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…
A news item through the week concerned a lorry driver who was jailed for dangerous driving; he had crashed his lorry into stationary cars while being otherwise occupied on his mobile phone. The cab of the lorry is videoed throughout the time it is being driven and footage shows that he was reading his dash-mounted smart phone when the accident occurred. He was jailed because he caused the death of a lady in the stationary car. Fair enough, he was not driving in a safe manner and his stupidity killed someone.
Was he just unfortunate? If nobody had died in the smash, he would probably have escaped a stay in prison. Indeed, had the accident not happened at all, the matter would not even have been noticed.
How many other drivers are guilty of diverting their attention while driving? I would suggest that, if we are discussing those drivers of cars fitted with a touchscreen display panel, the answer is all of them.
I have mentioned such distracting matters before, so I apologise for repeating myself. However, I would point the finger not at drivers, but at car manufacturers. It is they who are at fault for putting such equipment into cars in the first place. In my view, anything that distracts a driver from paying attention to the actual control of a vehicle, should be banned.
Though I enjoy driving, I cannot understand how car manufacturers, in this age of ‘health and safety’ where everybody’s security is considered in all matters, get away with producing increasingly dangerous machinery. However do you mean, I hear you ask.
What is the maximum speed limit where you live? It is probably somewhere in the region of 70 miles per hour (or about 110 kilometres per hour in foreign money) which is the highest speed allowable here in the Yuk.
So, pray tell me, why are car makers allowed to produce cars that are capable of three times that speed and more? There is a car called the Hennessey Venom F5 which can reach 300 miles per hour. This is a car which can be driven on the road, not just the race track. That is just crazy. There is no road in existence which can be driven at that sort of speed. Not even a racetrack, I would wager. That car can reach 62 miles per hour (100 kph in foreign) in 2.7 seconds. Utterly mental. Surely, nobody can safely control a vehicle that can travel at such staggering speeds.
That isn’t even the fastest accelerating car; it only comes sixth in a poll conducted by Autocar. At number one, pop pickers, are three cars whose 0 to 62 times are identical. The cars in question, the Ultima Evolution Coupe, Dodge Challenger SRT Demon and snappily titled Tesla Model S P100D , are capable of reaching that speed in 2.3 seconds. I wouldn’t trust my driving capabilities, or my neck muscles, to be able to cope with being propelled like a rocket in this way.
[And your point is, caller? - Ed.] My point is, that these cars are dangerous projectiles. Say, a multi-millionaire, who has just passed his driving test, wanted to buy one of these insanely fast vehicles; he could do just that, even though he or she (no, probably he) has never driven on a motorway or at any speed approaching the national speed limit. He is perfectly at liberty to take this wheeled missile onto a fast stretch of road to (illegally) test its outrageous performance, and thus show up his own, very limited, driving skills. I suspect a funeral, or several, might be the outcome.
I have already alluded to the fact that roads are just not designed to have cars driven on them at such speeds. I also don’t believe humans can react quickly enough to drive at anything approaching such ludicrous speeds. So why do manufacturers produce such vehicles? More to the point, why are they allowed to manufacture a product which is designed to be both dangerous and illegal.
I foresee the day coming when manufacturers are forced to cease manufacturing such dangerously fast machines and those that own them will, hopefully, become treated like lepers the way that smokers currently are. And if that means a certain Mr Klaxon has to stop banging on about how it is his god-given right to drive like a fn loony... the sooner the better.
I have no problem with cars going fast, as long as they are on a racetrack and not a public road... where I might be pootling along at ‘only’ 70 mph.
