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…
Those of you who are regular readers of thegrambler.com... how are you both, by the way?... will no doubt recall that I have a garden. The 0.001 acres of land that makes up the estate is planted with much in the way of exotica; the best that Dobbies (the well- known garden centres) can sell. I say much. I actually mean, nothing. Not much room for exotica in a garden the size of a postage stamp; well, half a postage stamp, maybe.
Any road up, I do like to plant a few seeds just to see what I can grow from scratch. [Or, indeed, seeds. - Ed.] Normally, I get my seeds by collecting them from gardens when no-one is looking. No I'm kidding. I wait until there's nobody at home. Again, I am toying with you; I do actually buy seeds.
Last year, when lockdown began, shops that sold seeds were not deemed essential so I couldn't buy anything at all. I found a few packets in the shed that had been there for rather a long time. In the past, I must have considered growing carrots and beetroot because I had seeds for both. I have no idea why as my garden has no areas to actually plant anything because it is totally slabbed.
However, last year, when we were forced to stay at home, I decided to see what I could grow from these seeds. I had plenty of old tubs and lots of bags of compost (Obviously, left over from the time I bought the carrot and beetroot seeds.)
So, in went the carrots and the beetroots. Is that the plural of beetroot? Probably not. Now what? Oh, I'll get some seeds off a strawberry and see what happens. Nothing. Ditto, raspberries. Initially, results were favourable, but the seedlings never got beyond that stage. What else could I grow? Blueberries! In went some blueberry seeds. They seemed promising, but never progressed very far. The same thing happened with peppers.
Frankly, I was planting seeds from anything that had seeds in it, although I drew the line at anything that might grow into a tree.
I fancied growing a grape vine but, as we only ever see seedless grapes here in the Yuk, I had to give up on that idea. Just what do you plant?
Any road up, by the autumn, the carrots and beetroot(s) were doing really well. Or so I thought. The carrots bore a striking resemblance to twisted pipe cleaners when I finally dug them up. They were, however, edible. Just.
The beetroot(s) I planted were excellent. My only gripe with them was that I wished I had planted more.
Fast forward to 2021. I thought I would try and grow some vegetables again. Where should I buy my seeds? Lidl. Yep. 29 pees per packet. Brilliant. How could I resist? Unfortunately, they had run out of the types that I wanted. [I'm not surprised at 29 pence a packet. Ed.]
No problem, thinks I. Other supermarkets sell them, don't they? Indeed they do, but instead of 29 pees per packet they were a little bit dearer because they were ‘branded’ products; Mr Fotheringay, or something. How does £3.10 grab you? More than ten times the cost! That is just crazy. How on earth can Mr Featherstone justify such a hike in the price. Well, he does claim that they will grow. You what? They're seeds. What else are they meant to do?
Another thing that bugged me, aside from the cost, was the quantity. 29 pee packet of seeds? Minimum of 200 seeds. Mr Featherlight’s £3.10 packet? 40. Thus, to grow the same quantity of plants as the cheapo seeds I would have to spend £15.50. What? More than 15 quid versus 29 pees? Somebody's at it. Mr. Fotheringham. Him.
And guess what... half of the blibbing things didn't come up.
Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we?
Were any famous or notorious individuals born on the 8th of May? Of course there were. Here are some that even I know.
John Snagge 1904 - Radio newsreader and commentator. His was the voice of the newsreader in Dad’s Army.
Sid James 1913 - Comic actor. Starred in various sitcoms of the 1960s including Citizen James, Taxi, George and the Dragon and Bless This House. Perhaps he is more famous for his roles in the Carry On series of films; he appeared in 18 films plus several TV spin-off shows. Ack ack ack!
David Attenborough 1926 - Natural historian, sometime TV channel controller and most definitely a national treasure. First appeared on British TV back in the 1950s in Zoo Quest. Not many people can say they have appeared regularly on TV in eight different decades.
John Bennett 1928 - Jobbing actor. One of those faces that always seemed to be on screen; from playing Injun Joe in 1960’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer to his final role as FitzStephen in 2005’s documentary series Cathedral. 175 credits on IMDb.
Phyllida Law 1932 - Actress. Less famous than her daughter, Emma Thompson. Still, she’s had a fair old career; first appearing on our screens back in 1958 and still appearing as recently as 2020. Not many people can say they have appeared regularly on TV in eight different decades... Hang on a mo.
Jack Charlton 1935 - Foo’y blurk.
Norman Lamont 1942 - Politician. Julian Clary claims to know him intimately.
Terry Neill 1942 - Foodball plerr nigh manager.
Robin Hobbs 1942 - Crickety bloke.
Paul Samwell-Smith 1943 - Musician and producer. Original bassist with The Yardbirds. I think a wee clip is in order here. He provided the unusual (for its time) arrangement on this, Turn into Earth
Bill Legend 1944 - Musician. Played drums in T. Rex. How about another clip? Here he is miming to Jeepster. All together now... You're so sweet...
G*ry Gl*tt*r 1944 - Insert your own insult here.
Felicity Lott 1947 - Rerr chanter. Here she is singing the amusing (it says here) Noël Coward song, A Bar on the Piccola Marina
John Reid 1947 - Politician.
