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…
There was a recent article in my favourite 'newspaper', the Daily Fail, about historian Richard Starkey ruffling a few feathers with his views on covid and, in particular, its devastating effect on care home residents.
Actually, his caustic remarks were aimed more at the British treatment of old people than covid. His view was that we Brits shouldn't complain about our old relatives dying because the only reason they are in the care home in the first place is that we can't be bothered looking after them. He has a point, I suppose. He goes on to say that in societies where families do look after their older relatives, there is no need for care homes for the elderly.
Of course, these days, nobody is entitled to make any comments which are not totally PC in case they offend someone.
A new word is used to describe this obsession with political correctness, or rather an old word has been appropriated. That word is woke. One must be woke these days. It's an odd word, but like so many daft words, it has entered our vocabulary and everyone is latching onto it and using it to criticise anyone who makes a slightly non-politically correct statement.
People are becoming too thin-skinned and this became all too apparent in another story in another edition of the Daily Fail.
A young professional woman took her employer to a tribunal because he had suggested that, because she was young and didn't have a partner or any ties to stop her, she might consider applying for an overseas post being advertised within the company. His reasoning was that she was ideally suited to apply for a promoted post that would help her career. Her interpretation was that he was trying to force her out of the job she was in. Another case of what I like to call touchy-buggerism.
Not surprisingly, the judge (or whoever presides over these things) threw the complaint out and no doubt the young professional lady will get no further in her career. Indeed, moving abroad might be her best option.
Where will it all end?...
'Are you the lawyer?'
'Yes, I am. How may I help you?
'I want to file a complaint against my employer for sexual harassment?'
'Sexual harassment, you say?'
'Yes, he shouldn't be allowed to get away with it.'
'Absolutely not. What happened?'
'It began the day I started working for him... sniff...'
'Take your time...'
'He... he gave me a desk right opposite his. Obviously, so that he could ogle me.'
'Ah. And is it a big office?'
'No, there are only two desks.'
'And do you know what he did next?'
'He asked if I wanted a cup of coffee.'
'He asked you if you wanted a coffee?'
'I know. I could hardly believe it myself. He was as good as offering to take me to bed.'
'Really. Anything else?'
'He tried to make an excuse.'
'In what way?'
'He said he was making one for himself anyway. I mean the cheek of it.'
'Yes, the only reason he was even offering was because he was making one for himself. So much for his Sir Galahad approach. It was just a show.'
'And then there was the way he looked at me.'
'How was that?'
'In a funny way.'
'Why doesn't that surprise me...'
'Exactly. Nothing would surprise you about this... this... pervert!'
'Yes pervert. Of course, he had an excuse ready when I challenged him about his lecherous glances. Said he had cataracts. Huh! What kind of an excuse is that? And then do you know what he did to cover his tracks?'
'He took time off work and actually went into hospital to have his ‘so-called’ cataracts removed. Hah! What cataracts? I've heard of some excuses for lascivious behaviour, but that takes the biscuit! And he didn't even offer me a biscuit!'
'When he offered me a coffee. How mean is that?! And another thing...'
'If you'll excuse me, I have other clients to see.'
'Oh, so I'm not important enough. I'll sue you for... libel... No... slander... Defamation of character, even. You see if I don't. I'll have you struck off. Looking at me like that... with your eyes. You're nothing but a lecherous pervert! You want locking up! Yes! Erm... I was wondering...'
'Could you recommend a good lawyer?'
Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we?
Were any famous or notorious individuals born on the 11th of September? Of course there were. Here are some that even I know.
Mungo Park 1771 - Explorer. [I thought it was a street. - Ed.]
Louis Coatalen 1879 - Engine designer. He designed the engine for the first car that exceeded 200mph, the Sunbeam 1000HP.
D. H. Lawrence 1885 - Orfer.
Alvar Lidell 1908 - Newsreader.
Robert McKenzie 1917 - Professor of politics and election statistician. Famously came up with the ‘Swingometer’ which he used on BBC election programmes.
Jessica Mitford 1917 - A posh sister.
Herbert Charles Angelo Kuchacevich ze Schluderpacheru aka Herbert Lom 1917 - Actor. Charles Dreyfus in A Shot in the Dark and five follow-up Pink Panther films, though he was not in the original film of the franchise, The Pink Panther.
Bernard Spear 1919 - Actor. Lewtas in Never Mind the Quality, Feel the Width. Him.
Scott Forbes 1920 - Actor. Jim Bowie in The Adventures of Jim Bowie. Him. [Ooh, I liked him. Bullseye. Great super smashing. - Ed.]
Edwin Richfield 1921 - Actor. Inspector Mornay in Interpol Calling. Him.
Alan Badel 1923 - Actor. Edmond Dantès in The Count of Monte Cristo. Him.
