Saturday 31 March 2018

Week 32 - Mo Salah grambling down the wing

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 .

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. Read on and enjoy


Before I begin this week’s fun and frolics, I would just like to take a few moments of your time to remember the founder of this wonderful blog. Stewart should, had he been given a better chance at life, have been celebrating his 33rd birthday this Wednesday, the 4th of April. He was just 26 when he was was diagnosed with a disease that doctors tell us affects only older people. He was only 28 when he died from that same disease that doctors tell us affects only older people.

Life is unfair. Do doctors tell us that?

Every day we think of you Stewart.

Okay, let’s continue with the usual nonsense and I think Stewart would have appreciated this week’s edition...



Sorry pardon excuse me?


It's a football chant that has echoed round Fir Park (the home of the magnificent Motherwell) for a number of years. It is a simple shout of one syllable repeated every couple of seconds. It has no meaning but it creates a great atmosphere at the game.

If you watched Iceland playing in the European championships a couple of years back, you may recall that the Icelandic fans made it quite famous.

At the time, commentators thought it something quite original until one pointed out that he had heard it at Fir Park long before the Iceland Vikings adopted it. I think it might have been Terry Butcher (a Motherwell manager from a few years back) who recalled it.

Why am I mentioning this? Well, Iceland have qualified for the world cup finals for the first time in the country's history and Icelandic cartoonist, Hugleikur Dagsson [I'm sorry? Hug like a dachshund? - Ed.], has tried to cash in on the Iceland fans' chant by producing a tee shirt which simply has the word 'hu' printed on it.

Am I annoyed that he is cashing in on something that was borrowed from Motherwell fans? Perish the thought! It is only a word, after all. And he does acknowledge that it was a word first used by Vikings in Scotland, although I've never heard Motherwell fans described as Vikings before.

However, there has been a complaint about his use of the word; it seems that it is an Icelandic trademark and he has been told to destroy the shirts.

What nonsense. Whether the word is a trademark or not, why is anyone complaining? If it is the name of a product, then, surely, it's use can only give it some free publicity. Where's the problem with that? And don't call me Shirley.

It is always nice to hear a new chant. It can be a bit tedious hearing the name of anyone whose name comprises four syllables sung to the tune of Guantanamera, as in 'There's only one (insert name of choice)'. [Insert name of choice? That's five syllables. Doesn't work. - Ed.] Ahem... That is, if it is a player who is liked; if the crowd don't like someone, and he has a four syllable name, the tune from the hallelujah chorus is sung with words suggesting that he enjoys sex but doesn't have a partner.

How did such chants begin in the world of football? We all know that various teams' support had their own club song which was sung before, but not during, the match; West Ham fans singing I'm forever blowing bubbles is one that comes to mind. However, actually singing well-known songs with lyrics relating to the teams (or referee) on the pitch throughout the match is a fairly recent thing. If you can call 1962 recent, that seems to be the starting point. Apparently, Liverpyool fans began singing current songs with their own lyrics back then.

So, did Anfield's finest simply spontaneously burst into song one Saturday afternoon back in 1962? No. They had copied the idea from the Brazilian fans they had seen on the televised world cup of that year. History doesn’t tell us where they got it from. Still, as far as British footy goes, Liverpyool fans get the credit for starting footy chants. It may be down to the inherent (That's a good word; must look it up.) Scouse humour, but they certainly seem adept at producing chants about their favorites. A new (non racist) chant has just been 'written' for Mo Salah, currently the top scorer in the premiershit. It is sung to the tune of Sit Down by James...

Mo Salah, Mo Salah,
Running down the wing.
Salah la la la la la la la la la
Egyptian king.

I think that is great, and so does Mo, incidentally.

I began this week's (g)ramble with a mention of my own team Motherwell. We have a group of supporters who are constantly coming up with new songs and chants. Often, like 'hu' there is just the one word repeated over and over. In a past (g)ramble, I've mentioned our old captain (now assistant manager) Keith Lasley, whose chant was simply the repetition of 'Keef!'

