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…
Farewell to Barry Chuckle, one half of the Chuckle Brothers, who died this week aged 73.
I have to say, I was never a fan. That's probably because I was already grown up when they reached their peak in the late eighties. They were popular, certainly. You don't have 21 series over a 22 year span, if you're not. Their brand of silly slapstick comedy was aimed squarely at children. And the kids of the day lapped it up. There can't be many Brits aged between 20 and 40 who isn't aware of their catchphrase... 'To me. To you.' And who can move a piece of heavy furniture these days without saying it at least once?
So, I could understand their appeal. They were silly and funny; just perfect for little uns.
However, there is something that I always had a problem with: their name. Chuckle Brothers. I dislike the idea that you are being told that they are meant to be funny. That just makes me think, 'Go on, make me smile. I challenge you.' I reckon if I had been a kid when the Chuckle Brothers were doing their Chucklevision programmes, I would have been the awkward sod who refused to acknowledge that were in the least bit amusing.
It is nothing new for a would-be comedian to change their name to something seemingly suitable. Who remembers Bobby Knutt? Just me, then.
How many Joe Kings have there been over the years?
There is a comic in the north of England called Tom Bright. Very popular he is. But is that his real name? Doubt it.
I recall seeing a pantomime some years back... and you know how much I love pantos [You are being sarky, I take it. - Ed.]... which featured a comedian going by the name of Johnny Laff. Well, you can imagine my reaction to that... 'Come on then. Make me.'
I'm sorry, I take exception to comedians using daft names to suit their image.
I will end by telling you that there is absolutely no truth to the suggestion that Joe Pasquale was a great fan of kajagoogoo when he was starting out in the business known as show and especially admired bassist Nick Beggs. So much so that he was planning to use as his comedy name the completely apt Nick Gaggs. As I said, and my lawyer will bear me out, there is no truth in that rumour.
See http://www.thegrambler.com/2016/08/week-3-grambler-on-oor-wullies-bucket.html to understand that last paragraph.
I think it only right that I use this one again.
Were any famous or notorious people born on the 11th of August? Of course, here are some I’ve even heard of. Enid Blyton 1897 (Racist writer.), Lloyd Nolan 1902 (B movie actor.), Alex Haley 1921 (Roots writer.), Raymond Leppard 1927 (Composer. Here is this week’s first clip, the theme to the 1969 film Alfred the Great. He's not a real leopard, you know. He probably can't even run fast.), Anna Massey 1937 (Ectress. Dr. Gillespie’s daughter. An obscure 1960s US medical drama reference there.), Mike Hugg 1942 (Musician. Founding member of 1960s band Manfred Mann. A clip? Have some jehhhzzzzzz. Here’s an early Manfred Mann instrumental with the title Bare Hugg. Go on, guess who wrote it.), Denis Payton 1943 (A Dave Clark one. Played saxophone. Here is a clip where he gives us a blast on his horn. [Fnarr fnarr. - Ed.]), Ian McDiarmid 1944 (Ectaw. Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious.), Eric Carmen 1949 (Singer/songwriter. Another clip? Ready for one of the most depressing songs ever? You have been warned. Think he might have been using some of his heated rollers to achieve that candyfloss look.), Ian Charleson 1949 (Ectaw. He wouldn’t run on a Sunday.), Steve Wozniak 1950 (Sells apples.), Terry Bollea 1953 (Who? You may know him better as Hulk Hogan, a wrestler it says here.), Joe Jackson 1954 (Musician. Another clip coming up. Here’s Steppin' Out.), John Wardle aka Jah Wobble 1958 (Musician. He was briefly in Public Image Limited, though not as vocalist. Here he sets that right. He's actually got a better voice than that band's vocalist.), Richard Scudamore 1959 (Executive chairman of the Premier League, i.e. a footy bloke.), Sophie Okonedo 1968 (Ectress.) and Isy Suttie 1978 (Comedian.).
I've received a letter...
Dear Mr Rumpler,
We are fans of Manfred Mann and particularly Mike Hugg. Apparently, he left the band because he felt the music was getting too 'poppy'. He actually described one of the band's later hits as one of the worst songs he had ever heard. Neither of us can remember which song he was describing. Can you help?
Yours with goodwill and felicitations,
R. Harsedd, Dec Lown.
Let’s move onto grambling matters. How did last week’s bet go? Well, the first predictions of the new footy season actually gave us a wee profit: £3.94 back from our £2.20 stake money. Not a huge win but, compared to recent returns, it’s a fortune. What happened? Read on...
Bury vs Yeovil - Prediction Home win
Result - Bury 1 Yeovil Town 0
In a fiery encounter, which saw referee Dean Whitestone dismiss Yeovil players Tom James and Jordan Green in the second half, Omotayo won it for the hosts with an 89th-minute header.
Will Aimson and Nicky Adams had speculative efforts for Bury in a quiet start.
Yeovil grew into the contest after the break, and Shakers' goalkeeper Joe Murphy did well to tip Francois Zoko's chip on to the crossbar.
The visitors were reduced to 10 men after 54 minutes when James was dismissed for his second bookable offence following a late challenge on Danny Mayor.