Bill Simpson 1931 - Actor. Dr. Finlay in Dr. Finlay’s Casebook. Him.
Jack Bodell 1940 - Boxy bloke.
Mike Sangster 1940 - Tennisy bloke.
John Greig 1942 - Fitba guy. [Ooh, I love a steak bake, me. - Ed.]
Mike Bull 1946 - Athleticky bloke. Not a real bull.
Julie Covington 1946 - Actress and singer. Here she is singing an Alice Cooper song, Only Women Bleed.
Bob Catley 1947 - Musician. Lead singer with Magnum [Ooh, I love a Magnum; especially the dark chocolate one. - Ed.] Ahem... Here’s It Must Have Been Love.
Gerry Conway 1947 - Drummy bloke. He has worked with a few acts over the years, including Jethro Tull. Here is Beastie.
John Martyn 1948 - Musician. Have a clip. Here’s Couldn't Love You More.
Roger Uttley 1949 - Rugby bloke.
Barry Sheene 1950 - Motorbike racey bloke.
Jon Moss 1957 - Drummy bloke with Culture Club. A clip? Why soitenly. Here’s Time (Clock of the Heart).
Mick Talbot 1958 - Musician. He has been part of many bands, perhaps most famously on keyboards with The Style Council. Here’s one of their many hits, Walls Come Tumbling Down.
Craig Cash 1960 - Writer and actor. Perhaps best known as Dave Best in The Royle Family.
Andy Connell 1961 - Musician. Half of Swing Out Sister. Here’s a hit from 1989, You on My Mind.
Colin Wells 1963 - Actor. Sam Curtis in CI5: The New Professionals. Him.
Russell Lewis 1963 - Actor turned scriptwriter. He devised and writes Endeavour.
Graeme Obree 1965 - Bike racey bloke.
Greg Kane 1966 - Musician. The instrumental half of Hue and Cry. Here is their version of the Kate Bush song, The Man with the Child in his Eyes.
John Spencer 1970 - Fitba guy. Not the snooker player. Ex-Motherwell player, you know.
Francis McDonald 1970 - Drummy bloke with Teenage Fanclub. Here’s a toon called Fallen Leaves.
Richard Ashcroft 1971 - Musician. Frontman with The Verve, but here is a solo hit from 2006, Break the Night with Colour.
Jonny Buckland 1977 - Musician. A bit of Coldplay. Have a clip. Here’s their first single, Brothers and Sisters.
Mark Rhodes 1981 - Who? Half of duo Sam and Mark (Smark) who, as solo artists, were runners up to Michelle McManus on Pop Idol 2. They had a couple of hits before embarking on a career as children’s TV presenters. Want a clip? [Not really. - Ed.] Well, you’re getting one. Here’s The Sun Has Come Your Way.
Daniel Sloss 1990 - Comedian.
Tom Aldred 1990 - Footy bloke. Ex-Motherwell player you know.
And let’s not forget the famous and not-so-famous born on 18th September.
Samuel Johnson 1709 - Lexicographer. They can’t touch you for it.
Fay Compton 1894 - Actress. Aunt Ann in The Forsyte Saga. Her.
Judith Hart 1924 - Politician.
Elizabeth Spriggs 1929 - Actress. Nan in Shine On Harvey Moon. Her.
John Spencer 1935 - Snookery bloke. Not the footballer.
Alex Stepney 1942 - Footy bloke.
Veronica Carlson 1944 - Actress who seemed to be the female interest in most of the Hammer horror films.
John McAfee 1945 - Founder of the McAfee software company.
Jimmy O’Rourke 1946 - Fitba guy. Ex-Motherwell, you know.
Nicholas Clay 1946 - Actor. Mellors in Lady Chatterley’s Lover. Him.
Struan Rodger 1946 - Actor. Sandy McGrath in Chariots of Fire. Him.
Russ Abbot 1947 - Comedian.
Mo Mowlam 1949 - Politician.
Peter Shilton 1949 - Footy bloke.
Douglas Colvin 1951 - Who? Better known as Dee Dee Ramone. A clip? Yes indeedy. Here’s Sheena Is A Punk Rocker.
Tim McInnerny 1956 - Actor. Lord Percy and Captain Darling in the Blackadder series. Him.
Martin Bramah 1957 - Musician. Two time keyboard player with The Fall, having been a founding member who left, rejoined and left again, Bramah formed Blue Orchids in 1979. Here is an early toon from them, The Flood.
John Aldridge 1958 - Footy Bloke.
Linda Lusardi 1958 - Actress, it says here.
Derek Pringle 1958 - Crickety bloke.
John Fashanu 1962 - Footy bloke.
Joanne Catherall 1962 - Singer. Part of Human League. A clip? Why not. Here’s Tell Me When.
