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…
Before I start this week, I believe an apology is in order. Two days late. Sorry about that. Mrs G and I went away for a few days and I took Trusty the laptop with me, planning to post this week's edition. Unfortunately, the place we stayed was so out of the way that the was not only no WiFi coverage, there wasn't even a phone signal. Peace, perfect peace... but no Grambler for you. We're back now so on with the blog...
I despair, I really do. [Explain. - Ed.] I was driving the other day when I was stopped at traffic lights. I couldn’t help but notice the driver of the car in the inside lane. He was smartly dressed and wearing a tie. A businessman, no doubt. The car he was driving was also a bit of a giveaway; a brand spanking new BMW. A successful businessman, then. However, it wasn’t his attire or his choice of car which drew my attention; it was the fact that, while stationary at the lights he was swigging from a can of ‘energy drink’. When he finished it, he opened the window and dropped the empty can out of it. Unfortunately, though the drink may give you wings, the can is not so equipped and it fell straight onto the road.
We live in a throwaway society; sadly, some people take that just too literally.
The other day, I was reading an article which bemoaned the amount of rubbish that gets dumped willy nilly, or nilly willy if you prefer. The writer came up with a solution that he perceived as a joke, nothing more. [A throwaway line! Ha! - Ed.] Ahem, he suggested that whenever anyone bought anything at a drive-through restaurant... All right, the one with the big yellow M... the car’s registration should be noted on the packaging so that any buyer who dumped the empties could be traced. It was, as I said, meant as a joke, but it is actually a sensible solution. It goes a little way towards reducing people’s littering. And it set me thinking. [Uh oh, dangerous. - Ed.]
It struck me that it is possible to go much, much further. Sadly, we in Britain currently have a terrible attitude about dropping litter. I’m sorry, I’m generalising a little there. Most of us are happy to take our litter home to put into our bins. However, there is a minority that does not think that way. Unfortunately, while they may be the minority of the population as a whole, they constitute (That’s a good word, I wonder what it means... Cons? frauds? Tit? little bird? Ute? Work vehicle? No. Something not right there.) the majority of people who buy takeaway food.
They also tend to pay by card, or mobile phone, or smarty boots watch. [And your point is? - Ed.] Those cards can be traced. [And your point is? - Ed.] So, it is possible to trace them. [And your point is? - Ed.] I’ll explain. [Please do. - Ed.] You’ve heard of track and trace, where, if you have the correct app on your phone, you can be traced if you have been in the vicinity of anyone who has tested positive for covid? [Yes. - Ed.] Well, this is the same. [No it isn’t. - Ed.] Okay, it isn’t, but it could be. Pull up a chair and I’ll tell ee how...
We have some clever technology these days and it could, I am sure, be used to trace dropped rubbish from takeaway restaurants. How so, I hear you ask. Well, you have to present your card to a ‘reader’ to make a payment, don’t you? This same reader could also be designed to allow it to be used to somehow link your payment card to the containers you are purchasing. I know it sounds like technology which is just too clever in a big brother is watching you sort of way, but I reckon it could be done. I envisage a card reader which can then be connected to a qr code printed on each container of your purchase, like a shop checkout reader, thus registering your card to that piece of packaging. Clever, huh?
Then, if ever you drop litter, it can be traced back to you. It wouldn’t take very long for our motorway slip roads to be free of litter; once a driver has been stung with a hefty fine or two, he (and it invariably is a he) will soon stop dropping litter out of his car.
I think that is an absolutely brilliant way to stop litter louts.
Dear Mr or Mrs Dragon’s Den...
Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we?
Were any famous or not so well-known individuals born on the 15 of January? Of course there were. Here are some that even I know.
Ivor Novello 1893 - Composer and actor. Wrote a few famous, if somewhat sentimental, toons. Here is one from the early days of the Great War; The D-Day Darlings (seriously) sing Keep the Home Fires Burning.
Uffa Fox 1898 - Yachty bloke. He used to suffer terribly from a pain which was never fully diagnosed; it became known simply as the Uffa Fox ache.
Hugh Fraser 1903 - Shopkeeper.
Charles Hill 1904 - Politician and Radio doctor.
Torin Thatcher 1905 - Actor. Tended to play baddies. 153 credits on IMDb so his villainy seemed to be much in demand. Boo!
Pamela Cundell 1920 - Actress. Mrs Fox in Dad’s Army. She married Jonesy.
Frank Thornton 1921 - Actor. Captain Peacock in Are You Being Served.
Ivor Cutler 1923 - Poet? Musician? Actor? Hard to pin him down. Eccentric? Judge for yourself; here’s Shoplifters.
Frank Bough 1933 - Television presenter.
Margaret Beckett 1943 - Politician.
