Welcome to The Grambler, the most ill-informed blog you are ever likely to see.
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. Read on and enjoy…
I use Twitter occasionally and think, this is a bit random isn't it. People write (in less than 140 characters) any old drivel. I use it to advertise The Grambler [Any old drivel, as you say. - Ed.]. Really it would be far more sensible to have several social media services each of which addressed a more specific topic...
Ladies, do you enjoy making woollen garments but don't know how to get in touch with others who enjoy the same hobby? Then head to Knitter where you can talk all about your latest knitted garments... in 140 stitches or less.
Budding comedians, have you ever wondered how you can get in touch with others in the same position? Wonder no more; just head straight to Titter where you can try out all your latest jokes... in 140 giggles or less. Of course, Titter might be confused with a similar titled social media site which refers to something else entirely; something which you might feel embarrassed to be looking at. I know I would be embarrassed if I was caught looking at pictures of small finch-like birds in public.
Eaters of a particular form of unhealthy food, have you ever wondered how to share your ideas for deep fried battered vegetables, spam and mars bars? No problem. Fritter is there just for you and like minded lardies to talk about all your recipes and clogged arteries... in 140 calories or less.
Council workers who are employed during the winter to clear ice from the roads, have you ever wanted to have a good old moan to others doing the same job for other councils? Then head to Gritter where you can complain away by sending them messages, or 'greets' as they are known in Gritter speak.
Talking of winter, that's when the weather is at its coldest and we in Britain just love to grumble about how perishing it is. Well, specially for us Brits there is the perfect social media site known as Bitter. Of course, it might get confused with similar named sites aimed at beer drinkers and polite Germans, not to mention a certain group of people who like the colour orange and have a penchant for wearing bowler hats and listening to flute music.
Finally, let's hear it for the media site which could be aimed at this very blog. Yes, another topic Brits love to discuss is toilet habits, so what better place to discuss everything related to bowel movements than the aptly named Sh*tter?
Manchester United players have been banned from posting on social media from inside the changing rooms after Ander Herrera posted a video of him pretending to throw birthday cake into Juan Mata's face. Watch the 'incident' by clicking here. I’m sorry, but I can’t see any problem other than it being a rather silly bit of footage. Or is Man U embarrassed about how untidy the dressing room is? Honestly, socks, boots and shorts just lying around; absolutely shocking.
Were any famous or notorious people born on the 6th of May? Of course. Here are some I’ve even heard of. Maximilien Robespiere 1758 (L’incorruptible.), Sigmund Freud 1856 (Drug using misogynist polyglot with an oral fixation), Robert Peary 1856 (Arctic explorer who explored some regions he shouldn’t have, managing to father two sons on his expeditions even though he had a wife and daughter back home), Rudolph Valentino 1895 (The original screen idol), Stewart Granger 1913 (Ectaw. His real name was James Stewart), Orson Wells 1915 (Actor, director, writer and producer who produced his best work before the age of 30. Later advertised sherry.), Bob Seger 1945 (Musician famous for his Silver Bullet Band. This week’s only musical link coming up. Here’s We've Got Tonight... apologies for the video quality), Tony Blair 1953 (Not a war-mongering megalomaniac), Graham Souness 1953 (Footy bloke.), George Clooney 1961 (Actor. Played Batman, you know.), Tom Hunter 1961 (Wealthy bloke) and Dani Alves 1983 (Footy bloke.).
Let’s move on to grambling matters. How did we do last week? Well, we did win some money; however, I should apologise for not checking that all the matches selected by The Grambler would be played on Saturday the 29th of April. I can only assume that he/she/it had the computery equivalent of a brainstorm. Anyway, we won the grand total of £3.92; a profit of £1.72. Not too bad. What happened? Read on...
Oxford Utd vs Shrewsbury - Prediction Home win
Result - Oxford 2 Shrewsbury 0
Two goals in a minute early in the game put the U's in charge.
Centre-half Curtis Nelson ran through on goal from Rob Hall's backheel to hammer past goalkeeper Jayson Leutwiler in the 16th minute to open the scoring.
