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 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.
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…
WARNING: The text which follows may make difficult reading for some of you. Not because it might be upsetting to anyone of a sensitive nature; it is just difficult to read as it is written in the style of a Pathe newsreel presenter.
Did you know that this year marks the 170th anniversary of the Great Exhibition? Did you care? Probably not. Exactly 100 years after that was the Festival of Britain. It was designed to show off the best that British engineering had to offer in 1951. It also provided a bit of a boost to a populace still reeling from the privations of World War II. It had various exhibits relating to how things might be in the future. I wonder if there was a house of tomorrow...
Welcome to the highlight of the yah, the Festival of Britain. Hahr we see King George opening this great event which shows Britain end its empah et its most inventive end proves to the wahld thet British is still best. Well done your mejesty.
Hah, we see a yangster marvelling et the exhibit known es the Skylon. Deddy informs the inquisitive yang chep thet it is held ap by wahs, but the child dasen't seem convinced; he thinks it mast be saspended by megic.
End what of the future? Hah we hev a glimpse of the hyse of tomorrow. What will the everage hyse be like in seventy yahs time?
Fahst, we take a look yteside the hyse et the garden. End it won't take the men of the hyse long to cat the grahss. The lawn of a modern hyse will be so small thet it will be cat in no time, especially if the owner cen afford the latest thing in grahss catting: a nuclear pard lawnmower. Why, there is even talk of robot lawnmowers, bat thet is jast pie in the sky.
What about the rest of the garden? Seventy yahs from now, heavy digging will be a thing of the pahst es most of the lend will be slebbed. End what do you put on these slebs? Well, you won't jast hev wan dastbin, you will hev ap to five. Why? Because, in the future, we won't hev any waste ather then recyclable meterials. All your rabbish will be reused to make ather prodacts. Ebsolutely everything will be recycled. Jast think, no more litter in the streets. Wance again, Britain leads the way.
What abyte ather garden space? Well, there won't be mach of thet; not when you hev the latest children's play thing, a trempoline.
Rynd et the front of the hyse there will be jast enough space to park your nuclear pard motorcar. Yes, it is predicted thet et least wan in every three hyseholds will hev their own means of trensport by 2021.
Let as nye enter the hyse of tomorrow. Ar fahrst impression is thet of claustrophobia es the everage three-bedroomed hyse will be considerably smaller then those we hev today. This means thet heating costs cen be kept to a minimum. Let as take a look et the lynge area. There will be jast the wan pablic rum. Instead of heving a separate dining rum, we will all hev to eat ar meals in the lynge by placing large trays apon ar leps, es there won’t be any rum for a dining table. Notice thet the rum is dominated by a cinema screen. This is the television of the future. Cinemas will hev disappeared long ago es everyone will hev their own televisual applahnce.
Es we move into the kitchen we notice thet it is also tiny, bat many applahnces are hidden from view behind doors. Open this door end we see a mengle, still a mast-hev 70 yahrs from nye. We notice too thet most of the kitchen sarfaces hev some sort of electrical gedget taking ap space. This is because there won't be enaff capboard space to hyse them all. End just what are these gedgets? Why, Labour-saving devices of course. No hyse of the future will be complete without its nuclear-pard potato peeler end egg sheller. End what about this beauty, ladies? Yes, no more heving bones in your meals of fish with this syooper autometic fish filleter. Nuclear pard, of course. End why fish? Well, 70 yahs from nye it is predicted thet fish will be the cheapest end most easily sourced form of food.
Let as nah take a look apstairs. The bahthrum fahrst. The fahrst thought is thet, like the other rums we hev seen, the bahthrum is tiny. Why, it dasn't even hev a bahth. Thet is because we will no longer hev to waste time end energy filling a bahth. Instead, wan will use a small cubicle where wan will be bombarded with water jets; a quicker end more efficient way to cleanse arselves.