Gary Wilmott 1954 - Entertainer.
Davie Provan 1956 - Fitba guy.
Kevin McCloud 1958 - TV presenter. Him off Grand Designs.
Aneirin Hughes 1958 - Jobbing actor. Tom Howells in Keeping Faith. Him.
Terry Christian 1960 - TV presenter. Him off The Word.
David Sole 1962 - Rugby bloke.
Stella Gonet 1963 - Jobbing actress. Most recently seen as Leah in Breeders.
Dave Rowntree 1964 - How’s this for a mixture? Musician, politician, solicitor and animator. Let’s concentrate on the music side of things. He was Blur’s drummer, so let’s have a wee clip. This one starts off quietly with Dave tapping away followed by some guitar and then... Woo hoo!
Marcus Brigstocke 1973 - Comedian. I’ve Never Seen Star Wars [Haven’t you? Come to think of it, I don’t think I have either. - Ed.] Do you mind? He hosted that.
Jodhi May 1975 - Jobbing actress. Recently seen in Mangrove, one of the Small Axe series of TV films, as Selma James.
Michelle McManus 1980 - Singer, actress, writer and TV presenter. She won Pop Idol in 2003 and her first single entered the charts at number one. Would you like to hear it? Course you would. Here’s All This Time.
Christina Cole 1982 - Actress. Dr. Paula Agard in Suits. Her.
Matt Willis 1983 - Musician. A bit of Busted, then McBusted, then Busted again. Have a clip. Here's Crashed the Wedding
Vicky McClure 1983 - Actress. Kate in Line of Duty. Her.
Elyes Gabel 1983 - Actor. Walter O’Brien in something called Scorpion. You will have guessed that I have not seen it; I remember him from Psychoville.
Martin Compston 1984 - Actor. Steve in Line of Duty. Him. There’s a coincidence.
Mark Noble 1987 - Footy bloke.
Aneurin Barnard 1987 - Steerforth in The Personal History of David Copperfield. Him.
Katy B 1989 - Singer. How about a clip? Here she is on a mission.
I’ve received a letter...
Dear David Grambleborough,
Thank you for giving a link to the terrific Blur. They really were terrific. They had some terrific hits. And some great albums, which is terrific. I wonder what their terrific first album was called. If you could answer me that one, that would be terrific.
How did The Grambler’s predictions go last week? Not quite as well as the previous week. Four out of five correct predictions. [How much did we win? That’s what everyone wants to know. - Ed.] Patience. We won... drum roll please... £3.60. Not a lot, but at least we were in profit. What happened? Read on...
Millwall vs Bristol City - Home win
Result - Millwall 4 Bristol City 1
Jed ‘Freedom’ Wallace put the Lions ahead after a swift counter-attack when he collected Jake ‘Tommy’ Cooper's long diagonal pass and found the bottom corner with a fine strike across goal.
Tommy ‘Russ’ Conway's goal from Henri ‘Angela’ Lansbury's pass made it 1-1, but Scott ‘Bugsy’ Malone's fine shot restored the home side's lead.
Billy ‘Joni’ Mitchell crashed in Millwall's third after an almighty melee for his first senior goal.
And Tom Bradshaw's neat one-on-one finish, after robbing Tomas ‘Maria’ Kalas, sealed the victory.
Norwich vs Reading - Home win
Result - Norwich 4 Reading 1
The Canaries thumped Reading, with two goals from Kieran ‘Wooden’ Dowell and late strikes from Xavi ‘Harley’ Quintilla and Teemu ‘Pie’ Pukki sealing a superb comeback after Josh ‘Eve’ Laurent's early header had put the visitors in front.
Reading were impressive early on and looked in the mood for an upset by taking the lead.
But Dowell levelled the score with a calm finish following a series of defensive blunders as the Royals finished well-beaten and had keeper Rafael Cabral to thank for limiting the margin of victory.
At 1-1 the visitors were under increasing pressure and Cabral made three stunning saves to keep out Dowell's fierce strike, Kenny 'Shiny' McLean's powerful header and a Todd ‘Noel’ Cantwell effort.
But he could do nothing to stop Dowell scoring his second from a tight angle - the midfielder finding the far corner from Cantwell's cheeky scooped pass from the left.
Pukki missed several decent opportunities, but Norwich's win was wrapped up late on.
Quintilla added a third with a classy 20-yard free-kick into the top corner before a typical piece of Pukki quality increased the lead further, the Finn anticipating a casual backpass to round Rafael and gleefully smash the ball home.
Plymouth vs Sunderland - Away win
Result - Plymouth 1 Sunderland 3
Lynden ‘Graham’ Gooch set up both of Sunderland's late goals against an Argyle side reduced to 10 men in the 64th minute.
Gooch won an 84th-minute penalty, converted by Chris ‘Barry’ Maguire, following a foul by Ryan ‘Fluckan’ Law.
Then the American's stoppage-time shot was saved by substitute keeper Luke 'C' McCormick but Denver 'Colorado' Hume followed in to add gloss to the result.