Were any famous or notorious people born on the 6th of October? Of course, here are some I’ve even heard of. Jenny Lind 1820 (Rerr chanter. Known as the Swedish Nightingale. [What, she was a nurse in the Crimean War? - Ed.]), Charles-Édouard Jeanneret aka Le Corbusier 1887 (Architect who drank heavily... Corbusier... cor, boozier. Geddit? No? Please yourselves.), Roland Garros 1888 (Aviateur. The main tennis stadium in Paris is named after him although he had no connection with the sport. It would be like calling Wimbledon the Amy Johnson Stadium.), Helen Wills 1905 (She, however, did play tennis.), Carole Lombard 1908 (Ectress. Married to Clark Gable she was.), Barbara Castle 1910 (Firebrand politician.), Thor Heyerdahl 1914 (Explorer who became famous for crossing the Pacific Ocean on a raffia mat, or something.), Joan Littlewood 1914 (Theatre director. Known as ‘the mother of modern theatre’.), Tommy Lawton 1919 (Footy bloke.), Richie Benaud 1930 (Crickety bloke.), Eileen Derbyshire 1930 (Actress. Emily Bishop in Corrie.), Belvyd Bragg 1939 (TV presenter with sinus trouble.), Britt Ekland 1942 (Skådespelerska.), Carlos Pace 1944 (Pilotto di corrida.), Tony Greig 1946 (Sarth Ifrican creekutty blike hoo plied for Eengland.), Millie Small 1946 (Singer. Had Britain’s first reggae hit in 1963 with This.), Jorry Oddams 1948 (Irish politician. Catchphrase: We know where you live.), Penny Junor 1949 (TV presenter and journalist.), Thomas McClary 1949 (A Commodore. Here’s the song that has perhaps his most famous geetar break. That looks quite easy.), Gavin Sutherland 1951 (Musician who, with his brother and Quiver, had a hit with This. Gav’s the dude with the cap.), Bruce Grobbelaar 1957 (Acrobatic footy bloke with wobbly legs.), Niall Quinn 1966 (Footy bloke.), Byron Black 1969 (Tennisy bloke.), Alan Stubbs 1971 (Footy bloke.), Mark Schwarzer 1972 (Footy bloke.) and Ioan Gruffudd 1973 (Actor, isn’t it.).
I’ve received a letter...
Dear Mr Wrangler,
I was so pleased that you included Arms of Mary in this week’s edition. I was a great fan of Sutherland Brothers and Quiver back in the day. Sadly, they never managed to repeat the huge success of that single which reached number five in the UK chart. Their next single to chart topped out at the lowly position of 35. I wonder if you recall the name of it.
P.S. I am a great fan of your jeans.
Let’s move onto grambling matters. How did last week’s bet fare? It wiped its nose, I think the expression is... Or was it arse? Any road up, we got back our stake money exactly. £2.20 from a £2.20 bet. Not sure if that is worth a yay or not. What happened? Read on...
Bolton vs Derby - Prediction Away win
Result - Bolton Wanderers 1 Derby County 0
Bolton’s Craig 'Peter' Noone beat goalkeeper Scott 'Kit' Carson with an early header across goal.
Derby went on to control much of the possession but had to wait until the 88th minute to get a shot on goal.
Goalkeeper Remi Matthews ensured Bolton earned the win, denying Mason Mount from close range.
Fleetwood vs Barnsley - Prediction Away win
Result - Fleetwood 1 Barnsley 3
Harrison 'Christopher' Biggins got the home side off to a great start when he popped up with a poacher's finish, stroking home James Husband's cross from the left after good hold-up play by Ched Evans on the wing in the 19th minute.
But Barnsley fought back, exploiting some poor Fleetwood defending. Firstly Ash Eastham was out-muscled by Jacob Brown in the 32nd minute as he pounced on an Alex Mowatt chip.
Kieffer Moore completed the turnaround three minutes before the break as the forward out-foxed Town sub Cian Bolger and drilled the ball into the bottom corner.
Fleetwood pressed for a leveller in the second half but Barnsley held firm with right-back Lewie Coyle going closest for Town at the death as his first time effort was kept out.
But it was Barnsley who were to get that late goal, Mamadou Thiam catching Town on the counter and curling the ball past Alex Cairns in injury time.
Plymouth vs Doncaster - Prediction Away win
Result - Plymouth Argyle 2 Doncaster Rovers 3
John 'Mary' Marquis fired Doncaster ahead after 18 minutes, cutting in from the left to unleash an unstoppable angled drive into the far corner past Argyle's keeper Macey.
Ruben Lameiras equalised with a superb dipping shot from the edge of the box after 40 minutes, but Matty Blair coolly side-footed Doncaster back in front in the 57th minute from Mallik Wilks' right-wing cross.
Marquis pinged a rising 20-yard drive off a post after 35 minutes and also sent a volley on the spin over the bar early in the second half.
Marquis capped a man-of-the-match performance with a 90th-minute solo goal, rounding goalkeeper Matt Macey before scoring from an acute angle.
And after Marquis had made it 3-1, Argyle playmaker Graham 'Archbishop' Carey still had time to score with a thumping strike in stoppage time, beating Rovers keeper Marko Marosi at his near post.