And in the home team's next attack, Hall turned in Chris Maguire's cross from the left to make it 2-0.
Southend vs Bury - Prediction Home win
Result - Southend 1 Bury 0
The hosts made the breakthrough in the 22nd minute when Jason Demetriou's right-wing cross was tamely headed out by Leon Barnett, enabling Stephen McLaughlin to drill a right-footed half-volley into the right-hand side of the net.
Cheltenham vs Hartlepool - Prediction Home win
Result - Cheltenham 1 Hartlepool 0
The decisive goal came after 17 minutes when Harry Pell's cross was headed home by Danny Wright from six yards.
Scott Brown touched a header from Lewis Hawkins over the crossbar a minute later as Hartlepool responded well.
A poor backpass from Carl Winchester presented Padraig Amond with a good chance to level, but Brown blocked well to ensure his side led at the break.
Pell nodded a cross into the path of Wright, but he shot wide, and Hartlepool had appeals for a penalty turned down before Amond's cross was cleared at the far post by Liam Davis as Cheltenham were forced to defend.
Brown was called on again to deny substitute Connor Simpson late on as Cheltenham held on.
Doncaster vs Exeter - Prediction Home win
Result - Doncaster 1 Exeter 3
Jordan Moore-Taylor smashed in a 30-yard thunderbolt after 16 minutes, but Rovers were level in 26th minute when James Coppinger finished well from a tight angle.
The Dons endured a frustrating second half attempting to break Exeter down, and the visitors regained the lead just after the hour.
They were awarded a penalty when Joe Wright handled on the line, and although Ryan Harley saw his spot-kick saved by Ian Lawlor, David Wheeler drilled in the rebound.
The win was sealed late on when Ollie Watkins squared for substitute Liam McAlinden to score.
Plymouth vs Crewe - Prediction Home win
Result - Plymouth 2 Crewe 1
James Jones volleyed in front from 20 yards to put Crewe ahead when Argyle failed to clear George Cooper's corner.
Luke McCormick then made a brilliant save to deny Cooper as the visitors pressed.
Crewe goalkeeper Ben Garratt made a superb save to deny Blissett, and force a corner, but from the set-piece Argyle levelled when target man Ryan Taylor spun to redirect David Fox's shot into the far corner.
Nate Blissett, who came on as a second-half replacement for Jake Jervis, powered home a header from Graham Carey's cross from the left to cap an incredible five-minute turnaround.
Not too bad a result for The Grambler. The reason for the games being played at different times can be blamed on the fact that the end of the season is fast approaching and this week’s predictions could also be for games that are on at different times as English Championship games all take place at midday on Saturday the 6th of May and Division Two games all take place at 5.30. This is all down to the fact that these are the last matches for both divisions other than promotion playoffs. Indeed Division One games are now complete and only the playoffs take place this Saturday.
I think we must give The Grambler all times to select from this week, if that’s okay with you readers. [What, both of them? - Ed.]
Game - Time - Result - Odds
Wigan vs Leeds - 12.00 - Prediction Away win - 6/5
Aston Villa vs Brighton - 12.00 - Prediction Away win - 11/10
Brentford vs Blackburn - 12.00 - Prediction Away win - 8/5
Crawley vs Mansfield - 17.30 - Prediction Away win - 5/6
Stevenage vs Accrington - 17.30 - Prediction Home win - 3/4
All matches kick off at the times shown on Saturday the 6th of May. 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 really is whopping. If it wins, I’ll eat my hat... I wonder where I can purchase an edible hat; just in case.
Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you who the 1982 gates at Anfield were named after. I am sure you all knew that they were named in honour of one of the club’s greatest managers, Bill Shankly.
One for this week? Chris Hughton’s Brighton and Hove Albion have won promotion to the Premiershit. Brighton has been in the top flight once before, so this week’s teaser is, who was the manager when they were promoted on that occasion?
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 a Mr W. Shankly, the answer to last week’s teaser, for this week’s concluding section. Shankly was a great football manager who gave us some wonderful quotes to remember him by. Here are a few belters to end this week’s edition.
‘A football team is like a piano. You need eight men to carry it and three who can play the damn thing.’