Princess Michael of Kent 1945 - A princess. [Is she transgender? - Ed.]
David Pleat 1945 - Footy bloke.
Pete Waterman 1947 - Record producer, songwriter, radio and club DJ, television presenter and Thomas the Tank Engine fan.
Ian Stewart 1949 - Runny bloke.
Peter ‘Biff’ Byford 1951 - Musician and kitchen furniture salesman. He was the front man with Saxon. Let’s have a bit of Metal with And The Bands Played On.
Gareth Hale 1953 - Comedian and actor. Famous as half of comedy duo Hale & Pace. [Which was he? - Ed.]
Pete Trewavas 1959 - Bassist with Marillion and part of prog ‘supergroup’ Transatlantic. Here’s a couple of tracks from their 2021 album The Absolute Universe - Overture/Reaching For The Sky.
Katy Murphy 1963 - Actress. Miss Toner in Tutti Frutti.
Jackie Baillie 1964 - Politician.
James Nesbitt 1965 - Octor from Norn Ehrnd.
Ged Brannan 1972 - Footy bloke. Ex-Motherwell, you know.
Edith Bowman 1975 - DJ and TV presenter.
Kevin Harper 1976 - Fitba guy.
Ryan Sidebottom 1978 - Crickety bloke.
Jermaine Pennant 1983 - Footy bloke.
Eric Dier 1994 - Footy bloke.
Now then, what about 22nd of January? There must be a few names I might recognise.
Francis Bacon 1561 - Philosopher and statesman.
Leslie Sarony 1897 - Entertainer. Have a clip. This is a song which was covered many years later by The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, Jollity Farm.
Horace Batchelor 1898 - Pools predictor. Sorry pardon excuse me? Yes, he used to advertise on Radio Luxembourg a sure-fire system of winning the football pools. Ask your dad. The ads became famous because of the way he spelled out the name of the town he lived in, Keynsham. In fact, talking of The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, they named one of their albums Keynsham. They often made reference to old Horace and if you listen carefully to this clip you may spot his name. Ladeez and genullum, please enjoy The Intro And The Outro.
Joe Gladwin 1906 - Actor. He were a greaaaat baker were our dad.
Dixie Dean 1907 - Footy bloke.
Mary Hayley Bell 1911 - Orfer. Wrote Whistle Down the Wind which was later made into a film starring her daughter Hayley Mills.
Alf Ramsay 1920 - Footy bloke.
Betty Alberge 1922 - Actress. Florrie Lindley in Coronation Street. She was in the very first scene in the first episode shown.
Claire Rayner 1931 - Writer and TV agony aunt.
John Hurt 1940 - Ectaw, luvvie. His first screen appearance was in Z Cars in 1962; his last was in Damascus Cover in 2017. In total 211 credits in IMDb. You could say he was always in demand.
Malcolm McLaren 1946 - The man who gave us The Sex Pistols.
Nigel Pegrum 1949 - Musician. One-time drummer with Steeleye Span. Let’s have a clip. Here he features on Thomas the Rhymer.
Francis Wheen 1957 - Journo, writer and broadcaster.
Nigel Benn 1964 - Boxy bloke. Tony’s lad. [That can’t be right. - Ed.]
Andrew Roachford 1965 - Singer/songwriter. What’s this? It’s a cuddly toy.
Nick Gillingham 1967 - Swimmy bloke.
Raquel Cassidy 1968 - Actress. Phyllis Baxter in Downton Abbey. By the way, did you know that there another Phyllis Baxter who just happens to be a porn star. Don’t ask how I know such a fact. Put it this way, my Google images setting is now on safesearch. [What was her name again? I’ll just make a note of that. - Ed.]
Stan Collymore 1971 - Footy bloke.
Paul Gerrard 1973 - Footy bloke.
Jonathan Woodgate 1980 - Footy bloke.
Nicholas Pert 1981 - Chessy bloke.
Stephen Vaughn Jr. 1985 - Footy bloke. I reckon the guy who writes my source material isn’t keen on Mr. Vaughn; the description describes him as ‘English footballer and full time w***er’.
Phil Wang 1990 - Comedian.
Tommy Knight 1993 - Actor. Brodie in Victoria.
I’ve received a letter...
Dear(ly departed) Ivor Grambler,
We always loved your quirky poems and songs, but here is something that has puzzled us both. Many years ago, ooh it must have been some time in the nineteen sixties, were you in a rather strange film made by a popular beat combo of the time? We think your character name was Mr Bloodvessel. And weren’t The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band also in it? We can’t remember its title, though. Can you help?
How did The Grambler’s predictions fare last time? Well, would you Adam and Eve it, we actually won. Yay? Yes, indeed, yay. £10.64. Woo hoo! Unfortunately, I can’t give you match reports for some of the games because they were from the lower Scottish divisions which, of course, don’t seem to matter to the English-based writers!