Earlier this season we had goalscoring machine Louis Moult in the side and every time he scored, in spite of the sound engineer's insistence that Louis Louis should be played over the tannoy, the crowd would sing their own rendition of the old Spandau Ballet song Gold with suitable lyric amendments.

Incidentally, Preston North End, Louis' new employers, have you thought of actually playing him in your first team from the off instead of bringing him on as a sub when you are already two goals down? Perhaps you'll win a few more games.

Any road up, the Moult song is no longer used and the fans haven't come up with a toon for our new number nine, Curtis Main. Not yet. They have, however, come up with a one word chant for our defender Cedric Kipre and it's rather good. Do you remember the theme tune for the old Gerry Anderson puppet show Stingray? Just think of that song with Kipre replacing the word Stingray. Inspired, or what?




You may have noticed that there was no edition last week. You didn’t? Well, there wasn’t one. However, I wouldn’t want to miss out on the birthday honours and all the wonderful clips so, ladeez and genullum, here (one week late) are the birthdays of famous folk born on the 24th of March... well, the ones I’ve heard of. William Morris 1834 (Painter and decorator.), Harry Houdini 1874 (Famous illusionist and escape artist. For many years, he was the highest paid stage performer in America.), Roscoe ‘Fatty’ Arbuckle 1887 (Actor, comedian, director and screenwriter. Talking of highly paid performers, Arbuckle was one of the highest paid stars of the silent era; in 1920 he signed a contract for $1 million, equivalent to something like $14 million today. Between 1921 and 1922 he was tried for rape and manslaughter in a highly publicised case. Although he was acquitted, his career was effectively ended.), Ub Iwerks 1901 (Cartoonist. Credited with co-creating Mickey Mouse.), Malcolm Muggeridge 1903 (Constipated journalist.), Richard Conte 1910 (Ectaw. A just man.), Joseph Barbera 1911 (Cartoonist. Created a few memorable characters... Have a clip.  Yabba dabba doo!), Gene Nelson 1920 (Ectaw.), Dario Fo 1926 (Actor, playwright, comedian, singer, theatre director, stage designer, songwriter, painter, political campaigner and recipient of the Nobel prize for literature... in fact, a right old clever clogs.), Steve McQueen 1930 (The Cooler King.), Don Covay 1936 (Singer and songwriter. Time for another clip. Here’s It's Better to Have (and don't need).), David Irving 1938 (Discredited author.), Patrick Malahide 1945 (Ectaw. Balon Greyjoy.), Alan Sugar 1947 (Bully.), Ruud Krol 1949 (Voetballer.), Nick Lowe 1949 (Musician who enjoys odd noises... Have a clip.), Tommy Hilfiger 1951 (Tailor.), Dougie Thomson 1951 (A bit of Supertramp. Another clip? Here’s Supertramp giving us some doo-wop with My Kind of Lady. Is that Still Game’s Bobby the barman on drums?), Kelly LeBrock 1960 (Clothes horse.), Gabriele Kerner 1960 (Singer. Better known as Nena. Here’s that song in its original form.), Dean Jones 1961 (Strine crickuddy blike.), Mark Calaway 1965 (Wrestly bloke. Known as The Undertaker.), Sharon Corr 1970 (Violiny Corr. Time for another clip. Here’s Runaway.), Christophe Dugarry 1972 (Footballeur.), Jim Parsons 1973 (Actor. Sheldon Cooper.) and Ramires 1987 (Jogador de futebol.).

Okay, that brings us up to date. Time for this week’s birthday folk.

