Monday 14 September 2020

Week 7 - The masked Grambler

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 omplgood. 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 cacent. 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.
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

Who'd have thought we would be going into a bank while wearing a mask and making them give us money?
These are strange days indeed. We are finally catching up with the rest of the world and realising that by wearing a mask we can afford ourselves some protection against contracting Covid 19.
It is compulsory here in the Yuk to wear a mask on public transport and in shopping areas... basically, a mask should be worn wherever there is the possibility of contact with other people.
There is a killer disease on the loose that seems to be passed on very easily, so everyone should be sensible and follow the guidelines. Yes? But does everyone wear a mask? Do they f... No they don't.
Now, I understand that a few people have breathing difficulties so wearing a mask is not possible. They are given special dispensation and allowed to go about their business without mask wearing.  Why?  Such people are already termed as at risk so, by going to places where there are other people, they are at even greater risk. If you can’t wear a mask, stay at home. Right? Right.
The same non-wearing-of-a-mask rule applies to children under the age of twelve for some odd reason. Why twelve I don't understand. Obviously younger kids are unaware of what is going on and would probably refuse to wear a mask. However, there are some very style conscious eight year olds who would just love the chance to wear the same glittery mask that someone like Ariana Grande wears... some of the girls as well.
Any road up, there must be a lot of asthmatic teenagers about. Hardly any young people abide by the rules.  Why are they so averse to wearing masks?  They're trendy now, aren't they? Obviously not to teenagers. They probably think that they won't be affected too much if they were to contract the virus so why bother wearing a mask.
Fine and dandy if you are fit and healthy before contracting the virus; it's not so good to those older folk who the thoughtless granny murderers might pass the virus on to. 
Odder than the folk who refuse to wear a mask, are those people who have masks on, but they are not covering their faces... Their chins must be nice and protected, though... If you aren't going to wear the thing correctly, it might as well not be there. See above, re non-mask wearing.
Shop employees should all wear masks, we are told. Good. It means that they should remain safe and those around them should also be safe. But, even they can’t wear the blibbing things properly. Yes, you’ve covered your mouth. Well done. Now cover your nose as well. And as for those visor things that look like they’ve been cut from a clear plastic bottle, what is the point? At least, what is the point if that is your only concession to protecting your face? Wear a visor and a mask, not a visor or a mask. In fact, wear as much face protection as possible if you are in a business where meeting people goes with the job.
My view on the whole mask debate (Ahem) is that if anyone of any age wants to go to places where people are gathering they should be wearing a mask. No exceptions. If you are exempted from wearing a mask then don't go to such places. Your safety, and the safety of others, is being put at risk, so don't chance it.

Some people just can’t get the hang it though...

No, Gareth.  Don't be silly.


Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we?
Were any famous or notorious individuals born on the 12th of September? Of course there were. Here are some that even I know.