Looking arynd this rum we notice thet samthing else is missing. Where is the cistern to flash the toilet? Well, it is still there, bat hidden away behind a false wall. Look, there's the hendle to operate the flash mechanism. But what if samthing goes wrong? Why, if a plamber were ever needed he would hev to take the whole toilet ite to achieve eccess. Thenkfully, thet will never be necessary es the bahthrum of the future will be syooper efficient.
Let us nah take a look et the bedrums. Why, there is only enaff space for a bed in this rum. That's because as we see hah, there is a fitted wardrobe. Es we open the sliding door we see... what's this? Why, it's the nuclear generator to pahr all those gedgets es well es control the heating.
End here is the smallest of the three bedrums. Why it isn't even big enough to fit a bed thenks to the longest wall heving a boxed in corner to clah the stairs. Don't warry, ded's do it yourself skills will cam in hendy when he hes to take a hecksaw to a pahfectly good bed to make it fit.
So thah you hev it; the home of the future.
Next time on Pethé News we'll be looking et the future of feshion... don't throw away those ripped trousers whatever you do.
Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we?
Were any famous or notorious individuals born on the 24th of April? Of course there were. Here are some that even I know.
Edmund Cartwright 1743 - Inventor of a power loom, a wool combing machine and a machine for making rope. [I don’t remember him in Bonanza. - Ed.]
Abraham Darby III 1750 - Ironmaster. He built the first cast iron bridge in the world near over the River Severn at Coalbrookdale. The village of Ironbridge thus came into being. The area is now known as Ironbridge Gorge.
R.M. Ballantyne 1825 - Orfer of stories for juveniles. The Coral Island is perhaps his best-known novel.
Hugh ‘Stuffy’ Dowding or, to give him his Sunday name, Air Chief Marshall Hugh Caswall Tremenheere Dowding, 1st Baron Dowding GCB, GCVO, CMG 1882 - Pilot. In charge of RAF Fighter Command during the Battle of Britain.
Percy Walsh 1888 - Jobbing actor. One of those faces that cropped up again and again in films between 1930 and 1950.
Stafford Cripps 1889 - Politician. Held various government posts from 1930 to 1950. Chancellor of the Exchequer in Attlee post-war government.
Jack Hulbert 1892 - Ector. Made a few popular films in the 1930s, often with his wife Cicely Courtneige.
William Joyce 1906 - Nazi propaganda broadcaster. Known as Lord Haw-Haw, he broadcast to the people of Great Britain with the opening lines always being ‘Germany calling, Germany calling, Germany calling.’ He was convicted of high treason after capture and was sentenced to death; the last person to be executed for treason in the UK.
Michael Pertwee 1916 - Playwright and screenwriter from a famous family: Son of Roland, brother of Jon, cousin of Bill and uncle of Sean.
Lucy Griffiths 1919 - Jobbing actress. Another face that seemed to be everywhere in postwar films and television dramas (and comedies). Usually playing minor roles, she has 112 credits on IMDb.
Clement Freud 1924 - Broadcaster, writer, politician and chef. Grandson of Sigmund, brother of Lucien and father of Emma.
Clive King 1924 - Orfer. Stig of the Dump, that was one of his.
Tommy Docherty 1928 - Fitba guy.
Claire Davenport 1933 - Jobbing actress. She seemed to corner the market in overbearing, bullying wives. I sat opposite her on the London Underground once; she looked pretty formidable even in civvies. I doubt if anyone would have dared ask for her autograph. Scary woman.
Jill Ireland 1936 - Actress more famous for her marriages than for her acting. She was married to David McCallum and (actor, it says here) Charles Bronson.
Davie Sneddon 1936 - Fitba guy.
Mark Shivas 1938 - Television producer. By that, I mean he produced television programmes, not televisions... either by manufacturing them, or by producing them as a magician would... out of a hat. Well, he couldn’t, could he? A telly is too big to come out of a hat. It would need to be a very big hat. Or a very small television. Mind you, there was a spate of miniature tellies back in the... ooh... must have been the nineties. Tiny little things that could fit in your pocket. Of course they relied on receiving a good analogue signal; it was in the days of aerials rather than satellite. Of course, we can now watch TV programmes on our phones and they are small enough to produce from a hat. [Have you finished? - Ed.] I think so. [Good. - Ed.]
