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 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
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…
As regular readers of the world's greatest ill-informed blog know, I am not the greatest fan of (anti)social media. I use Farcebook and Twatter each week simply to inform my loyal followers (How are you both, by the way?) of this week's topic. Other than that, I rarely make any comments at all. On anniversaries relating to the blog's founder, Stewart, I would put a memory or two on, but that is, basically, it.
I have noticed that one or two of my ‘friends’ have decided to leave Farcebook and it comes as no surprise to me. Many people are turning their backs on social media citing it as being dangerous because it records and stores everything you ever write on it. Recently, a couple of England cricketers were hauled over the coals because of racist comments they had made years before. All because some nosey individual had deemed it important to trawl through years' worth of comments.
Don't just think famous people are subjected to such scrutiny. Oh no. Even ordinary folk might suffer...
'Thank you for coming today. Your cv looks most impressive.'
'However, your dislike of the government is less so.'
'Yes, a Facebook entry from 2004 describes Tony Blair as, and I quote, 'a big jobby'.'
'I was seven! And he was a big jobby. '
'I would also draw your attention to racist remarks you made in 2007.'
'In an online discussion about the re-formation of the pop group, the Spice Girls, between yourself and your peers, you were suggesting that Victoria Beckham was too thin...'
'Well, she is thin. That's not racist.'
'You then informed your friends that the only good looking Spice Girl was, and I'm quoting again, 'the black one; the rest are mingers'.'
'I couldn't remember her name. Anyway, why is that racist if I said I preferred her?'
'The word black. Not allowed.'
'I was ten for goodness' sake!'
'No excuse. And what about your communist leanings?'
'What communist leanings?'
'In 2015 you intimated that you and friends were considering the overthrow of the government so that communism could prevail.'
'I don't recall any such thing.'
'You don't remember, I'm quoting again, 'It will be great when we are in halls of residence at the uni. We can do as we like without any interference from parents. Our own wee commune... Yee f****** hah!'?'
'We were 18; it was our first taste of freedom.'
'Freedom? Anarchy, more like. All this is bad enough, but it is your dishonesty which really worries me.'
'Dishonest? I don't understand.'
'Just last year, at the start of the lockdown when everyone was joining in with the 'my favourite whatever trend' you cited Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd as your favourite album...'
'Yes it is.'
'And yet, in 2006, according to your Facebook account, your favourite album was something called High School Musical... How do you explain that one away? '
'Oh, this is ridiculous. I can hardly have an informed musical opinion at nine years old... Do you know what? You can stick your job. I didn't want to work in McDonald's anyway.'
Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we?
Were any famous or notorious individuals born on the 21st of August? Of course there were. Here are some that even I know.
William Murdoch 1754 - Engineer and inventor.
William IV 1765 - The well-known king.
Aubrey Beardsley 1872 - Illustrator.
Claude Grahame-White 1879 - Pioneer aviator. Competed in a Daily Fail prize of £10,000 to fly from London to Manchester. That is worth £1.2 million today. He did win a lesser prize at a Midlands Aviation Meeting... only £1,000 though (£120,000 in today’s money... still, not bad).
Geoffrey Keen 1916 - Actor. Played the Minister of Defence in several of the James Bond films.
Christopher Robin Milne 1920 - Son of A.A. and inspiration for... can you guess which character?
Barry Foster 1927 - Actor. The original Van der Valk in the series of that name... You know, the one who drove the little DAF.
Tony Steedman 1927 - Actor. Socrates in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. Him.
Chris Brasher 1928 - Affleticky bloke.
Princess Margaret 1930 - The well-known sister of Betty.
Barry Norman 1933 - Film critic and presenter. And why not.
Janet Baker 1933 - Rerr chanter. Time for a bit of cultyer. Here’s a bit of Samson et Dalila.
Frances Cuka 1936 - Actress. Ethel Cratchit in Scrooge (1970). Her.
Donald Dewar 1937 - Politician. Scotland’s first First Minister. [Eh? - Ed.]
Howard Lew Lewis 1941 - Actor. Elmo in Brush Strokes. Him.
Glenn Hughes 1951 - Musician. One-time Deep Purple bassist. Here is a toon he played on, Mistreated.
John Mellor, better known as Joe Strummer 1952 - A bit of The Clash. Time for a clip. Here’s their first hit, White Riot.
