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…
Hello grambling chums. Do you like flowers? Odd question to begin this week's (g)ramble. Mrs G loves flowers. Often there are two, perhaps three, vases dotted about the house. They do brighten the place up. I don't know why, but there always seems to be a vase in the bathroom. Admittedly, they tend to be scented flowers so that might explain it.
However, today I happened to notice the origin of the current selection of blooms. East Africa. Now, correct me if I am wrong, and I probably am, but I was under the assumption that Africa has problems enough feeding its own population, so why the hell are they farming flowers to make Mrs G's bathroom look and smell nice?
I think they should be focusing on food crops... you know, so that they can feed themselves.
Indeed, I am beginning to believe that everyone should be trying to grow their own food. And I'm not just saying that because I managed to grow a few carrots and potatoes last year. I used to have a mate who was a mad keen gardening fan; his motto was 'any plant that can't be eaten is a weed'.
I am coming round to his way of thinking, especially as the effects of Brexit kick in.
There is not a chance that I could grow enough to provide us with veg for the whole year, but the little I do grow means that someone else can have the things that we don't need to buy. Thus, in a very small way, I am helping to alleviate the world's food shortage. [Bollocks! - Ed.]
As I get older [You mean even older, surely. - Ed.]... don't call me Shirley... I think that mankind should be taking care of the simpler things in life, such as providing enough food to feed the entire population. Forget clever weapons and space travel; get humanity fed.
Also forget over-processed food. Educate people to eat more healthily.
And what is the purpose of trees that do nothing? However do you mean, I hear you ask. Well, the Japanese acer, for example, is a popular tree that is bought solely for its colourful foliage. Shouldn't be allowed, says I in my full wartime rationing mode. Instead, people should be persuaded to plant apple, pear or plum trees. More food for the masses.
Moving on, why do we have a lawn in front of the house? Dig it up! [This is getting more ridiculous by the minute. - Ed.] If grass can grow there, so can any food crop... Well, not any food crop, but some food crops could, I am sure.
And another thing... Don't stop me now, I'm on a roll... All those crofts that used to litter the Highlands, where families eked out a meagre existence prior to the clearances that made way for sheep, could be utilised again. At the time they were farmed three hundred years ago they were not profitable for the landlords, but sheep were, so the humans were forced out to make way for Shawn and his cronies. There you are, a bit of history thrown in for free.
In those days, there was no running water; no electricity. Surely, with modern farming techniques and electricity in plentiful supply from wind turbines or solar panels, these small holdings could actually be made profitable once more.
Plenty of folk would relish the chance to escape the rat race in the big cities; give them a croft to work.
It is time to rise up and adopt the plucky British wartime spirit where everyone grew their own food. Dig for victory.
You know it makes sense.
[Can't wait for a return to powdered eggs, blackouts and ITMA. - Ed.]
Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we?
Were any famous or notorious individuals born on the 14th of August? Of course there were. Here are some that even I know.
John Galsworthy 1867 - Orfer. The Forsyte Saga, that was one of his.
Albert Ball 1896 - Fighter pilot in WWI. He is credited with 44 ‘victories’ in a flying career lasting just over a year. He was killed in action aged 20.
Alma Reville 1899 - Screenwriter. Mrs Hitchcock.
Fred Davis 1913 - Snookery bloke.
Cardew Robinson 1917 - Comedian.
Patsy Smart 1918 - Actress. Roberts in Upstairs, Downstairs. Her.
Buddy Greco 1926 - Singer resembling a lizard.
Liz Fraser 1930 - Comedy actress. Sylvia Ramsden in Carry on Behind. Her.
Trevor Bannister 1934 - Actor. Mr Lucas in Are You Being Served. Him.
Brian Maxine 1935 - Wrestly bloke.
Hilary Tindall 1938 - Actress. Ann Hammond in The Brothers. Her.
Lionel Morton 1941 - Musician... and Playschool presenter. Here’s a song from his time as a Penny, I Found Out The Hard Way.
Jackie Oliver 1942 - Racey car bloke.
Tom Walkinshaw 1946 - Also, a racey car bloke and founder of Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR).