Valerie Masters 1940 - Singer. Made a lot of guest appearances on nineteen sixties shows like The Ken Dodd Show and Two of a Kind. Never really had any hits, though. Here’s a very un-Brummy sounding tune Birmingham Rag.
Chris Kelly 1940 - Television presenter. By that, I mean... [Don’t start that again. - Ed.] Sorry. He fronted programmes like Wish You Were Here and Clapperboard (A cinema programme for kids.)
John Williams 1941 - Not your average guitarist. Tends to play classical pieces as this early footage shows a young John Williams in 1962.
Mick Jones 1945 - Footy bloke.
John Still 1950 - Footy bloke.
Nigel Harrison 1951 - Blondie bassist. Co-wrote this track, Union City Blue.
Steve Thompson 1952 - Songwriter. Here’s one of his by Tygers of Pan Tang.
Jonathan Coy 1953 - Jobbing actor. You perhaps know him as George Murray in Downton Abbey. Has rarely been off the TV screens since 1975. 125 credits on IMDb.
Tim Woodward 1953 - Jobbing actor. His most recent TV work was in Casualty. A bit like J. Coy, rarely off our screen since 1975. Only 112 credits on IMDb, though.
Raymond Burns 1954 - Who? Oh, Captain Sensible. Has had his solo number one ‘Happy Talk’, but you aren’t getting that. He has been a member of The Damned for nigh on 45 years. Here’s a recent live version of Smash It Up.
David J 1957 - Musician. One time bassist with Bauhaus. Here’s a tune from the band he and two other members of Bauhaus formed, Love and Rockets, called Yin and Yang (The Flowerpot Man). Crazy video.
Paula Yates 1959 - TV presenter.
Bruno Brookes 1959 - DJ.
Stuart Pearce 1962 - Footy bloke.
Jason Salkey 1962 - Jobbing actor. Harris in Sharpe. Him.
Rory McCann 1969 - Actor. Sandor ‘The Hound’ Clegane in Game of Thrones. Him.
Jasbinder Singh ‘Jas’ Mann 1971 - Musician. Had his big moment as lead singer with Babylon Zoo. Here’s their Number 1, Spaceman.
Adrian Simpson 1971 - TV presenter. A Place in the Sun, he does that. See below.
Rab Douglas 1972 - Fitba guy.
Lee Westwood 1973 - Golfy bloke.
Gabby Logan 1973 - TV sports presenter.
Julie Cox 1973 - Jobbing actress. Princess Irulan Corrino in Dune and Children of Dune. Her.
Jon holmes 1976 - Writer, comedian and broadcaster. The Now Show. He’s on that.
Laura Hamilton 1982 - TV presenter. A Place in the Sun, she does that. See above.
Nick Howard 1982 - Musician. Have a clip. This is Unbreakable.
Sia Berkeley 1985 - Jobbing actress. Frances in Wuthering Heights. That was her.
Jason Maza 1987 - Actor, director, producer, writer; you name it, he’s done it. Plays Chris Munroe in Bulletproof.
Laura Kenny 1992 - She rides a bike. Fast.
Eilish McSorley 1993 - Fitba wummin.
I’ve received a letter...
Dear Grambly Logan,
I have been a fan of Blondie for many years and have all the albums. Can you tell me what their last top ten album (2017) was?
How did The Grambler’s predictions go last week? In a word: badly. Not a bean back. Rubbish or what? What happened? Read on...
Luton vs Watford - Away win
Result - Luton 1 Watford 0
James ‘Joan’ Collins came off the bench to score a penalty with his first touch as Luton Town earned a deserved derby victory over Watford.
Substitute Collins instantly stroked the ball past keeper Daniel ‘Overdrive’ Bachmann, who had brought down Elijah Adebayo.
