Friday 14 April 2017

Week 36 - Happy grambleday Samantha Fox

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


My heart was broken
My heart was broken
My heart was broken
My heart was broken

What's going off, I hear you ask. Has the Grambler been watching Motherwell again? No. In case you didn't know, those were the opening lyrics to a song by the Proclaimers called Sunshine on Leith [I thought the Proclaimers were called Craig and Charlie. - Ed.]. Ahem. That was also the title song from a musical featuring the songs of the Proclaimers.
It seems to be the way of it these days. Instead of taking a story and writing songs to suit it to make a musical, anyone planning a musical takes the songs and builds a story around them. While the older method used to give you a reasonable story with some good, iffy or downright awful songs, this method gives you good songs with an iffy story.
Sometimes the songs are taken from a particular era such as Dreamboats and Petticoats which revolves around songs from the nineteen fifties.
The current fashion seems to be to take the songs of a particular artist or band and concoct a story around them. Several acts have had the treatment. Perhaps the most famous is Abba with Mamma Mia. Not to be confused with the Liverpool comedy, Mam, I'm here. Others include Our House with the songs of Madness. There is also the musical formed around the songs of Sir Rodney of Stewart, Tonight's the Night. Can't understand the choice of that for the main title. Well I could until I watched a jokey programme about the seventies that was on tv recently. Sorry pardon excuse me? I had never analysed the lyrics to that song before. This programme did. It's filthy. And not just a little bit suspect; it is absolutely suspect. Here's a line or two...
You'd be a fool to stop this tide
Spread your wings and let me come inside
What? That is just shocking. There's worse to come; the next line goes...
Don't say a word my virgin child.
I hope you weren't drinking tea when you read that; I've a feeling you may have spluttered it all over yourself. Come inside? Virgin? Child? How the hell did he get away with it?
Any road up, Tonight's the Night (the musical, not the song) was written by Ben Elton. Oh dear. I have never seen Tonight's the Night but I have seen another Ben Elton scripted musical and I can honestly say it is the biggest load of tosh I have ever watched in a theatre. I am talking about the original of this type of musical - We Will Rock You; an awful story featuring the wonderful music of Queen. Yes the songs are terrific, but the story? Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Utterly utterly dreadful. I honestly thought it would be quite good. I used to watch Ben Elton in his stand up comedian days and I liked him a lot. I thought his Black Adder scripts were brilliant. I read his novels and thoroughly enjoyed them. We Will Rock You ought to have been fantastic given his credentials. It is not. The story, such as it is, is ludicrous. I won't bore you with details but it revolves around a group of people whose ancestors have survived some sort of holocaust and the jokes (Jokes! Ha!) revolve around them finding artefacts from the current era. For some odd reason there is a mythical guitar imbedded in a wall and the story is based on this tribe's efforts to find it. I think Brian May might have had much to do with the storyline, so perhaps Elton was hampered by a crap story before he even put pen to paper.
Far better than coming up with a story in this way is to simply tell the story of the people whose music the show is based on. The Jersey Boys about the Four Seasons and Sunny Afternoon on the Kinks fit into this category.
Better still, in my view, is where the story is dispensed with entirely and the audience is just treated to an artist or band's music. This is how a show I recently went to works. The show is Thriller. Go on, have a guess whose music it covers. There is simply a spoken introduction and an occasional fact along the way but, otherwise, it is wall to wall Michael Jackson songs. It is the second time I have been to see the show and it has evolved a bit but the essence is the same. Excellent singers and talented, exuberant dancers putting on a really slick show.
I know the Queen show has probably made more money at the box office, but, even though I'm not a Michael Jackson fan as such, I know which show I would happily see again and again. All together now...
Keep on, to the post office
Don't stop till you get enough
[I think you may have misheard that lyric. - Ed.]





Were any famous or notorious people born on the 8th of April? Of course. Here are some I’ve even heard of. Leonardo da Vinci 1452 (Painter, sculptor, architect, inventor, scientist, musician, mathematician, engineer, writer, anatomist, geologist, astronomer, botanist, historian and cartographer... In fact a right old smarty boots.), Henry James 1843 (‘I've always been interested in people, but I've never liked them.’), Percy Shaw 1890 (Who? Inventor. The cat’s eye in the middle of the road was probably his best known invention.), Nikita Kruschev 1894 (First Secretary of the Communist Party of the USSR following the death of Stalin.), Bessie Smith 1894 (‘Empress of the Blues’. Here’s this week’s first clip; Bessie in 1929 singing St. Louis Blues.), Joe Davis 1901 (Snooker player before the sport became celebrated. He helped organise the first world championship in 1927, and bought the trophy which is used to this day. It was the first of his 15 world titles and he won a first prize of £6 10s. Last year’s winner Mark Selby won £330,000.), Kim Il-sung 1912 (Supreme leader of North Korea. His birthday is celebrated as ‘The Day of the Sun’.), Neville Marriner 1924 (Conductor. Founded St Martin in the Fields.), Elizabeth Montgomery 1933 (Her from Bewitched that wiggled her nose.), Claudia Cardinale 1938 (Italian actress who was raised in Tunis so spoke Italian with a French accent. Her voice was dubbed in her first Italian film.), Reg Smith 1939 (Who? Better known as singer Marty Wilde. Clip number two coming up. What was Marty’s biggest hit? That’s right. Teenager in Love. So here’s Abbagavenny.), Jeffrey Archer 1940 (Dodgy politician and author.), Dave Edmunds 1944 (Welsh singer/guitarist. Ready for clip number three? His most famous hit was I Hear You Knocking, so here’s Girls Talk.), Dodi Fayed 1955 (Film producer. Famously died in a car crash.), Benjamin Zephaniah 1958 (Broomie powet.), Emma Thomson 1959 (Ectress, donchaknow. Nanny McPhee. That was her.), Samantha Fox 1966 (Singer, songwriter and actress it says in her blurb. Nah. Page Three model, that’s all she’s remembered for.), Seth Rogen 1982 (Actor. Voices Mantis in the Kung Fu Panda films.), Eliza Doolittle 1988 (Singer. Clip number five? Time to pack up?) and Emma Watson 1990 (Harry Potter’s bird.).