John Powell 1963 - Film composer. Has composed the scores to more than 50, mainly animation, films. Here’s the theme from How To Train Your Dragon.
Nigel Clark 1966 - Dodgy musician. Here’s the band’s biggest hit, Good Enough.
Tara Fitzgerald 1967 - Actress. Dr. Eve Lockhart in Waking the Dead. Her.
Darren Gough 1970 - Crickety bloke.
Sol Campbell 1974 - Footy bloke.
Jason Gardener 1975 - Athleticky bloke. Not a gardener as far as we know.
Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima aka Ronaldo 1976 - Futebolista.
Adeel Akhtar 1980 - Actor. Faisal in Four Lions. Him.
Charity Wakefield 1980 - Actress. Georgina in The Great. Her.
Dylan Mills 1984 - Who? Better known as rapper, Dizzee Rascal. A clip? Aye, go on then. Here’s Dirtee Disco.
Cammy Bell 1986 - Fitba guy.
Chris Eubank Jr. 1989 - Boxy bloke.
Matt Targett 1995 - Footy bloke.
I’ve received a letter...
Dear Joanne Gramblerall,
The Human League track The Grambler gave us a link to was a top ten hit in 1995; is it true that your previous top tenner was some nine years earlier? And, if so, what was it called?
How did The Grambler’s predictions fare last time? Not so great. 70 pees we won the previous time, didn’t we? Well, this time we couldn’t even match that... 68 pees back. Tyuh! What happened? Read on...
Bradford vs Walsall - Home win - 7/10
Result - Bradford 1 Walsall 1
Dash it! Hit the bar!
Bradford were left frustrated after a first-half equaliser from Jack ‘Golden’ Earing earned 10-man Walsall a 1-1 draw.
The first 15 minutes provided a tightly contested affair between two clubs at contrasting ends of the table but it was City who drew first blood through Elliot ‘T’ Watt.
A neat one-two between Callum ‘Cap’n’ Cooke and Alex ‘Gilly’ Gilliead forced a Bantams corner, from which the ball dropped to Watt on the edge of the box and he smashed home.
Earing equalised for the visitors against the run of play when he turned in the lively Brendan ‘Ford’ Kiernan's cross three minutes before half-time.
Within a minute of the equaliser, Walsall found themselves down to 10 men when captain Joss ‘Stick’ Labadie was sent off for a dangerous tackle on Gareth ‘Thank’ Evans.
With the man advantage, Bradford manager and ex-Motherwell player, Derek Adams' men continued to pile the pressure on but Walsall's resistance held strong in the second half as they thwarted the Yorkshire side to earn a point.
Bristol Rovers vs Crawley Town - Home win
Result - Bristol Rovers 1 Crawley Town 0
Sub Leon ‘Russell’ Clarke scored within 90 seconds joining play to earn a victory over Crawley.
The striker was introduced at the start of the second half and made an immediate impact, finding space in the box to head home from fellow debutant Antony ‘Good’ Evans' 47th-minute cross.
Goalkeeper James ‘Ring’ Belshaw then protected Rovers' lead with second-half saves from substitute Ashley ‘Sports’ Nadesan twice and Sam ‘Son’ Ashford.
The visitors had the best first-half chances, Tyler ‘Wat’ Frost forcing a save from Belshaw with an 11th-minute drive.
Belshaw also saved bravely at the feet of Jake ‘The Peg’ Hessenthaler in the 32nd minute, while Jake ‘Dick’ Powell headed straight at the Rovers keeper from a 41st-minute free-kick.
Harvey ‘Jennifer’ Saunders might have wrapped up the points for the hosts when shooting wide with five minutes left.
Mansfield vs Harrogate Town - Home win
Result - Mansfield 1 Harrogate 3
An exciting first-half exploded into life with two early goals.
On three minutes Stephen ‘Jack’ McLaughlin sent a free-kick to the far post where Rhys ‘Sowyer’ Oates steered home a perfect finish across keeper Mark ‘Press’ Oxley to put Mansfield ahead.
But the visitors were level within two minutes as Luke ‘Stretch’ Armstrong headed home from a George ‘Jock’ Thomson corner.
Nathan ‘Arch’ Bishop's legs denied Alex ‘Cow’ Pattison on 25 minutes when a corner was cleared to him while, at the other end, Oxley tipped over a goalbound McLaughlin free-kick.
But two minutes into added time Pattison crossed from the right, Armstrong flicked on in the middle and Jack ‘Spotty’ Muldoon was there to apply the finish at the far post.
In an explosive 73rd minute, the Stags were reduced to nine men as Olly ‘Desk’ Clarke was sent off for bringing down Jack ‘Of’ Diamond and, as players squared up, Stephen ‘Mighty’ Quinn was also dismissed as the referee decided he had felled Josh ‘Peter’ Falkingham.