Watford were outplayed before the break, but an improved second-half display looked like earning them a point.
But with 12 minutes left Collins calmly struck the winner and, despite a frantic finish in which the Hornets had Kiko Femenia sent off and Andre ’50 Shades’ Gray’s equalising goal disallowed, the hosts held on.
Middlesbrough vs QPR - Home win
Result - Middlesbrough 1 Queens Park Rangers 2
Again I say BOO!
Defender Lee ‘Braveheart’ Wallace scored as 10-man QPR clung on to beat Middlesbrough.
Wallace headed Rangers into a 2-0 lead inside 20 minutes just after Rob ‘Billericay’ Dickie had rattled in a 30-yarder to open the scoring.
But Yannick Bolasie halved the deficit and Boro stepped up the pressure after Rangers had goalkeeper Seny Dieng sent off for bringing down Duncan Watmore.
Replacement keeper Joe ‘Anna’ Lumley denied George ‘Now then’ Saville with a superb close-range stop as the visitors held on for the victory.
Charlton vs Ipswich - Home win
Result - Charlton 0 Ipswich 0
Ooh! ’It the bar!
Charlton and Ipswich played out a goalless draw at The Valley in a disappointing contest.
The Tractor Boys’ James Norwood saw his third-minute effort stopped by keeper ‘Uncle’ Ben Amos, while Jason ‘Mildred’ Pearce blocked Keanan ‘Gordon’ Bennetts’ follow-up.
Charlton started to press and Ryan ‘Neil’ Innis directed a header straight at Tomas Holy after nine minutes.
Ipswich were forced to replace Norwood with Kayden ‘Janet’ Jackson on 25 minutes and the substitute almost turned provider for Bennetts on 37 minutes, but the midfielder blasted over.
The hosts were the better side in the second half and had the best chance after the break when Holy parried away a close-range header from Diallang Jaiyesimi (A contender for Cracking Name of the Week) on 57 minutes.
The Ipswich goalkeeper was in action again three minutes later, when he collected an effort from Liam ‘Windy’ Millar.
In a game of few chances, Jake Forster-Caskey put a sweeping effort over the crossbar on 73 minutes, before Jayden Stockley put his shot three minutes later into the arms of Holy.
Grimsby vs Bolton - Away win
Result - Grimsby 2 Bolton 1
Once again, BOO!
A frantic start to the game saw Jay Matete put Grimsby in front with a driven finish after 32 seconds, while teammate James Hanson promptly fired over.
Bolton replied with a succession of attacks, but George Thomason saw a golden chance go begging when James McKeown produced a stunning save.
Oladapo Afolayan (Another contender for Cracking Name of the Week.) curled an attempt over the crossbar, before Grimsby's goal scorer Matete was denied a second by Matt Gilks.
A classic goalmouth scramble within a minute of the restart saw Hanson, Lenell John-Lewis and Evan Khouri all denied, while Harry ‘Bernie’ Clifton volleyed over moments later.
Hanson crashed a shot against the crossbar as Grimsby eyed a second goal, but McKeown had to be alert at the other end to make two smart saves in quick-succession.
Ira Jackson Jr came off the bench to make it 2-0 five minutes from time, before Bolton substitute Shaun Miller struck an added-time consolation goal.
Morecambe vs Oldham - Home win
Result - Morecambe 4 Oldham 3
Yay! But too little, too late.
Morecambe (managed by ex-Motherwell player Derek Adams) took the lead in the fifth minute with a goal from Carlos Mendes-Gomes. [Mends gnomes? I’ve got one that needs repairing. The frost’s got to his little toadstool. - Ed.]
A Kelvin ‘Kay’ Mellor ball into the area looked to be heading out of play, but the Morecambe midfielder chased it down and drilled a low shot past Laurie ‘Johnnie’ Walker from a tight angle.
