Saturday 19 September 2020

Week 8 - Grambling on redeployment


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.

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


Coronavirus seems to be affecting every aspect of life these days. Many jobs will go and many people will have to switch careers until everything sorts itself out. Until now, the one business which has been making hay while the sun shines was funeral care, or, to use the technical term, planting stiffs. Cruel of me to say that, I know, but they certainly must have been doing well out of the extra deaths. Presumably, the one job vacancy down at the local jobcentre has been for funeral staff. What happens when things get back to (a semblance of) normality?

Those extra staff won’t be needed. I wonder what else they might be qualified to do...

‘Hello, I bought this toaster and it won’t work any more.’

‘Oh, I am sorry to hear that, sir. You have my deepest sympathy.’

‘Er... Why are you tilting your head to one side?’

‘It is my way of displaying sympathy, sir. The toaster. It has ceased to work, you say?’

‘Yes, it was working and then it just ‘died’ on me.’

‘That must have been heart-breaking for you. So sudden. What was the toaster’s name, sir?’

‘Erm... it was a Kenwood.’

‘And how old was Ken?’

‘Er... About three months.’

‘So young, sir.’

‘You’re tilting your head again.’

‘So sorry sir. We will of course do everything we can to help you through your tragic loss of one so young.’

‘I only want a replacement...’

‘Indeed. It is quite normal for you to wish you could replace... Ken.’

‘Erm... Thanks.’

‘We will make Ken’s passing as easy as possible for you.’

‘I mean he... it was a great toaster before it conked out.’

‘We prefer to use the term passed on, sir.’

‘Head... tilt.’

‘Sorry sir. We will do everything to help Ken on his final journey. Box?’


‘You’ll need to choose one sir.’

‘What, you mean like oak?’

‘No sir. What colour? For your replacement toaster. It tells you on the box.’

‘Oh... Sorry. The blue one, please.’

‘There you are sir. I hope this hasn’t been too traumatic for you... Oh, I’m tilting my head again.’

‘No. No. You’ve been most kind and understanding. There was one thing...’

‘Yes, sir?’

‘I wonder if I could have Ken’s plug... to remember him by.’





Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we?

Were any famous or notorious individuals born on the 19th of September? Of course there were. Here are some that even I know.