Cheltenham vs Lincoln - Prediction Away win
Result - Cheltenham Town 0 Lincoln City 2
Lincoln's John Akinde missed a glorious chance to open the scoring in the 18th minute.
Bruno Andrade did well on the left and sent a low ball to the far post, where the big striker was all alone, but he miskicked wide and neither goalkeeper was tested during an uneventful opening period.
Lincoln started the second half strongly, with Scott Flinders forced to push away a shot from Michael Bostwick.
An effort from Shay McCartan then hit team mate Akinde in the six-yard box when it appeared to be on its way in.
But the deadlock was broken when a ball in from Harry Toffolo on the left was smashed into his own net by Cheltenham full-back Craig Alcock, under pressure from McCartan.
And McCartan followed up to make it 2-0 after Flinders could only parry Andrade's effort.
Macclesfield vs Forest Green - Prediction Away win
Result - Macclesfield Town 1 Forest Green Rovers 1
Ooh! ’It the bar!
Macclesfield more than matched the visitors in a goalless first half.
Rovers goalkeeper Robert Sanchez remained largely untroubled, however, saving a Tyrone Marsh shot and seeing efforts from Koby Arthur and Nathan Blissett sail wide.
Meanwhile, Silkmen goalkeeper Kieran O'Hara only had to watch wayward shots by Reece Brown and Joseph Mills find the crowd.
But all of the hosts' good work was undone less than two minutes into the second half, when substitute Dayle 'Pugh, Pugh, Barney McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble' Grubb scored with his first touch, beating O'Hara with a well-struck free kick.
Macclesfield hit back to level soon after, Danny Whitaker splitting the defence and Scott Wilson latching onto his pass before slotting home.
Both sides pushed for a late winner but a point each was just reward for their efforts.
Can The Grambler actually make a profit for us this week? [Doubt that very much. - Ed.] Here are this week’s randomly predicted predictions which were predicted randomly in a random way. All matches kick off at 3pm on Saturday the 6th of October...
Game - Result - Odds
Birmingham vs Rotherham - Prediction Home win - 7/10
Middlesbrough vs Nottm. Forest - Prediction Home win - 4/5
Sheffield Utd. vs Hull - Prediction Home win - 3/5
Swansea vs Ipswich - Prediction Home win - 5/6
West Brom vs Reading - Prediction Home win - 8/15
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 sh... not very whopping.
Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you who was in charge of the Scottish national team when they reached the World Cup Finals in 1998, the last time the team qualified. The answer was of course, Craig ‘Granpa’ Broon. Though his injury affected playing career was nothing to write home about (he was forced to retire from the game in his mid-twenties), he seemed to do reasonably well as a manager.
His first taste of coaching was as assistant manager at Motherwell (Yay!). He took on his first manager’s job at Clyde in 1977, winning promotion to the top division after just one season. He stayed with the Bully Wee for ten years in a part-time capacity (He was a primary school headmaster as well).
He returned to a full-time football position when he was appointed the coach for the Scotland under 21 squad in 1986 and became manager of the senior team in 1993.
After resigning in 2001 (having failed in qualifying for Euro 2000 and the 2002 World Cup) he joined Preston North End as manager in 2002.
He left that post in 2004 and worked for Derby County briefly in a consultancy role.
He returned to management in 2009 when he returned to Motherwell (Yay!). He lasted barely a year when he was headhunted by Aberdeen and moved there... aged 70.
Not many people start a new job at that age.
Okay. Too easy. Hopefully, this week’s will test you a little bit more. Who is the only player to have scored in a Champions League final, FA Cup final, UEFA Cup final and League Cup final? No... It isn’t Roy of the Rovers. Try again.
As usual, I remind you 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. Eb. Bragg who is involved in this week’s finishing link. Melvyn Bragg (There, I’ve stopped mocking his sinus trouble.) presented an arts programme called the South Bank Show for over thirty years and rarely did he show any sign of having a humorous side. However, in 1989, he was the ‘presenter’ of a spoof documentary about a fictitious ectaw (dear leddie) called Norbert Smith. The actor was played by an up and coming young comedian called Harry Enfield. I thought it would be nice to finish with that ‘mockumentary’ (Yeuch! I hate that word.), but unfortunately, the complete programme is not available on Ya tyoob. So, I will provide a link to the opening few minutes which should give you a flavour of (still) Harry Enfield’s greatest moments, in my opinion. Ladeez and genullum, please enjoy Norbert Smith: A Life... Well, some of it anyway.
Sir Norbert Smith
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