Maddy Prior 1947 - Singer most notably with Steeleye Span. Here’s a 2009 live performance of The Hard Times of Old England.
Bruce Thomas 1948 - An Attraction. Here he is with all the other Attractions and Elvis Costello with Oliver's Army.
Peter Guinness 1950 - Actor. He was in By the Sword Divided as Dick Skinner. [Oooh! Nasty! - Ed.]
Gillian Taylforth 1955 - Actress. Kathy Beale in Eastenders. Her.
Sarah Brightman 1960 - Singer. Usually, sings serious stuff, but there was a time when she performed mince like this, I Lost My Heart to a Starship Trooper.
Mark Collins 1965 - A Charlatan. Here’s North Country Boy
Jane Couch 1968 - Boxy bloke.
Darren Clarke 1968 - Golfy bloke.
Jamie Catto 1968 - Musician, video director, photographer and script editor... In fact, a right old smarty boots. A founding member of Faithless, so let’s have a track. Here’s Reverence.
Adrian Lester 1968 - Actor. Micky Stone in Hustle. Him.
Mark Heaney 1970 - Drummy bloke who has been part of The Seahorses, The Shining and Gang of Four. Here’s an example of his solo output, Mindscapes.
Paddy McGuinness 1973 - Comedian, it says here.
Martin Bulloch 1974 - Drummy bloke with Mogwai. Have a toon. Here’s Friend Of The Night.
Ed Harcourt 1977 - Musician. Here’s a toon from him All Of Your Days Will Be Blessed.
Martyn Corrigan 1977 - Fitba guy. Ex-Motherwell. Played 243 games for the Mighty ’Well.
Jamie Parker 1979 - Actor. Scripps in The History Boys. Him.
Elena Baltacha 1983 - Tennisy bloke.
Nick Grimshaw 1984 - Radio and TV presenter
Jamie Brittain 1985 - Writer and actor. Co-created Skins.
Cameron Jerome 1986 - Footy bloke.
James Buckley 1987 - Actor and comedian. Jay Cartwright in The Inbetweeners. Him.
I’ve received a letter...
Dear Sarah Grambleman,
It was nice to hear your first hit record, even though it was complete s***. You redeemed yourself in your later career by singing more serious songs. We liked the idea of you singing Procul Harem songs. Didn’t you have a big hit in Canada with one of their songs? Which one was it?
Yours with kisses on the bottom,
How did The Grambler’s predictions fare last week? We won. Yay! Yep. We won the grand total of £2.62, a profit of 42 pees. What happened. Read on...
Sheffield Utd v Birmingham - Home win
Result - Sheffield Utd 0 Birmingham 1
Blues opened the scoring in the first half when Maxime ‘Umm’ Colin headed home from Jeremie ‘Bear’ Bela's floated cross to the back post.
Oliver ‘Solomon’ Burke smashed a low drive against the near post as the Blades came close to an immediate equaliser
Strikers Oli ‘Babe’ McBurnie, Rhian ‘Punky’ Brewster and Billy ‘Razor’ Sharp were deployed in pursuit of a leveller but they could not break down a resolute and organised Birmingham side.
Indeed it could, and perhaps should, have been worse for the home side as the Blues missed a fine chance to make it 2-0 when Scott ‘Paul’ Hogan hooked over from six yards out after Lukas ‘Battery’ Jutkiewicz had headed the ball back from a Gary ‘Ava’ Gardner cross.
Colin also had a second header disallowed after the break when Jutkiewicz was adjudged to have pushed Ben ‘Ozzy’ Osborn in the box.
Stoke v Reading - Home win
Result - Stoke 3 Reading 2
On 25 minutes, Nick ‘Nosher’ Powell put Stoke ahead, but John ‘Dean’ Swift cashed in on awful defending by the Potters to level 60 seconds later before, just two minutes later, Jacob ‘Janet’ Brown's low shot was missed by Reading keeper Rafael ‘Nadal’ Cabral.
Swift then delivered the right-wing corner from which Liam ‘Roger’ Moore's bullet header brought the Royals level for a second time on the hour.