Arthur, Prince of Wales 1486 (The man who, had he lived to be king, would have altered history. How so? He was Henry VIII’s big bruv. Think of it... no fights between different factions of the Christian Church; no Orange walks; the complete absence of bowler hats in modern culture.), Thomas Cavandish 1560 (‘The Navigator’. An explorer. He was knoghted... knoghted?... knighted by Queen Betty for stealing Spanish gold. So, pirate, in reality.), George Cadbury 1839 (Guess which company he founded.), William Lever 1851 (Guess what company he and his brother James founded.), Ben Turpin 1867 (Comedy actor. Factoid: Famous for his crossed eyes, he insured them in 1928 for $100,000 ($6.3 million value today) against ‘uncrossing’.), Christopher Stone 1882 (Early DJ. Factoid: On joining Radio Luxemburg in 1934, he was paid £5000 per year. That is worth 360 grand in 2020. Nice little earner.), Ferdinand ‘Ferry’ Porsche 1909 (Engineer.), Arthur Mullard 1910 (Comedy actor. Factoid: His jolly cockney character was very much at odds to his real self; a history of (alleged) domestic violence against his wife and (alleged) sexual abuse of his daughter came to light after his death.), William Golding 1911 (Orfer. Lord of the Flies was perhaps his most famous work.), Frances Farmer 1913 (Troubled actress.), Billy Ward (Singer. With his Dominoes he had this, his only, Yuk hit, Stardust which any fan of the film Goodfellas should recognise.), Emil Zátopek 1922 (Sportovec.), Pete Murray 1925 (DJ. I can’t find out how much he earned.), Rosemary Harris 1927 (Actress. Aunt May Parker in Spiderman, Spiderman 2 and Spiderman 3. Her. [Why not just say Spidermen? - Ed.]), William Hickey 1927 (Jobbing actor. Don Corrado Prizzi in Pritzi’s Hono(u)r was perhaps his best-known role.), Nick Massi (A Season. Have a clip. Here’s Big Girl's Blouse or something.), Adam West 1928 (Actor. Guess what he was famous for. Here’s a clue: Dinna dinna dinna dinna dinna dinna dinna dinna... [Dinnerladies? - Ed.]), Derek Nimmo 1930 (Comedy actor. Seemed to corner the market in naive clerics. Oh, golly gosh.), Brook Benton 1931 (Singer. Have a clip. Here’s Endlessly.), Derek Gardner 1931 (Formula One designer. Came up with the Tyrell P34, a six-wheeled F1 racer.), Lol Coxhill 1932 (Saxophonist Here’s Frog Dance ), David McCallum 1933 (Ectaw. Illya Kuryakin in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. television series and five follow-up films.), Brian Epstein 1934 (The most famous band manager ever.), Austin Mitchell 1934 (Journo turned politician.), Anna Karen 1936 (Olive in On the Buses. Erm... That’s it.), Frank Barrie 1936 or 1940 (Ectaw. Edward Bishop in Eastenders. Him.), Bill Medley 1940 (A Righteous Brother. Here’s the obvious clip... You never close your eyes...), Paul Williams 1940 (Singer/songwriter. He usually writes songs for others to have hits with, but here he is out in the country ), Caroline John 1940 (Actress. Liz Shaw in Doctor Who. Her.), Zandra Rhodes 1940 (Woman with pink hair.), Cass Elliot 1941 (A Mama. Have a clip. It’s getting better it's getting better she reckons. Wonderful what a dab of Savlon can do.), Freda Payne 1942 (Singer/actress. Here’s her anti-war song, Bring The Boys Home.  Powerful images.  Untied States of America? Nothing to do with me.), Ray Cooper 1942 (Percussionist to the stars.), Kate Adie 1945 (Posh journo.), John Coghlan 1946 (Drummy bloke. Let’s have some Quo. All together now... A here we are and here we are and here we go...), Michael Elphick 1946 (Actor. Boon. Him.), Lol Creme 1947 (Musician. A quarter of 10CC [Two and a half cc. Point to me. - Ed.] Sigh... Let’s have a clip.  Here's The Worst Band in the World.), Mick Bates 1947 (Footy Bloke.), Jeremy Irons 1948 (Ectaw. Charles Ryder in Brideshead Revisited. Him.), Dame Lesley Lawson 1949 (Who? Oh, Twiggy. Her.), Nile Rodgers 1952 (Guitarist, singer/songwriter, record producer, arranger and, with Bernard Edwards, the founder of Chic... Everybody dance.  Is that possible in a 3-piece suit?), Mark Drakeford 1954 (Welsh First Minister.), David Bamber 1954 (Jobbing actor. He’s been in loadsa stuff on TV. He’s been in Midsomer Murders three times. Different characters, mind. Not sure if they all got bumped off.), George McCluskey 1957 (Fitba guy.), Rusty Egan 1957 (Drummy bloke. Here’s Rich Kids with... erm... Rich Kids.), Lita Ford 1958 (Musician. She used to be a Runaway [Del Shannon! Another point to me. - Ed.] Ahem. Have a Shot of Poison.), Richard Ridings 1958 (Jobbing actor. Has never been in Midsomer Murders. He is the voice of Daddy Pig in Peppa Pig.), David Seaman 1963 (Footie bloke.), Jarvis Cocker 1963 (A significant bit of Pulp. Always good for a laugh here is a star-studded video... Bad Cover Version.  Brian May looks familiar.), Terry Sue-Patt 1964 (Actor. Benny Green in Grange Hill.), Patrick Marber 1964 (Comedian.), Clifford Price 1965 (Who? Known better as graffiti artist, musician, producer, DJ, actor and right old smarty boots, Goldie. Have a clip. Here’s Inner City Life.), Sally Ann Matthews 1970 (Actress. Jenny Connor nee Bradley in Corrie. Her.), Tasha Danvers 1977 (Afflete.), Danielle Brent 1979 (Actress. Natalie Buxton in Bad Girls. Her.), Liam Boyle 1985 (Jobbing actor. Dominic Bailey in Scott & Bailey. Him.), Chris Humphrey 1987 (Footie mon. Ex-Motherwell.), Ben Heneghan 1993 (Football bloke. Ex-Motherwell.), Connor Swindells 1996 (Actor. Adam Goff in Sex Education. Him.), Nicky Cadden 1996 (Fitba guy and twin brother of...) Chris Cadden 1996 (Fitba guy. Ex-Motherwell.).