Yann Songo'o and Cole ‘Tees’ Stockton missed glorious chances to add to the lead before Oldham hit back with some fine attacking play of their own.
Davis Keillor-Dunn saw an effort cleared off the line before the visitors pulled one back when Conor McAleny got the wrong side of Sam Lavelle and lobbed the ball over Kyle Letheren.
The goal sparked an immediate reply from the Shrimps with Aaron Wildig restoring the lead when he poked in Mendes-Gomes’ cross from six yards out.
And the Shrimps added a third in first-half injury time when Stockton turned his marker on the edge of the box and drilled a low shot past Walker.
Morecambe extended their lead further after 54 minutes with a second from Mendes-Gomes after he ran on to a superb through ball from Toumani Diagouraga (Ooh, there’s another contender.) to slot the ball under the advancing Walker.
Well, that was pretty useless. Can The Grambler make amends this week? [I wouldn’t bet on it. - Ed.] Well, we’re going to have a bet on it. What has he/she/it randomly chosen?
Game - Result - Odds
Barnsley vs Rotherham - Home win - 4/6
Blackburn vs Huddersfield - Home win - 17/20
Cardiff vs Wycombe - Home win - 13/20
QPR vs Norwich - Away win - 4/5
Watford vs Millwall - Home win - 8/15
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...
£8.82? What kind of a piffling amount is that?
Yay! How did you get on with last week’s five questions? Here are the answers.
1. Who am I?
I was born in Rotterdam in 1983. I began my senior career at Feyenoord and returned to end my playing career there. I played for Arsenal, Manchester United and Fenerbache in between. In 435 career club appearances I scored over 200 goals. I was capped for Netherlands 102 times and scored 50 international goals.
Answer - Robin Van Persie
2. Which Scot set a competition record by scoring 14 UEFA Cup goals in a single campaign.
Answer - John Wark (14 goals for Ipswich in the 1980-81 UEFA Cup.)
3. How old was Stanley Matthews when he won Ballon d’Or, a prize given to the best European player each year?
Answer - 40
4. Which English club reached the final of both the UEFA Cup and the Europa League, but lost on both occasions?
Answer - Arsenal (2000 and 2019)
5. Which club has won the most National League Titles?
Answer - Rangers with 55 titles
Some for this week? Aye, go on then.
1. Who am I?
I was born in 1938 in Motherwell. I began my senior career at Motherwell, scoring 105 goals in just 144 appearances. I famously scored a hat-trick against Hibs in 2 minutes 30 seconds, one of the fastest ever recorded. In 1961 I moved to Liverpool and played 425 games for them over the next ten years. After my playing career ended, I managed Motherwell and Portsmouth, and was assistant manager at both Sheffield Wednesday and Coventry City. I later moved on to TV work and became half of a famous double-act.
And talking of hat-tricks...
2. Which player scored four Premier League hat-tricks for Southampton?
3. Let’s stick with hat-tricks. Who scored the first Premier League hat-trick?
4. Which player has scored the most Premier League hat-tricks?
5. Which player has scored the most Scottish Premiership hat-tricks?
There you have it; five teasers to test you. Can you answer them without resorting to Googlie or Bung (or any other search engine, for that matter)?
Remember the serious message...
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 http://www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk/campaigns-policy/latest-campaigns/never-too-young-campaign
Please, take a few minutes to watch an informative little video from Mersh (a great friend of Stewart’s).
Click on this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26HWQXMalX4
And finally, Cyril...
And finally, Cyril? And finally Esther, it is with some sadness that I must report the death of Les McKeown, remembered as the vocalist with the Bay City Rollers. Who can forget Shang-A-Lang, Bye, Bye, Baby and Give a Little Love? I know I can’t. I’ve tried going for counselling, but I still have nightmares. And they were famous for a new take on tartan fashion. The Scottish clothing industry still can’t live that one down. Anyway, Les has died aged 65 and I think we should all remember his passing with a suitable tribute...
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 www.thegrambler.com where you can also catch up on any previous editions you may have missed.