‘Football is a simple game based on the giving and taking of passes, of controlling the ball and of making yourself available to receive a pass. It is terribly simple.’
‘The trouble with referees is that they know the rules, but they don’t know the game.’
‘If you’ve got three Scots in your side, you’ve got a chance of winning something. If you’ve got any more, you’re in trouble.’
‘If a player is not interfering with play or seeking to gain an advantage, then he should be.’
‘At a football club, there’s a holy trinity: the players, the manager and the supporters. Directors don’t come into it. They are only there to sign the cheques.’
‘Pressure is working down the pit. Pressure is having no work at all. Pressure is trying to escape relegation on 50 shillings a week. Pressure is not the European Cup or the Championship or the Cup Final. That’s the reward.’
‘I want to build a team that’s invincible, so that they have to send a team from bloody Mars to beat us.’
‘This is to remind our lads who they’re playing for, and to remind the opposition who they’re playing against.’ (About the “This is Anfield” plaque.)
‘Bob [Paisley] and I never had any rows. We didn’t have any time for that. We had to plan where we were going to keep all the cups we won.’
‘A lot of football success is in the mind. You must believe you are the best and then make sure that you are. In my time at Anfield we always said we had the best two teams on Merseyside, Liverpool and Liverpool reserves.’
‘If you can’t make decisions in life, you’re a bloody menace. You’d be better becoming an MP!’
‘For a player to be good enough to play for Liverpool, he must be prepared to run through a brick wall for me then come out fighting on the other side.’
‘Yes Roger Hunt misses a few, but he gets in the right place to miss them.’
‘Tommy Smith wasn’t born, he was quarried.’
‘He’s not just the best centre-forward in the British Isles, but the only one.’ (On Ian St. John.)
‘If you’re not sure what to do with the ball, just pop it in the net and we’ll discuss your options afterwards.’
‘Liverpool was made for me and I was made for Liverpool.’
‘Of course I didn’t take my wife to see Rochdale as an anniversary present. It was her birthday. Would I have got married in the football season? Anyway, it was Rochdale reserves.’
‘Forget the Beatles and all the rest. This is the real Liverpool sound. It’s real singing, and it’s what the Kop is all about.’
‘Although I’m a Scot, I’d be proud to be called a Scouser.’
‘I was only in the game for the love of football – and I wanted to bring back happiness to the people of Liverpool.’
‘But that’s where I live!’ (To a Brussels hotel clerk who said Shankly couldn’t just put ‘Anfield’ as his address.)
‘It was the most difficult thing in the world, when I went to tell the chairman. It was like walking to the electric chair. That’s the way it felt.’ (On resigning in 1974.)
He occasionally took a pop at Liverpool’s local rivals...
‘When I’ve nothing better to do, I look down the league table to see how Everton are getting along.’
‘If Everton were playing at the bottom of the garden, I’d pull the curtains.’
‘Sickness would not have kept me away from this one. If I’d been dead, I would have had them bring the casket to the ground, prop it up in the stands, and cut a hole in the lid.’ (After Liverpool beat Everton in the 1971 FA Cup semi-final)
‘Never mind Alan, at least you’ll be able to play next to a great team.’ (To Alan Ball, who had just signed for Everton)
‘The difference between Everton and the Queen Mary is that Everton carry more passengers!’
Finally, you may have seen this quote attributed to him...
Football is not about life and death; it’s more important than that.
Actually, what he said was this...
‘I’ve seen supporters on Merseyside going to the ground together, one wearing red and white and the other blue and white, which is unusual elsewhere. You get families in Liverpool in which half support Liverpool and the other half Everton. They support rival teams but they have the same temperament and they know each other. They are unique in the sense that their rivalry is so great but there is no real aggro between them. This is quite amazing.
‘I am not saying they love each other. Oh, no. Football is not a matter of life and death … it’s much more important than that. And it’s more important to them than that. But I’ve never seen a fight at a derby game. Shouting and bawling … yes. But they don’t fight each other. And that says a lot for them.’
That’s all for this week folks, but remember you can read the musings of The Grambler every week by going to the blog at www.thegrambler.com