Kim Cattrall 1956 - Actress. Samantha Jones in Sex and the City. Her.
Peter Clark, better known as Budgie 1957 - Musician. Worked with Siouxsie Sioux on various projects including The Creatures. Have a clip. Here he is giving it laldy on the drums on Mad Eyed Screamer.
Ben Onwukwe 1957 - Actor. Stuart ‘Recall’ McKenzie in London’s Burning. Him.
Jimmy Hughes 1958 - Musician. Started his recording career with The Banned. Here’s their top 30 hit Little Girl.
Kate Robbins 1958 - Comedian, actress, singer and songwriter.
Anne Hobbs 1959 - Tennisy bloke.
Nigel Pearson 1963 - Footy bloke.
Dina Carroll 1968 - Singer. Here’s one of her many hits, Don't Be A Stranger.
Liam Howlett 1971 - Musician. A bit of Prodigy. Here’s Warrior's Dance.
Paul Chowdhry 1974 - Comedian.
Paul Ritchie 1975 - Fitba guy.
Laura Haddock 1985 - Actress. Zoe Walker in White Lines. Her.
I’ve received a letter...
Dear Liam Gramblett,
It was great hearing a track from The Prodigy. I recall that one being a top ten single from the album Invaders Must Die. Wasn’t there another top ten single taken from that album?
How did The Grambler’s predictions fare last week? We won. Really. All five Grambler predictions were spot on. I know. I can’t believe it either. Our £2.20 bet won us the grand total of £13.42. Yay! Yay indeed. What happened? Read on.
Everton vs Southampton - Home win
Result - Everton 3 Southampton 1
Michael ‘Awfy’ Keane gifted an opener for Saints’ Adam ‘Stretch’ Armstrong as he latched on to Che ‘Grizzly’ Adams' ball to curl into the top corner.
Everton struggled for the rest of the first half, but ‘Ricky’ Richarlison was brought on up front for the second half, which paid off immediately after as he poked home from Andros ‘Pete’ Townsend's header.
Everton, who were without the isolating James ‘Dave’ Rodriguez, then sent their fans delirious with two goals in the space of five minutes.
First, Abdoulaye ‘Lino’ Doucoure turned in the penalty box before smashing into the top corner. Then, Richarlison crossed for Dominic ‘Nickel’ Calvert-Lewin to score with a diving header at the near post.
Barnsley vs Coventry - Home win
Result - Barnsley 1 Coventry 0
Dominik ‘Cumming’ Frieser slotted past Simon ‘Roger’ Moore after being played in by Romal ‘Patsy’ Palmer and the Tykes held out despite some intense pressure from the Sky Blues.
Viktor ‘Meldrew’ Gyokeres hit the crossbar with a first-half effort as he slid in to meet a cross from the left and, following the interval, Coventry defender Michael ‘Boat’ Rose saw a header cleared off the line by Cauley ‘Flower’ Woodrow.
A foul on Jamie ‘Dave’ Allen led to Coventry being awarded an added-time penalty, but Brad ‘Pit’ Collins made a superb save to keep out the spot-kick by Gyokeres.
Middlesbrough vs Bristol City - Home win
Result - Middlesbrough 2 Bristol City 1
Debut goals from Uche Ikpeazu and Matt Crooks earned Middlesbrough a first league win of the season, as they beat Bristol City at the Riverside.
Uche ‘Chickpea’ Ikpeazu opened the scoring for Boro in the first half, before Andy ‘Nat’ King drew City level on the hour mark.
But Matt ‘Garth’ Crooks put his side back in the lead 10 minutes later with a simple tap-in from a Paddy ‘Wack’ McNair free-kick.
West Brom vs Luton - Home win
Result - West Brom 3 Luton 2
Albion were set on their way by a comic fifth-minute headed own goal from Luton captain Kal ‘Igula’ Naismith.
Goals from strikers Callum ‘Smokey’ Robinson, in the 36th minute, and Karlan ‘Lou’ Grant, in the 66th minute, appeared to have got the job done before Harry ‘Glenn’ Cornick began the Hatters revival on 70 minutes.
The visitors then scored twice, first through Cornick and then from Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu (Definitely cracking name of the week.) deep into stoppage time.