Sunderland had taken a 21st-minute lead when striker Ross 'Royal' Stewart raced away from the halfway line to collect Gooch's incisive pass and coolly slot home into the far corner past Plymouth keeper Michael ‘Jilly’ Cooper.
Gooch was unlucky not to double Sunderland's first-half tally as his stoppage time 20 yarder spun off the outside of the post.
Home skipper Joe ‘Blake’ Edwards levelled with a far post header to greet Conor ‘Student’ Grant's cross in the 63rd minute but Argyle were reduced to 10 men a minute later when central defender Jerome 'Kern' Opoku received a second caution.
Sunderland hit the woodwork three times in all as Maguire's free-kick and Stewart's header both came off the bar in the second half before their two late goals sealed victory.
Shrewsbury vs Oxford - Away win
Result - Shrewsbury 2 Oxford 3
Dan 'Dare' Agyei's goal in the 85th minute gave Oxford a late win.
It took just three minutes for the visitors to go ahead as a mistake from Shrewsbury defender Matthew ‘Flash’ Pennington allowed Matty ‘Swifty’ Taylor to cross for Elliot ‘Ghouled’ Lee, who tapped home into an empty net.
Pennington made amends in the 16th minute though, connecting with a Harry ‘Sticky’ Chapman corner to draw his side level.
And 10 minutes later the Shrews had turned the game around as Josh ‘Nov’ Vela fired his side in front.
James ‘King’ Henry levelled 25 minutes from time, before Agyei came off the bench to put Oxford back in front in the final five minutes.
It was not over there though, as Jack ‘Shaky’ Stevens produced two brilliant saves late on to deny Ethan ‘Yonbon’ Ebanks-Landell and Shaun ‘Joanne’ Whalley.
Bradford vs Scunthorpe - Home win
Result - Bradford 0 Scunthorpe 0
Ooh! ’It the bar!
Bradford had the game's first chance when Charles ‘Ratty’ Vernam ran on to a through pass from Levi ‘Hoo’ Sutton and cut in from the right before forcing Mark ‘Frankie’ Howard to make a diving save at the near post.
Home goalkeeper Sam ‘O-Gauge’ Hornby did well to turn Ke-vin Van Veen's header over the crossbar in the 25th minute and Alfie ‘Honey’ Beestin headed narrowly wide of the far post when Bradford failed to clear Scunthorpe skipper Alex ‘Acuppa’ Gilliead's corner.
Defender Anthony ‘Sinead’ O'Connor came close to scoring for the home side in the 78th minute when he chased a long ball, poked it past Howard only to see it hit the post.
Bradford were again indebted to Hornby shortly afterwards when substitute Ryan ‘Converted’ Loft shrugged off the challenge of Paudie ‘Des’ O'Connor to leave himself with only the keeper to beat, but the Bantams’ stopper came quickly off his line to save the shot.
The Bantams almost snatched a winner in the closing stages when substitute Clayton ‘Moore’ Donaldson somehow turned the ball wide from close range from Vernam's low cross and Callum ‘Sam’ Cooke's effort was deflected over the crossbar.
So, there we have it my little gramblerinis; nearly five out of five. So close. What can The Grambler come up with this week?
Game - Result - Odds
Carlisle vs Walsall - Home win - 8/11
Crawley vs Bolton - Away win - 8/13
Oldham vs Forest Green - Away win - 4/5
Scunthorpe vs Stevenage - Away win - 19/20
Southend vs Newport - Away win - 4/5
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...
£10.18? That’s serious money, that is.
Yay! How did you get on with last week’s five questions? Here are the answers.
1. Who am I?
I was born in 1973 in Suriname. I began my senior career at Ajax where I played 106 games and scored 20 goals. I was a defensive midfielder and nicknamed ‘The Pitbull’ because of my hard-tackling, aggressive style of play. I was capped 74 times for Netherlands. I was easily recognised on the pitch because I wore protective goggles due to glaucoma.
Answer - Edgar Davids
2. What Premier League feat has been achieved by Andy Cole, Alan Shearer, Jermain Defoe, Dmitar Berbatov and Sergio Aguero?
Answer - They have all scored five goals in a Premier League match.
3. What nationality is Manchester city player Zack Steffen?
Answer - American
4. What is the only French club to have won the Champions League title?
Answer - Marseille in 1993
5. Which two English players have each scored two Champions League Hat-Tricks?
Answer - Andy Cole and Michael Owen
Some for this week? Here goes...
1. Who am I?
I was born in Munich in 1945. Most of my senior career was spent at Bayern Munich; I made 427 appearances. I was capped for West Germany 103 times. I won the World Cup twice; once as a player and once as manager. During my playing days, I was known as Der Kaiser.
2. Which club has won the FA Youth (U-18) Cup on the most occasions?
3. Which Premier League club trains at Staplewood?
4. Which Premier League club features two water spirits (kelpies) on its crest?
5. Which English club plays at Sixfields Stadium?
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, I am indebted to Messrs R. Orzabal and C. Smith for this week’s closing item. I think it is an apt finisher this week. Here's Tears for Fears Sowing the Seeds of Love.
Sowing the seeds of
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.