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…
Well, that's the footy over for a wee while. This week, I will steer clear of football... almost. While I wasn't too bothered which side won on Sunday, I have to say that I am glad that Italy won if only to silence the 'football's coming home' brigade.
It was getting ridiculous during the lead up to the final. My favourite newspaper, the Daily Fail (and I say that with tongue firmly in cheek) devoted 32 pages of a 100 page newspaper to the final on Saturday. They still devoted 30 odd pages to the game in Monday's edition. And England lost. How much would have been dedicated to the match had England won? It would probably have been an ‘England is the Best in Europe at something’ souvenir edition. The xenophobia over the past few weeks has been shocking. The editors of this (and any other English newspaper) seem to forget that their publication is sold in other countries in the UK and none of the inhabitants of those countries wanted England to win... unless they came from England and moved ‘abroad’.
Anyway, you'll be pleased to learn that this week's rant does not involve footy. Not too much, anyway. No doubt, you'll also be pleased to learn that I will not end with a wordplay based on a footballer's name. [Hurrah! - Ed.] I did feel a tad sorry for poor old Marco Rushworth whose penalty attempt hit the post. Mark O’Rashton. You remember him. You do. Martin Rumford. He's the one who gave millions of quids to provide deprived children with meals during the lockdown. Maybe he should consider a change of career. I hear councils are crying out for school dinner ladies.
Any road up, this week, I am concentrating on a couple of items from the aforesaid 'newspaper', the Daily Fail. I put the word newspaper in inverted commas not because I don't consider the Fail to be a newspaper (That's a given.) but because many news items are anything but. News, that is. Here are just two ‘news’ items...
In the first, the headline reads something like 'People with fewer teeth missing are less likely to suffer from dementia'. It then reports the findings of a study of some 43,000 people which was conducted in the good ol' US of A. It suggested, according to the Fail, that the more teeth you had missing, the more likely it was that you would suffer from dementia in old age. Fair enough. If that's what a survey found, then it must be a fact. Or is it? The article then went on to say that people who had false teeth were less likely to suffer from dementia than people with teeth missing. So, let's get this straight, people with a few teeth missing are more likely to get dementia than people who still have all their teeth or, indeed, those with no teeth at all (other than the false variety)? Something doesn't add up, does it?
The final paragraph answers the query. The conclusion drawn by the statisticians is that no conclusion can be drawn. Sorry pardon excuse me? The article is turned on its head by stating that dementia might not be caused by a lack of gnashers, but that the lack of teeth might be down to dementia.
That actually makes more sense; a person with dementia is less likely to take care of his or her teeth and so would probably lose more teeth and would also be less likely to wear dentures.
Thus, the whole article was a waste of everyone's time. It began by stating some facts and ended by refuting those facts. Basically, it needn't have been written at all because it has nothing to say.
The same goes for another article which featured a couple of royals. The Fail loves a story featuring the royal family, especially if it can shoehorn a mention of Princess Di into it.
Strangely, this item did not mention said lady, although her ex-hubby did feature.
The headline was an attention grabber reading something like 'Will Charles stop Edward becoming Duke of Edinburgh?' Ooh, another note of discord in the Windsor family; worth a read thinks I.
The article tells us that the Edinburgh title goes to the heir to the throne (Charlie) until he ascends the throne (King Charlie). However, prior to Phil the Greek’s demise, it was agreed by Betty, Phil and Charlie that Eddie should take the title after that. You see, Eddie is only an earl not a duke. So, he would be getting a promotion. I wasn't aware that earls were inferior to dukes. I just thought they were all over-privileged layabouts scrounging off the state. There you go. You learn something every day.
The story then goes on to tell us that sources (unnamed, of course) suggest Charlie has reneged on this agreement with his mum and late dad and that he won't give the title to his little bro, after all. What a cad. Or a bounder. [Is a cad inferior to a bounder? - Ed.]
But then the article ends by saying that Clarence House, when approached, said this is all just speculation. [Wow! A talking house! - Ed.] Clarence House is the name given whenever Charlie wants a statement given to the press; not a talking house... although it is a house. It is where Charlie and Camilla live.
It is just a typical Daily Fail story... story being the correct term, I think... which speculates on some 'facts' but winds the story up by saying it is all bollocks.
And they say good journalism is dead.
Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we?
Were any famous or notorious individuals born on the 10th of July? Of course there were. Here are some that even I know.
James III 1451 - The well-known king.
Evelyn Laye 1900 - Jobbing actress. In her later years, her parts were usually called Gran.