I’ve received a letter...

Dear The Naked Grambler,

Hello, It’s Eddie here. I’m in a bit of pain after my dog, Wizard, pulled a bit too hard on his lead and I ended up arse over tip. Anyway, that’s enough of my problems; I’m actually writing to ask a question about Jarvis Cocker’s group, Pulp. I remember their hits Common People and Disco 2000, but vaguely recall there being a big hit in between those. I cannot, for the life of me, remember the title; can you help?

Yours painfully,

Sore Ted Fauries (and Wiz).






Time to gramble. What has The Grambler predicted for us this week after his/her/its less than sparkling performance last week?

Game - Prediction - Odds

Leeds vs Fulham - Prediction Home win - 4/6

Blackburn vs Wickham - Prediction Home win - 4/7

Brentford vs Huddersfield - Prediction Home win - 8/15

Norwich vs Preston - Prediction Home win - 8/11

Carlisle vs Southend - Prediction Home win - 8/11

The bets have been placed (10 x 20 pee doubles and 1 x 20 pee accumulator) and if The Grambler’s predictions are spot on, the Bobby Moore Fund stands (or sits) to win a whopping...


8 quid

That is mince. 8 quid? Hardly worth putting your shoes on to walk to your local crook bookie.




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

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.

Answer: Paul Scholes

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

Answer: Sylvain Distin with 469 appearances

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

Answer: Newcastle United

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

Answer: Matthew Briggs who made his debut for Fulham against Middlesbrough in 2007 aged just 16 years and 65 days. Fulham l

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

Answer: Bradford City, Bradford Park Avenue, Brentford, Hereford United, Oxford United, Salford City and Watford


Five for this week?

1. Who am I?

I was born in 1935. My senior career began in 1955 at Middlesbrough. In six seasons, I played 213 games scoring 197 goals. In 1961 I moved to Sunderland, playing 61 games and scoring 54 goals. I was forced to retire as a player because of injury aged just 29. I moved into management and the rest, as they say, is history.

2. Which club has spent the most seasons in the fourth flight of English football (ie. Current Division 2, formerly Division 4)

3. Which Danish player has scored the most Premier League goals?

4. Which Scot has scored the most goals in the Scottish Premier League?

5. Another silly one to finish. Try this without resorting to the league tables. How many teams in the four senior English leagues have ‘ham’ in their name and who are they?

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 M. Eavis. Who, I hear you ask. Michael Eavis is the man behind arguably the most important festival on the UK music calendar. 50 years ago, today, the very first Glastonbury Festival began. That first day was tinged with some sadness as one of the world’s greatest rock guitarists, Jimi Hendrix, died the previous day. The poster for that first event is shown below. A quid? Crikey! Did he think folks were made of money? I am joking, of course. That amount equates to less than £16 in today’s money. Some line-up for that amount of dosh. There have been some unusual ‘acts’ at the festivals over the years... Dalai Lama anyone? Matt Smith aka Doctor Who made an appearance. Tony Benn was another. None of these people actually performed any music [Obviously. - Ed.] but to end this week’s edition of your favourite ill-informed blog, this lot  appeared in 2011.

This year's tickets were to cost £270 inc. £5 booking fee.  Allowing for inflation, that is about 17 times the cost of the original gig.  Maybe, with all the health and safety that has to be considered, prices would go up but, come on, 17 times?  Someone, somewhere, is making a lot of dosh out of music lovers.




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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