Were any famous or notorious folk born on March the 31st? Of course. Here are some I’ve even heard of. Rene Descaretes 1596 (Philosopher and mathematician. Famously said, ‘Cogito ergo sum.’ No idea who Cogito was, but it sounds like she was a bit of a girl.), Johan Sebastian Bach 1685 (Moderately famous composer. Here’s a rather well-known piece. Hypnotic video, don't you think?), Joseph Haydn 1732 (Another moderately famous composer. Another clip? Well, that was a surprise.), Nikolai Gogol 1809 (Writer. Invented the search engine.), Sergei Diaghilev 1872 (Founder of the Ballets Russes.), Jack Johnson 1878 (Boxy bloke. Known as the Galveston Giant.), Robert Stevenson 1905 (Film director. Directed Murry Pappins, that one with the Andrews sisters and Virgil van Dijk.), Patrick Magee 1922 (Ectaw. Mr Alexander... An obscure Clockwork Orange reference there.), John Fowles 1926 (Orfer. He did The French Leiutenant’s Woman. [I say, steady on. - Ed.]), William Daniels 1927 (Ectaw. Most famous role? The voice of KITT in Knight Rider.), Richard Chamberlain 1934 (Ectaw. Played Dr Kildare in, wait for it, 191 episodes.), Shirley Jones 1934 (Actress and singer. David Cassidy’s mum. Here she is in Ohhhh...klahoma!), John D. Loudermilk 1934 (Singer/songwriter. Here’s a nice little ditty. All together now.  Doot n doo doo, doot n doo doo doo doo...), Herb Alpert 1935 (Trumpeter. Do you remember a dreadful James Bond film from the sixties called Casino Royale? It was utter tosh from start to finish. Here is the only decent thing about it... Herb's theme toon.), Karl-Heinz Schnellinger 1939 (Footy bloke. Known as the Volkswagen.), Christopher Walken 1943 (Ectaw.), Mick Ralphs 1944 (A bit of Mott the Oople and Bad Company. He wrote this, you know.), Al Gore 1947 (A vice-president.), Rhea Perlmann 1948 (Ectress. Appeared in, wait for it, 275 episodes of Cheers. Take that, Chamberpot!), Angus Young 1955 (Geetarist with AC/DC. A clip? Certainly. Here is a red velour-clad Angus taking centre stage in Heatseeker.), Roger Black 1966 (Runny bloke.), Martin Atkinson 1971 (Footy referee. All together now... Martin Atkinson, you’re a... Oh. Too many syllables.), Ewen McGregor 1971 (Ectaw. He looks nothing like Alec Guinness.) and Graeme Smith 1976 (Swimmy bloke.).


Let’s move onto grambling matters. How did last week’s bet fare? It didn’t. There was no bet. Remember? What about the week before, then? It won. It actually gave us a profit. £3.27 back from a stake of £2.20. Worth a woo hoo? Perhaps not. What happened? Read on...


Northampton vs Rotherham - Prediction Away win

Result - Northampton 0 Rotherham 3


Rotherham were on top from the word go and took the lead after 18 minutes when the home side failed to deal with Will Vaulks' long free-kick and Michael Smith was left unmarked to shoot into the bottom corner.

Only a superb save by Richard O'Donnell prevented Ritchie ‘Bath’ Towell from adding a quick second before he also denied David Ball.

Northampton had to wait until 55 minutes for their first shot when Hildeberto Pereira's low drive was held by Marek Rodak, but Rotherham were soon two to the good.

Ball found the net from 12 yards after the Cobblers defence had failed to clear and Rotherham's victory was completed by Towell, who finished off a fine move by placing Anthony Forde's pass into the corner.


Brechin vs Dumbarton - Prediction Away win

Result - Brechin 1 Dumbarton 3


Dimitris Froxylias provided three assists as Dumbarton earned a precious win over Brechin City.

Calum Gallagher was the first to turn in one of the Cypriot's corners in the 10th minute, before Sean Crighton sent another into his own net.

A fine curling free-kick from Craig Storie got Brechin off the mark.

But just before the break yet another Froxylias corner caused chaos and Danny Handling bundled the ball home.