Bishop saved superbly to deny Muldoon and Armstrong but the nine men conceded a third on 81 minutes as Thomson headed home from close range from a Lewis ‘Turner’ Page corner.
Northampton vs Scunthorpe - Home win
Result - Northampton 2 Scunthorpe 0
The Cobblers dominated after Emmanuel ‘Falling’ Onariase's early red card but had to wait until the second half to make it count with ‘Broadway’ Danny Rose and Sam ‘Bob’ Hoskins the men on target.
Onariase saw red after just 20 minutes when he barged over Rose as the striker bore down on goal.
Mitch ‘Doug’ Pinnock's subsequent free-kick slammed into the wall before United almost struck against the run of play as Liam ‘Julia’ Roberts saved from Devarn ‘Dock’ Green and George ‘WH’ Taft's header deflected a fraction wide.
But Northampton dominated and Paul ‘Jerry’ Lewis went close with a header while Rory ‘Doc’ Watson brilliantly kept out Hoskins at point-blank range in first half stoppage-time.
Lewis had further chances in the second half, including a header against the crossbar, and Northampton finally made the breakthrough when Rose stabbed home Hoskins' cross on 63 minutes.
Scunthorpe applied some late pressure but the home side made sure of all three points in stoppage-time when Hoskins forced the ball home after Dylan ‘Billy’ Connolly's shot was cleared off the line.
Port Vale vs Rochdale - Home win
Result - Port Vale 2 Rochdale 3
It was the hosts who were the quicker out of the blocks and deservedly took an eighth-minute lead through Jamie ‘Goodwin’ Proctor.
Advancing centre-back Nathan ‘Barley’ Smith put in a cross from the byline and the striker powered in an unstoppable header from close range.
Rochdale levelled midway through the first half when Alex ‘Eric’ Newby sent O'Keeffe racing down the right, delivering an inch-perfect cross for Jake ‘Max’ Beesley to plant his header into the top corner.
Beesley got his second in the 53rd minute when another impressive team move resulted in Jimmy ‘Leonard’ Keohane picking him out for another fine header which gave goalkeeper Lucas ‘Lamp’ Covolan no chance.
Rochdale's lead lasted just six minutes as Proctor hit his second goal, turning his marker and netting clinically after Tom Conlon found him in the box.
But, with little more than 10 minutes to go, Rochdale substitute Danny ‘Strapped’ Cashman slipped a neat pass in behind the defence for O'Keeffe who made no mistake with his finish.
Game - Result - Odds
Huddersfield vs Nottingham Forest - Home win - 6/5
Middlesbrough vs Blackpool - Home win - 4/5
Peterborough vs Birmingham - Away win - 5/4
Preston vs West Brom - Away win - 5/4
QPR vs Bristol City - 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
1666? Great Fire of London happened that year. It has been suggested that the fire helped to end the plague which was prevalent at the time. We have our own plague just now and there have been a few fires around the world in recent months. Could this be a case of history repeating itself? Discuss.
Yay! How did you get on with last time’s five questions? Here are the answers.
1. Who am I?
I was born in Cardiff in 1989. I began my senior career at Southampton, before moving to Tottenham Hotspur. I moved to Real Madrid in 2013, but am currently on loan to my old club, Spurs.
Answer - Gareth Bale
2. Which club has won each of the four flights of the senior English league, but only once for each?
Answer - Sheffield United
3. Which former Tottenham Hotspur manager has competed in the Dakar Rally?
Answer - Andre Villas-Boas
4. Singer Nicky Byrne from Westlife played for which club before moving into music?
Answer - Leeds United
5. Which former Brazil star spent time in prison after trying to use a fake passport?
Answer - Ronaldhino
Righty-ho, how about another five for this week?
1. Who am I
I was born in 1976 in Rio de Janeiro. I played as a striker and, in a career of 343 club appearances, I scored 247 goals. I was capped 98 times and scored 62 goals. I was known as ‘O Fenômeno’ which means the phenomenon. In 2020, France Football magazine included me in their ‘greatest all-time XI’.
2. Which English club has played the most times in the UEFA Champions League Group Stage?
3. Which South American has scored the most international goals?
4. Who is the only Polish outfield player to have made over 100 Premier League appearances?
5. What Premier League record is shared by Les Ferdinand, Teddy Sheringham, Kevin Campbell and Nicolas Anelka?
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, an unusually sombre end to this week’s edition, because September the 18th marks 51 years since the death of arguably the most innovative guitar player in the world at that time. Jimi Hendrix is still regarded by many as the greatest guitarist ever. I think it only right that we should end this week’s edition with a clip. Here is a live performance of his biggest UK hit, Purple Haze... The one with everybody’s favourite misheard lyric. You know the one. You do...
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.