Let’s move on to grambling matters. How did we do last week? Better than the week before, I can tell you. We got a return of £2.13 on our bet. So, only 7 pees down. Woo... a 4p improvement on the week before. What happened? Read on...



Blackburn vs Barnsley - Prediction Home win

Result - Blackburn 0 Barnsley 2


Marc Roberts headed Barnsley into a deserved third-minute lead.

Things got worse for the hosts in the 10th minute when Marley Watkins struck a spectacular second - his ninth of the season.

Hmm. Not a good start for The Grambler.


Norwich vs Reading - Prediction Home win

Result - Norwich 7 (That’s seven) Reading 1

An emphatic Yay!

Norwich were 4-0 up within 31 minutes through Nelson Oliveira's penalty, Wes Hoolahan's chip, Alex Pritchard's 25-yard shot and Russell Martin's tap in.

Pritchard slotted in his second before Yann Kermorgant pulled one back, only for Hoolahan to tap in for 6-1.

Mitchell Dijks hit the bar for the Canaries before substitute Cameron Jerome slotted in number seven late on.


Accrington vs Crewe - Prediction Home win

Result - Accrington 3 Crewe 2


Calum Cooke opened the scoring for Crewe on the quarter of an hour with a brilliant 25-yard effort.

Crewe continued to create the better chances and George Cooper's ball in on 41 minutes found Chris Dagnall, who dinked the ball home.

Stanley got one back on 57 minutes when Mark Hughes scrambled the ball home from close range from a Sean McConville corner.

Four minutes later, Stanley won a free-kick on the edge of the area and Shay McCartan fired it home.

Hughes made the comeback complete on 79 minutes when Crewe failed to clear another McConville corner and he was there at the far post to fire home.

All together now...  Everybody Stanley...


Blackpool vs Grimsby - Prediction Home win

Result - Blackpool 1 Grimsby 3


Danny Collins' header was cancelled out by Andrew Boyce's own goal as half-time approached, but the Mariners had enough time to retake the lead before the interval through Sam Jones. Jones bagged a brace with a 70th-minute strike settling matters in the visitors' favour.


Doncaster vs Mansfield - Prediction Home win

Result - Doncaster 1 Mansfield 0


Doncaster Rovers won promotion back to League One at the first attempt after a narrow win over Mansfield.

Tommy Rowe's header from sub James Coppinger's corner was enough to see off the Stags.

Ben Whiteman went close to a leveller but his curled effort was just wide.

Rovers, relegated to League Two last May, have spent the majority of the season at the top of the table and now need just eight points to claim the title.


That was last week, what has The Grambler got for us this week? As most games in the English leagues are taking place on Good Friday, he/she/it is left with mainly Scottish games to consider...

Game - Result - Odds

Motherwell vs Inverness - Prediction Home win - 7/5

Falkirk vs St Mirren - Prediction Home win - 17/20

Alloa vs Brechin - Prediction Home win - 3/4

Stranraer vs Airdrie - Prediction Home win - Evens

Arbroath vs Edinburgh - Prediction Home win - 4/6



All matches kick off at 3pm on Saturday the 15th of April. 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...


That is incredibly whopping... Not happy about Motherwell being in there, though.




Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you who was the only player to come close to Rush’s record with 19 goals scored in Liverpool derbies. A clue was that in his career of 447 games he scored a staggering 390 goals. The answer was Everton’s William ‘Dixie’ Deans. Why Dixie, I hear you ask. There are two stories claiming to give the reason behind his nickname. One suggests it was a corruption of his childhood nickname of ‘Digsy’. Apparently, when he played tig he used to dig his fist into his pals’ backs. Hmm... Another, slightly racist, suggestion is that he had a swarthy complexion and curly black hair. Because of this and the fact that black minstrel songs often mentioned Dixie, he was saddled with the epithet. As I said, a bit racist, but more plausible given the thinking in those prewar times.

One for this week? Why not. Let’s have a transfer related question. Okay, everyone knows that Manchester United paid a record transfer fee for Paul Pogba of no fixed hairstyle, but who was that club’s previous signing for (at the time) a British record transfer fee?





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 Miss S. Fox who celebrates birthday this weekend. Earlier, I remarked that she was famous only for displaying her rather large breasts on page three of a certain daily newspaper/comic. There is one other ‘moment’ for which she is remembered. That moment was her making a right hash of presenting the Brit Awards with Mick Fleetwood back in 1989. It really was one of the most cringe-inducing programmes ever transmitted on British television. Want to see some clips from it?  Of course you do.


Happy grambling.


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