Donald Peers 1908 - Chanter. Have a clip. Please, don't go. No, seriously, don't. The audience look totally bemused by this 60 year old singing a song based on a classical piece. Top of the Pops? Don’t think so. More Top of the Grandpops.
Terry-Thomas 1911 - Actor. Famous for playing cads and bounders. [I wonder if he knew Prince Charles? - Ed.]
Reg Smythe 1917 - Cartoonist. Andy Capp was his most famous creation. Andy Capp was shown as a total waster from Geordieland. He was never seen without a cigarette, spent most of his time in the pub, so was often drunk and gambled heavily. His wife, Florrie, was something of a battleaxe and was often shown in nightgown and curlers by the front door awaiting her beloved... armed with a rolling pin ready to belt him one. Not the best advert for the northeast of England.
Ian Wallace 1919 - Another chanter. Have a clip. Here's Roses of Picardy.
Mike Costin 1929 - Engineer. Co-founder of Cosworth Engineering... of Formula 1 racing fame... and Ford Escorts and Sierras.
Winnie Ewing 1929 - Politician.
Tom Farmer 1940 - Businessman. Founder of Kwik-Fit.
Virginia Wade 1945 - Tennisy bloke.
Neil Tennant 1954 - A Pet Shop Boy. Have a clip. I don’t know about you but this one is always on my mind.
Andrew Giddings 1963 - Musician. One-time keyboard player for Jethro Tull, He also worked on two of Jethro Tull main man Ian Anderson’s solo albums. Have a clip, In a Stone Circle. [I've never had a clip in a stone circle before. - Ed.]
Emma Fielding 1966 - Actress. Miss Galindo in Cranford. Her.
Jamie Glover 1969 - Actor. James Lacey in Agatha Raisin. Him.
Jason Orange 1970 - One time Take That member. Have a clip. Here's Flowerbed with Mr Orange in charge of vocals. [That was Tim Roth, wasn't it? - Ed.]
Lisa Coleman 1970 - Actress. Cam Lawson in The Story of Tracy Beaker, Tracy Beaker Returns and My Mum Tracy Beaker. Her. [Talk about typecast! - Ed.]
John Simm 1970 - Actor. Sam Tyler in Life on Mars. Him.
Peter Serafinowicz 1972 - Actor/comedian.
Lucy Gaskell 1980 - Actress. Judy in Lesbian Vampire Killers. Her.
David Turnbull 1999 - Fitba guy who left the Mighty ’Well to join Celtic. Boo! Turnbull? Turncoat, more like.
Maisie Smith 2001 - Actress. Tiffany Butcher-Baker-Candlestick Maker in Eastenders. Her.
And now, 17th of July...
Hardy Amies 1909 - Tailor. Factoid - He designed the costumes for 2001: A Space Odyssey. I’m not sure if that included the ape suits.
Albert Stubbins 1919 - Footy bloke. Factoid - He was on the cover of the Beatles’ Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band album.
Kenneth Wolstenholme 1920 - Football commentator. Spoke those famous words, ‘There are people on the pitch! They think it’s all over! It is now!’
John Cooper 1923 - Car maker. His name is still used to signify sportiness in the MINI range.
Jean Muir 1928 - Fashion designer.
Kenneth Grange 1929 - Industrial designer. He designed many familiar items such as pens, food mixers and Instamatic cameras.
Ray Galton 1930 - Screenwriter. With Alan Simpson, he wrote scripts for comedies such as Hancock’s Half Hour and Steptoe and Son.
Spencer Davis 1939 - Musician. Time for a clip. You can sing along to this one. Here's Keep On Running.
Joe Baker 1940 - Fitba bloke/footy guy.
Tim Brooke-Taylor 1940 - Comedian.
Bob Taylor 1941 - Crickety bloke.
Zoot Money 1942 - Musician. Have a clip. This is The Uncle Willie... It’s a dance, in case you were wondering.
Peter Sissons 1942 - Newsreader.
Catherine Schell 1944 - Actress. Nancy in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. That’s the one with George Lazenby as James Bond.
Peter Cormack 1946 - Fitba guy.
Alun Armstrong 1946 - Actor. Jim in Breeders. Him. He is a popular go to guy, it seems, with 147 credits on IMDb ranging from 1963 to 2021. Seven different decades.
Jeffrey Holland 1946 - Actor. Spike Dixon in Hi-de-Hi! Him.
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall 1947 - Charlie’s missus.
Mick Tucker (I said Tucker) 1948 - Sweet drummer... I mean he drummed for Sweet, the band... not that I thought he was... Have a clip. This is Little Willy. [Doing the Uncle Willie and now you can’t push your willy where your willy won’t go? What the devil is going on this week? - Ed.]
