchester goalkeeper Sam Walker.


Mansfield vs Newport County - Prediction Home win

Result - Mansfield 2 Newport 1


Ryan Bird scored from close range to give County an early lead but Krystian Pearce levelled.

County's Jaanai Gordon was sent off for a second yellow card before Shaquile Coulthirst's penalty put Mansfield ahead after Craig Reid handled.

Not a bad week for The Grambler, but he/she/it repeat or even better the feat this week? [Don’t talk so daft! - Ed.]

Game - Result - Odds

Derby vs Barnsley -Prediction Home win - 3/4

Fulham vs Preston -Prediction Home win - 4/5

Bradford vs Peterborough -Prediction Home win - 17/20

Swindon vs Chesterfield -Prediction Home win - 3/4

Crawley vs Doncaster -Prediction Away win - 3/4


All matches kick off at 3pm on Saturday the 4th of March. 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...


33 pees more than the amount we didn’t win last week.



Teaser time. Yay! Last week I gave you a question on the European Cup/Champions league; I asked which German has been the highest goalscorer in four separate years. The answer was Gerd Muller for Bayern Munich in seasons 1972-3, 1973-4, 1974-5 and 1975-6. He was nicknamed ‘The Bomber’ for his scoring abilities and the unflattering ‘Short, fat Muller’ for his stature [Low fat Muller, surely. - Ed.].

One for this week? Let us return to the English Premiershit for this week’s question. Who is the only Scot to have scored a Premiershit hat-trick against Chelsea? It was a ‘perfect’ hat-trick, too; left foot, right foot and header.



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




And finally, Cyril? And finally Esther, I am indebted to a Mr T. Vine who provides us with a few funnies to end this week’s edition. He’s not everybody’s cup of tea. Some dislike his scatter-gun approach. Yes, there are a few good gags in there, but many of them are pretty lame. However, he has his fans so, take it away, Tim. .

Happy grambling.


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