Lincoln vs Fleetwood - Home win
Result - Lincoln 2 Fleetwood 1
Anthony ‘Hugh’ Scully scored twice as Lincoln City came from behind to beat Fleetwood 2-1 at the LNER Stadium.
After Danny ‘K’ Andrew put the visitors ahead, the Imps responded courtesy of Scully's brace in the final 21 minutes.
Imps keeper Josh ‘Andy’ Griffiths was kept busy in the first half, making three good saves before the visitors took the lead in spectacular fashion.
After winning a free-kick in the 32nd minute, Andrew whipped a superb effort into the top corner of the net from more than 25 yards.
Lincoln were second-best in the first half but should have taken the lead before the goal when Tom ‘Crag’ Hopper was sent clear by Scully, only to shoot straight at keeper Alex ‘Rocky’ Cairns.
Hakeeb Adelakun (Maybe that should be cracking name of the week.) was brought on at half-time and was instrumental in setting up the equaliser after 69 minutes.
He skilfully created space in midfield before finding Tayo ‘Laces’ Edun, who supplied Scully for an exquisite first-time finish into the far corner of the net.
From that moment, the Imps were in control and the second goal arrived from the penalty spot three minutes from time.
Following another good move, Edun was fouled in the box and Scully thumped home the penalty.
Wow. It’s a long time since we’ve won so much dosh, but don’t get carried away. I have just checked our last twelve months of betting and we are in profit... just. Over the year we have won the grand total of... fanfare please... 70 pees. Hmm. That means that, prior to our winning bets, we were down £10.50ish. Oh well, let’s have a look what The Grambler has randomly predicted this week...
Game - Result - Odds
QPR vs Barnsley - Home win - 21/20
Coventry vs Reading - Home win - 21/20
Luton vs Birmingham - Home win - Evens
Sheffield Utd vs Huddersfield - Home win - 4/6
Stoke vs Nottingham Forest - Home win - 5/6
Well, the bets are placed. Ten 20 pee doubles plus a single 20 pee accumulator. If the results go as predicted by The Grambler, the Bobby Moore Fund will be richer to the tune of a whopping
Reasonably whopping I reckon.
Yay! How did you get on with last time’s five questions? Here are the answers.
1. Who am I?
I was born in Antwerp in 1993. I began my senior career at Anderlecht, before moving to Chelsea. I then moved to Everton, scoring 53 goals in 110 appearances. After spells at Manchester United and Inter Milan, I am now back at Chelsea.
Answer - Romelu Lukaku
2. What footballer has had the most money spent on him in transfer fees?
Answer - Romelu Lukaku
3. Which Scot has scored the most Premier League goals?
Answer - Duncan Ferguson
4. Which three teams have spent just one season in the Premier League?
Answer - Swindon Town (1993-94), Barnsley (1997-98) and Blackpool (2010-11)
5. Which six Welsh teams have played in the English Football League?
Answer - Cardiff City, Swansea Town/City, Newport County, Wrexham, Merthyr Town and Aberdare Athletic.
Five for this week? Indeed...
1. Who am I?
I was born in 1985 in Londrino, Brazil. I began my senior career at Atlético Paranaense in 2002. I moved to Shakhtar Donetsk in 2005 and played 184 games before moving to my current Premier League club (where I am currently captain) in 2013. I have been capped 53 times for Brazil.
2. Which African nation has won gold, silver and bronze Olympic medals for men’s football?
3. Mikel Arteta, Graham Potter, Patrick Vieira, Ole Gunnar Solskjær and Steve Bruce have what Premier League-related fact in common?
4. Which outfield player appeared in the Champions League final in three different decades?
5. The fastest goal scored in Premier League history came in 7.69 seconds. Who scored it?
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, we couldn’t let this week’s edition finish without a mention of Sean Lock, one of Britain’s most popular stand-up comedians, who has died this week aged 58. I could do the usual thegrambler.com tribute of giving a few of his gags for you to smile at. However, this item from 8 Out of 10 Cats does Countdown best illustrates his off the wall style. Ladeez and Genullum, I give you The Tiger Who Came for a Pint'.
And if that didn’t bring a big grin to your face, here is something that might, a sitcom he wrote and starred in almost 20 years back, 15 Storeys High. Here is episode one of 12, The Sofa. Hope you enjoy it.
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.