Wayne Sleep 1948 - Hoofer.
Terence ‘Geezer’ Butler 1949 - Bassist and main lyricist for Black Sabbath. Here’s an oldie, Paranoid.
Fern Britten 1957 - TV presenter.
Jeremy Hardy 1961 - Comedian.
Darren Day 1968 - Actor, it says here.
Mandy Smith 1970 - Actress and model, it says here, but she was more famous for marrying Bill Wyman who was 34 years older than her.
Matthew Crompton 1971 - Actor. Dan Mason in Coronation Street. Him.
Konnie Huq 1975 - TV presenter.
Gino D’Acampo 1976 - TV chef.
Tom Cullen 1985 - Actor. Anthony Gillingham in Downton Abbey. Him.
Andrew Shinnie 1989 - Fitba guy.
Jack Leitch 1995 - Fitba guy.
I’ve received a letter...
Dear Grambler Davis,
It was so nice to hear one of your group’s records. I have always been a fan, which means I must be very old indeed, because your last top ten hit must have been as far back as 1967. Unfortunately, with age comes forgetfulness, because I can’t remember what it was called. Can you help me? (With the name of the record, not my forgetfulness.) I think it was 1967 and was probably your last top ten hit record. Can you remember its title? It might have been in 1967.
With fond regards,
To recap, as the blog a fortnight ago was late, I gave the results of the games in that week’s gramble. They all went as predicted. However, because one game went beyond the 90 minutes, it meant that the bet didn’t stand. Never mind, we still won £4.92 from our £3 stake.
What can we involve The Grambler in this week? Hmm... What about the gee gees? Yes, why not. Here are five random selections from Saturday the 17th of July’s racecards...
Horse - Meeting - Time - Odds
Beauty Inspire - Curragh - 2.20 - Evens
Alqamar - Cartmel - 2.30 - 6/4
Tadreeb - Ripon - 5.05 - 5/4
Moon Island - Doncaster - 6.35 - 4/6
Montather - Doncaster - 7.35 - 11/10
Well, the bets are placed. As with the footy bets, there are ten 20 pee doubles plus a single 20 pee accumulator. And to make things interesting, we have an each way bet on the accumulator. Woo! [How does that work, then? - Ed.] Erm... Haven’t got a scoobie. All I know is that if all five horses run quicker than all the others in their respective races, the Bobby Moore Fund will be richer to the tune of... fanfare please...
[No chance. - Ed.]
That’s just what I was thinking.
Yay! How did you get on with last time’s five questions? Here are the answers.
1. Who am I?
I was born in 1976 in Dvirkivshchyna which at that time was in the Soviet Union. I played for Dynamo Kyiv at the start of my senior career before moving to Milan and Chelsea. I returned to Dynamo to end my career. In all, I played 704 games and scored 343 goals. I scored a total of 176 times for Milan making me the second most prolific player in the club’s history. After my playing career, I tried politics before moving into football management.
Answer - Andriy Shevchenko (Ukraine manager)
2. Which club was represented by the most players at the Euro 2020 finals?
Answer - Chelsea (17)
3. Where will Euro 2024 be held?
Answer - Germany
4. Which team has appeared in the finals eight times and has always progressed from the group stages?
Answer - Portugal
5. Which player has appeared in the most consecutive finals?
Answer - Rainer Bonhof (West Germany. Three 1972, 76 and 80)
How about some for this week?
1. Who am I?
I was born in 1978 in Camberwell. I played as a centre back. I began my senior career with West Ham and made over 150 appearances before moving for a brief spell at Leeds. The bulk of my career was spent at Manchester United; I made over 450 appearances for the Old Trafford side. I was capped for England 81 times. After retiring from football, I considered becoming a boxer. I have now settled into a career as a football pundit.
2. Back to Euro 2020, who was named as player of the tournament?
3. Which German player has scored the most Premier League goals?
4. Another Euro 2020 one. Which is the only one of the 24 countries that took part in the finals not to have any players from its national league?
5. Bukayo Saka won Arsenal’s Player of the Year Award, the first English player to win it for ten years; who was the recipient in 2011?
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, Esther, I am indebted to a Mr. P. Serafinowicz... I think I pronounced that right... whose birthday we missed last week. He has made a name for himself in the good ol’ U S of A with his impressions of a certain ‘sassy’ ex-president. He even voices a character called Fred Sassy (whose face is familiar) who investigates what that ex-president might term deep fake news. Here’s Sassy Justice.
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.