Gillingham vs Ipswich - Away win
Result - Gillingham 0 Ipswich 4
You want me to say yay, don’t you? Oh, all right, then.
James Norwood opened the scoring in the ninth minute, finishing off an impressive Town move involving Janoi Donacien, Macauley Bonne and captain Sam Morsy.
Wes Burns then fired past Gillingham goalkeeper Jamie Cumming from an acute angle after 13 minutes to double the visitors' lead following Bonne's driving run and pass.
Bonne deservedly got in on the act to all-but seal Ipswich's victory when he slotted home unmarked from Matt Penney's low cross after just 23 minutes.
George Edmundson had a header deflected wide and Penney blazed over at the end of a Town counter-attack as Ipswich continued to dominate after the break.
The hosts' torrid afternoon continued when midfielder Daniel Phillips was dismissed for collecting two yellow cards in the space of four minutes.
Substitute Conor Chaplin capped Ipswich's dominant display in the 85th minute when he scored their fourth from the penalty spot after Max Ehmer bundled over Joe Pigott.
Queen of the South vs Kilmarnock - Away win
Result - Queen of the South 0 Kilmarnock 2
Visiting captain Chris Stokes bundled in from a corner as half-time approached.
Earlier, Chris Burke and Rory McKenzie had been denied by a double goal-line clearance as Killie dominated.
Oli Shaw won and converted a penalty in the second half to wrap up the win.
Clyde vs Cove Rangers - Away win
Result - Clyde 0 Cove Rangers 1
No match report, but I can tell you that Ex-Motherwell player, Ian Vigurs, scored the goal.
Stirling vs Kelty Hearts - Away win
Result - Stirling 0 Kelty Hearts 3
No match report.
Cowdenbeath vs Annan - Away win
Result - Cowdenbeath 1 Annan Athletic 3
[It’s obvious you don’t win very often. - Ed.]
You’re telling me! No match report.
A great start to 2022 from The Grambler. Can he/she/it replicate (I’m full of good words this week.) it this week? [Don’t talk so daft. - Ed.] Let’s see what he/she/it has come up with...
Game - Result - Odds
Birmingham vs Barnsley - Home win - 3/4
Stoke vs Fulham - Away win - 10/11
Morecambe vs Wycombe - Away win - 17/20
Salford vs Colchester - Home win - 8/11
Scunthorpe vs Newport - Away win - 10/11
The bets have been 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
Yay! How did you get on with the five teasers set in the last edition? Here are the answers.
1. Who am I?
I was born in 1924. I played as a centre half for Wolverhampton Wanderers for my entire playing career making 490 appearances in all. I was capped 105 times for England, the first English player to reach the magic ton. I was captain of the national side for 11 years.
Answer - Billy Wright [Wasn’t he married to The Beverley Sisters? - Ed.]
2.What was unusual about the England side that beat Wales on the 21st of November 1962?
Answer - It was the last time England fielded a team with players from eleven different clubs.
3. Which famous singer had a trial for Brentford FC in 1960?
Answer - Rod Stewart
4. At which club did David Moyes begin his career as a football manager?
Answer - Preston North End
5. Which club has the Latin motto ‘Nil satis nisi optimum’ - which translates as Nothing but the best is good enough.
Answer - Everton [What happened against Norwich on Saturday? - Ed.]
Five for this week? Why not.
1. Who am I?
I was born in Stepney in 1980. A left-back, I began my senior career at Arsenal making 156 appearances before being transferred to Chelsea where I played in 229 matches. I was capped 107 times for England, making me the most capped full-back.
2. How long did Brian Clough spend as manager of Leeds United?
3. Who has scored the most Premier League goals for Liverpool?
4. What record is held by Fred Everiss?
5. Which English club’s crest features a lion, a goose and two bees?
There you have it; five teasers to test you. As always, try and answer them before shouting out Hey Googly, Syria or Alexis. Please feel free to pass on the link to your pals so that they can enjoy The Grambler’s footy teasers too.
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. The amount raised is a little out of date, though. Check the Justgiving page link given at the beginning of this blog to see the current figure.
And finally, Cyril? And finally, Esther, I would like to draw your attention to a recurring theme in this week’s edition of the world’s greatest ill-informed blog and that is the repeated mention of a certain motley group of musicians who achieved a modicum of fame in the late 1960s. Yes, I’m talking about the Bongo Dog Diddley Doo Band... the Bingo Dig Dog Dug Band? Something like that, anyway. Indeed they even had a number one hit and here it isn’t. Ladeez and genullum please put your hands and knees together for The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band (I was close) with Death Cab for Cutie.
Incidentally, they performed that song on the Beatles film, Magical Mystery Tour.
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.