But Stoke had the final word when Potters debutant Mario ‘Plumber’ Vrancic dummied Tommy ‘Black’ Smith's right-wing cross and Sam ‘Uncle’ Surridge fired a powerful right-foot shot into the roof of the net.
QPR v Millwall - Home win
Result - QPR 1 Millwall 1
Ooh! ’It the bar!
Jed ‘William’ Wallace put the visitors ahead early on when he brought down a clearance and then fired into the top corner.
But QPR centre-back Rob ‘Banana’ Dickie responded when he drilled in a shot from 25 yards out.
Both sides went close in the second half, with QPR's Chris ‘Rock’ Willock seeing a shot saved and Maikel ‘Jackson’ Kieftenbeld shooting over for Millwall.
Blackburn v Swansea - Home win
Result - Blackburn 2 Swansea 1
Blackburn dominated from the start and led through Sam ‘Rory’ Gallagher's rebound.
Ben ‘Nevis’ Brereton struck a second from a penalty conceded by Swans goalkeeper Steven ‘Pipe’ Benda, who had brought Tyrhys ‘Rolling’ Dolan down after giving the ball away.
Swansea hit back with Jamie ‘Shortbread’ Paterson's debut goal but missed a handful of chances to equalise.
Luton v Peterborough - Home win
Result - Luton 3 Peterborough 0
An emphatic YAY!
Elijah ‘Wood’ Adebayo headed the Hatters in front at the back post from Fred ‘Anjinja’ Onyedinma's cross after Luton had enjoyed the best of the first half.
Onyedinma was again the provider for Luton's second as he drove down the left and crossed in for Harry ‘Glenn’ Cornick to convert.
The pair reversed roles for the third a few minutes later as Onyedinma's volley was saved by Christy ‘Francis’ Pym before he buried the rebound.
The Hatters almost went behind after seven minutes when goalkeeper Simon ‘Cowell’ Sluga let Kal ‘Mac’ Naismith's backpass slip under his foot, but the Croatia keeper recovered just in time to clear off the line.
Five minutes later Jordan ‘Meusli’ Clark headed wide for Luton, who started better against their newly-promoted opponents and deservedly went ahead through Adebayo.
That was then, this is now. [That sounds like a good title for a film. - Ed.] What has The Grambler randomly selected for us this week?
Game - Result - Odds
Everton vs Southampton - Home win - 21/20
Barnsley vs Coventry - Home win - Evens
Middlesbrough vs Bristol City - Home win - 17/20
West Brom vs Luton - Home win - 3/4
Lincoln vs Fleetwood - Home win - Evens
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
Yep, nice and whopping that is.
Yay! How did you get on with last time’s five questions? Here are the answers.
1. Who am I?
I was born in 1954 in Plymouth. I began my senior career at Birmingham City, making 280 first team appearances and scoring 118 goals. In 1979 my name entered the history books when I signed with Nottingham Forest for a transfer fee of over £1 million, making me the first player to transfer between English clubs for a seven figure sum.
Answer - Trevor Francis
2. On a similar topic, who has just become the first player to transfer between English clubs for a nine figure sum? [That’s inflation for you. - Ed.]
Answer - Jack Grealish
3. FC Cologne have which animal on their club crest?
Answer - Goat
4. Hungary and which other country has won three Men’s Olympic Football Gold Medals?
Answer - Great Britain (1900, 1908 and 1912)
5. Who has scored the most Premier League goals for Manchester United?
Answer - Wayne Rooney with 183
Let’s have another five to tease you.
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.
2. What footballer has had the most money spent on him in transfer fees?
3. Which Scot has scored the most Premier League goals?
4. Which three teams have spent just one season in the Premier League?
5. Which six Welsh teams have played in the English Football League?
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 Messrs J. Esmonde and J. Larbey who were comedy scriptwriters from way way back. They came up with such memorable series as Please Sir! (and its follow-ups The Fenn Street Gang and Bowler), Get Some In!, Ever Decreasing Circles, Brushstrokes and the show I have chosen to end this week’s blog. As my (g)ramble concerns growing your own fruit and veg, I thought it apt to give you a link to the very first episode of The Good Life. You, see. Who needs a front lawn?
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.