Herbert Asquith 1852 (The well-known prime minister.), Maurice Chevalier 1888 (Artiste. Here he sings about his apple.), Jesse Owens 1913 (Runny jumpy bloke.), Desmond Llewelyn 1914 (Actor. Q in the early Bond films. Him.), Freddie Jones 1927 (Actor. Sandy Thomas in Emmerdale. Him.), Ian Holm 1931 (Actor. Bilbo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings. Him.), Len Allchurch 1933 (Footy bloke isn’t it.), Wes Hall 1937 (Crickety mon.), Judy Clay 1938 (Singer. Had one big Yuk hit; a duet with William Bell, Private Number. However, here’s a rare film clip of You Busted My Mind.  Incidentally, she’s not Dionne Warwick’s sister.), Patrick Mower 1938 (Actor. Rodney Blackstock in Emmerdale. Him.), Linda Gray (Actress. Sue Ellen Ewing in Dallas. Her.), Maria Muldaur 1943 (Singer, best known for sending her camel to bed.), Barry White 1944 (The Walrus of Lurve. Have a clip. Here’s Let the Music Play and you can sing along in Spanish if the mood takes you.), Colin Young 1944 (Singer. A Foundation. Here’s Build Me Up Buttercup.  Some dodgy outfits on that footage.), Colin Boulton 1945 (Footy bloke.), David Garrick 1945 (Singer. A clip? Why not. Here’s Dear Mrs Applebee.  Ye gods!), Christopher Neame 1947 (Actor. Lieutenant Dick Player... Stop sniggering at the back... in Colditz. Him.), Will Birch 1948 (A Kursaal Flyer. Have a clip. Here’s the, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, Little Does She Know.  They seem to be multi-tasking and doing their laundry during the concert.), B(rian) A(lexander) Robertson 1948 (Singer/songwriter. Here’s his biggest hit, Bang Bang Factoid: He won an Ivor Novello Award for the Mike and the Mechanics song The Living Years which he co-wrote with Mike Rutherford.), Neil Peart 1952 (Rush drummy bloke. Have a clip; here’s New World Man.  What’s with everyone doing their washing on stage?), Robin Langford 1953 (Jobbing actor. One of those faces that seemed to crop up in bit parts everywhere in the seventies.), Barry Siddall 1954 (Footy bloke. In a 23 year career played for 13 different Football League clubs.), Barry Andrews 1956 (Musician. Here’s an oddity for you, apparently you could win a night out with a well-known paranoiac.  Hmm... I wonder if Damon Albarn heard that before coming up with Parklife.), Rachel Ward 1957 (Actress. Meggie Cleary in The Thorn Birds. Her.), Felicity Montagu 1960 (Actress. Perhaps her most famous role is that of Alan Partridge’s personal assistant, Lynn.), Ben Folds 1966 (Musician. Have another clip. Here’s Battle of Who Could Care Less.), Kenny Thomas 1968 (Singer who is thinking about your love.), Gideon Emery 1972 (Jobbing actor. Deucalion in Teen Wolf. Him.), Darren Campbell 1973 (Runny bloke.), Darren Morfitt 1973 (Jobbing actor. Shay in Jericho. Him.), Ameet Chana 1975 (Actor. Adi in Eastenders. Him.), James McCartney 1977 (Musician. Guess who his dad is. Here he performs Angel.), Stacey Roca 1978 (Actress. DS Katrina Howard in Waking the Dead. Her.), Steven Caldwell 1980 (Fitba guy.), Rob Kendrick 1985 (Actor. Ollie in After Hours. Him.), Joanne Jackson 1986 (Swimmy bloke.), Alfie Allen 1986 (Actor. Theon Greyjoy in Game of Thrones. Him.), Tom Hateley 1989 (Football bloke. Ex-Motherwell player, you know.) and Mhairi Black 1994 (Politician.),

I’ve received a letter...
Dear Russ Gramblyn,
Good to hear the Walrus of Lurve again. I have a teaser for you. What Elvis Presley song did Barry White release under the pseudonym Gene West?
Yours quizzically,


Time to gramble. Yes. Definitely. This weekend sees the start of the English 2020-21 football season. Yay! About time too, says I. Anyway, as this week’s edition is running a little late, I can give you the bets as predicted by The Grambler and the results... probably not as predicted by The Grambler. So here goes, let the grambling commence...

First prediction: Barnsley vs Luton Town - Prediction Home win
Result: Barnsley 0 Luton Town 1
James Collins' late effort helped Luton Town to a scrappy win over Barnsley at Oakwell. In a game of few chances, Collins broke the deadlock in the 71st minute, beating Tykes keeper Jack Walton from just inside the penalty area.
The 29-year-old raced onto a Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu [That’s easy for you to say. - Ed.] headed pass, before finding the top corner to give Luton a late lead.
Barnsley nearly levelled moments later but debutant Dominik Frieser headed Alex Mowatt's cross into the side-netting as Luton held on to all three points.

Next: Bournemouth vs Blackburn Rovers - Prediction Home win
Result: Bournemouth 3 Blackburn Rovers 2
Arnaut Danjuma's brilliant late goal gave Bournemouth victory over Blackburn Rovers.
Jack Stacey put the hosts ahead with a fine strike from distance, before Bradley Johnson levelled when his shot from even further out slipped through the dive of Cherries keeper Mark Travers.
Jefferson Lerma's neat finish restored Bournemouth's lead, but Blackburn deservedly hit back through Adam Armstrong.
However, Danjuma's curling effort into the far corner clinched victory to give Bournemouth a boost after a difficult summer.

Next up: Fleetwood vs Burton Albion - Prediction Home win
Result: Fleetwood 2 Burton 1
 Paddy Madden struck 11 minutes from time to secure Fleetwood victory over Burton.
The hosts led at the break through Callum Camps, who drilled in after Burton had failed to clear a Josh Morris' corner.
Burton drew level midway through the second half, John Brayford heading in for a goal that was only awarded after a lengthy debate between the officials.
After falling behind early on, the visitors' Stephen Quinn rattled the crossbar on the half-hour mark. Moments later Fleetwood also hit the goal frame, James Hill seeing his header crash against the post.
In the second half Hill headed another chance against the bar and Kieran Wallace cleared the follow-up off the line.
Brayford's goal had looked like salvaging a point for the visitors but Madden struck a deserved winner late on.
Burton finished with 10 men after John-Joe O'Toole was dismissed for a reckless challenge on Duffy deep into stoppage time.