Dumbarton might have had a fourthgoal in the second half when Andrew Stirling rounded goalkeeper Patrick O'Neil and pulled back for Stuart Carswell, who could not finish.


Albion vs Arbroath - Prediction Away win

Result - Albion 1 Arbroath 2


Match report? No chance.

Berwick vs Stenhousemuir - Prediction Away win

Machine postponed


Montrose vs Peterhead - Prediction Away win

Result - Montrose 3 Peterhead 2


Match report? I should cocoa.


Oh well, at least we made a wee profit and presumably got 20 pees back for that Berwick game being postponed. What has The Grambler come up with this week? Unfortunately, thanks to this being Easter weekend, the fixtures are all over the shop, so we have a rather lop-sided looking selection.

Game - Result - Odds

Newcastle vs Huddersfield - Prediction Home win - 3/4

Aberdeen vs St. Johnstone - Prediction Home win - 8/13

Hibernian vs Partick - Prediction Home win - 4/7

Kilmarnock vs Hamilton - Prediction Home win - 8/13

Montrose vs Edinburgh City - Prediction Home win - 4/5

Let’s see how much we could win in the unlikely event that the results go as predicted.

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...




If I were to think of a single word to describe that total, whopping wouldn’t be it.





Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you which Premiershit club has had the most managers in the Premier League era. The answer is Newcastle United with 22 managers since the league started. Do you want to be reminded who they were? No? Tough, I’m going to list them, anyway.

Kevin Keegan 5/2/92 to 8/1/97

Terry McDermott 8/1/97 to 14/1/97

Kenny Dalglish 14/1/97 to 27/8/98

Ruud Gullit 27/8/98 to 28/8/99

Steve Clarke 28/8/99 to 2/9/99

Bobby Robson 2/9/99 to 30/8/04

John Carver 30/8/04 to 13/9/04

Graeme Souness 13/9/04 to 2/2/06

Glenn Roeder 2/2/06 to 6/5/07

Nigel Pearson 6/5/07 to 15/5/07

Sam Allardyce 15/5/07 to 9/1/08

Nigel Pearson (again) 9/1/08 to 16/1/08

Kevin Keegan (again) 16/1/08 to 4/9/08

Chris Hughton 4/9/08 to 28/9/08

Joe Kinnear 28/9/08 to 7/2/09

Chris Hughton (again) 7/2/09 to 1/4/09

Alan Shearer 1/4/09 to 24/5/09

Chris Hughton (yet again) 24/5/09 to 6/12/10

Alan Pardew 9/12/10 to 30/12/14

John Carver 30/12/14 to 9/6/15

Steve McClaren 10/6/15 to 11/3/16

Rafael Benitez 11/3/16 to....

Incidentally, Tottenham Hotspur are in second place pop pickers with 21 managers and Chelsea are in third spot with 20. Not arf!

One for this week? Another Premiershit one? Why not. Which player has scored premiershit hat tricks on two occasions but was on the losing side both times? A goodun, methinks.




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. J. Barbera (who was mentioned in the belated birthday honours) and to his sidekick one W. Hanna who provide us with this week’s concluding clip. You have already been treated to the opening and closing credits to, possibly, their most successful creation, The Flintstones (although a certain animated great dane might wish to argue the point). Long before the likes of stone age families and dogs which think they are human were created, Hanna and Barbera gave us a cartoon double act which, I believe, was streets ahead of anything they came up after it. The inspiration for so many other animated series, the Tom and Jerry shorts that Hanna and Barbera made for MGM are still classics of the type.

So to finish, ladeez and genullum, I give you a clip from a film made in 1945, Anchors Aweigh. It used to be shown regularly when I were a nipper and I can remember nothing about it save for one short live action/animated sequence which simply transfixed me. As a kid, I thought it was magic. It is a song and dance routine with Gene Kelly and Jerry Mouse. I do hope you enjoy it.  Just how camp did Gene Kelly look in that costume?

Trust me, Gene, you look really butch.



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


Happy grambling.


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