And 13 minutes later the Glovers were down to nine as Green was shown a straight red card for a rash tackle on Bury captain Neil Danns, which sparked a 20-player rammy.
Bury secured the three points when Omotayo guided Aimson's ball into the top-left corner.
Cheltenham vs Crawley - Prediction Home win
Result - Cheltenham 0 Crawley 1
Ollie Palmer headed home the game's only goal in the 63rd minute and the visitors held on to win after Kevin Dawson hit the crossbar with a penalty.
Crawley had made the stronger start against a Cheltenham team including eight debutants.
Dominic Poleon was denied in the fourth minute by goalkeeper Scott Flinders, who then recovered to catch Dannie Bulman's follow-up header.
Filipe Morais set up Poleon two minutes later, but Flinders saved again.
Cheltenham had their first chance in the 15th minute when Alex Addai played in Immanuelson Duku, but visiting keeper Glenn Morris blocked well with his legs.
Flinders kept out Josh Payne's 20-yard effort, but Cheltenham improved after a change of formation midway through the half.
However, the breakthrough came 18 minutes into the second half when Palmer headed in Morais' corner from the right.
Cheltenham had an opportunity to equalise in the 72nd minute when they were awarded a penalty after a foul by Romain Vincelot on substitute Kalvin Kalala, but Dawson's spot-kick hit the bar and went over. Pillock!
Crewe vs Morecambe - Prediction Home win
Result - Crewe 6 (That’s six) Morecambe 0
An emphatic YAY!
Alex Nicholls added to Charlie Kirk's sixth-minute opener with a brace.
Midfielder James Jones scored two long-range strikes past a beleaguered Paddy Roche in the closing stages, while substitute Chris Porter also got in on the act with a late header.
Crewe were 2-0 up after 10 minutes. Determined work by Jordan Bowery teed up Paul Green, whose blocked shot fell for Kirk to fire into the roof of the net.
Kirk then crossed for the unmarked Nicholls to glance a header into the far corner for the second.
Rhys Oates went close for Morecambe with a looping header that veered wide and in the second half the striker forced a good save out of Dave Richards, who then kept out Vadaine Oliver's follow-up.
But Crewe's finishing was slicker, as Nicholls demonstrated when he finished a four-man move with a sweet volley.
Oliver hit a post for Morecambe, who then conceded three times in the final 18 minutes.
Jones strode forward to bury a 25-yard shot into a bottom corner before Porter headed in the fifth at the far post
Jones then replicated his strike with another long-range effort in the last minute.
Mansfield vs Newport - Prediction Home win
Result - Mansfield 3 Newport 0
Tyler Walker gave Mansfield the lead on 12 minutes despite a fine double save by Joe Day as the Stags took control.
Craig Davies hit the post before the break and the hosts' supremacy was underlined when Walker's cross was headed home by Otis Khan from close range on 56 minutes.
Khan made matters safe on 64 minutes when he curled home from 25 yards.
Swindon vs Macclesfield - Prediction Home win
Result - Swindon 3 Macclesfield 2
Michael Doughty scored two stoppage-time penalties to complete a hat-trick and snatch Swindon a dramatic 3-2 victory against English Football League new boys Macclesfield.
Koby Arthur's double looked to have set Macclesfield on their way to a dream return before the late spot-kick drama.
Arthur fired last season's National League title winners ahead a minute into the second half after latching on to a quickly-taken free-kick.
But Swindon hit back almost immediately when Doughty headed in Kyle Knoyle's pin-point cross.
Macclesfield were gifted the lead for a second time just seven minutes later following a blunder from home goalkeeper Lawrence Vigouroux.
Vigouroux made a mess of clearing Olly Lancashire's back-pass, allowing Ghanaian Arthur to lift the ball over his head and into the net.
Doughty drew Swindon level for a second time in the sixth minute of stoppage time after Elijah Adebayo had been fouled by Jared Hodgkiss.
And there was still time for the Welshman to break Macclesfield hearts three minutes later following Arthur's trip on Adebayo.
Thanks to the Press Association for match reports.
Not a bad start to the new season. Can The Grambler keep it up? [Fnarr fnarr. - Ed.] Let’s see what he/she/it has predicted for this week’s bet.
Game - Result - Odds
Inverness CT vs Ayr - Prediction Home win - 5/6
Partick vs Falkirk - Prediction Home win - 4/5
Airdrie vs Montrose - Prediction Home win - 4/6
Dumbarton vs Forfar - Prediction Home win - 5/6
Raith vs Stenhousemuir - Prediction Home win - 7/10
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...
Nope. Not in the least bit whopping.
Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you who turned down the opportunity to manage Everton at the last minute in summer 1997, preferring to maintain his media career. The answer was that well-known misogynist, Andy Gray. As a bonus, I asked you who took over as manager for his third spell in charge of the club. That was Howard Kendall. Too easy?
Okay, how about one for this week? On the opening day of the Premiershit, let’s have a related question. Since the Premiershit began, which team has had the worst all-time total goal difference? A good un methinks. Try that one 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 a Mr M. Hugg... sort of. You see, after his stint with Manfred Mann, he branched out into writing music for films and TV. He wrote the theme tune for our final link. So, ladeez and genullum please enjoy the first ever episode of Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads.
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