Number 4: Portsmouth vs Shrewsbury Town - Prediction Home win
Result: Portsmouth 0 Shrewsbury Town 0
Ooh! ’It the bar!
Only a stunning late save from goalkeeper Craig MacGillivray four minutes from time - acrobatically palming away a powerful close-range effort from Rekeil Pike - denied Shrewsbury all three points.
Yet Portsmouth could have stolen the win themselves as captain Tom Naylor saw a header fly over via the crossbar.
It was the visitors, who had Aaron Pierre sent off in stoppage time, who came closest to breaking the deadlock in the first half.
Pompey struggled to cope with set-pieces all afternoon and, from a corner, midfielder Brad Walker thumped a header against a post.
When Portsmouth did get a shot on target they were kept out by Shrewsbury's impressive goalkeeper Matija Sarkic.
Sarkic denied the home side twice in the second half, clutching Naylor's 18-yard volleyed effort and then pushing Lee Brown's free-kick around a post four minutes into stoppage time after Pierre had been dismissed for a second yellow card.

Lastly: Sunderland vs Bristol Rovers - Prediction Home win
Result: Sunderland 1 Bristol Rovers 1
Ooh! ’It the bar!
Chris Maguire struck with eight minutes to go to earn Sunderland a draw against Bristol Rovers at the Stadium of Light.
Rovers had threatened to leave with three points after taking the lead in the third minute from a penalty converted by Rovers' left-back Luke Leahy.
The Pirates won a penalty with just 90 seconds on the clock when Sunderland goalkeeper Lee Burge hauled down Jayden Mitchell-Lawson having failed to hold Max Ehmer's header.
After the break, Sunderland tested goalkeeper Anssi Jaakkola, who had to make a couple of strong stops to deny Maguire and George Dobson.
But Maguire levelled things up with a powerful drive from the edge of the area.
After that, Max Power's 25-yard drive was tipped onto the post and he then had an effort cleared off the line by Mark Little.
Dobson's red card for a strong challenge on Mitchell-Lawson in the sixth minute of stoppage time effectively ended Sunderland's push for a winner.

So, two out of five correct for The Grambler... Not a great start to the season. For our £2.20 bet (10 x 20p doubles plus 1 x 20p accumulator) we netted the princely sum of... fanfare please...


Cue fanfare subsiding into a series of squeaks and parping noises.


Teaser time. Yay! How did you get on with your five questions? Here are the answers to the last five.

1. Who am I?
I was born in 1947 in Amsterdam. I was taken on by Ajax when I was aged 10 and stayed with them for 16 years. I played 276 games during two spells at the club and scored over 200 goals. I won the Ballon d’Or three times. I was capped 48 times for the Netherlands, but refused to play in the 1978 World Cup finals in protest at the Argentine dictator Jorge Videla.
Answer: Johan Cruyff (or Joanne Cruff as Jack Charlton always called him)

2. Which father and son have each played over 200 games in the Premier League?
Answer: Peter and Kasper Schmeikel

3. Which English club has twice reached the final of the UEFA Cup/Europa League, losing on both occasions?
Answer: Arsenal

4. Which striker has scored the most goals for Manchester City?
Answer: Sergio Ag├╝ero [And eaten the most ears. - Ed.]

5. Who has been manager of the most Premier League clubs?
Answer: Sam Allerdyce

Okay, some for this week?

1. Who am I?
I was born in 1974. My entire playing career was spent at Manchester United (I was one of Fergie’s Fledglings) and played over 700 games for them. I was capped for my country 66 times. Thierry Henry cited me as the greatest player in Premier League history.

2. Which Frenchman played the most times in the Premier League with 469 appearances?

3. Which team was promoted to the Premier League in 1994 and finished third in its first season?

4. Who is the youngest ever Premier League debutant (16 years and 65 days)?

5. A fun one to finish. Name the seven clubs with ‘ford’ in their name that have played in the English League.

There you have it; five teasers to test you. Can you answer them without resorting to Googlie (or any other search engine, for that matter)?


As usual (at the risk of repeating myself), 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


Please, also take the time to click on this link, an informative little video from Mersh (a great friend of Stewart’s).


And finally, Cyril? And finally, Esther, I am indebted to a Mr T. Bangalter and a Mr G-M de... some other bloke... who provide us with our final clip. Unlike Mr Bale, these two French gentlemen show us how face protection ought to be worn. Ladeez and genullum, please give a big grambly welcome to Daft Punk with Robot Rock.

That’s all for this week folks, but remember you can read the musings of The Grambler every week (well, most weeks) by going to the blog at where you can also catch up on any previous editions you may have missed.

Happy grambling.

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