Friday 4 February 2022

Post 437 - An explosive gramble


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 .

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.

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


Story time...

Well jings, crivvens, help ma boab and michty me, I'm right scunnered wi thon Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland so ahm ur.

Translation: Oh dear, well well well, I'm very disappointed in the ICAS, I really am.

What the fu... what are you on about, I hear you ask. Apparently, the good folk at the above mentioned professional body have deemed it wrong to use Scots words and have prepared an instruction to its members advising them of its findings. Its authors believe that non-inclusive words used frequently in Scotland could confuse people from overseas or, indeed, other parts of Britain.

My first thought on reading the article about this instruction was, how dare they complain about the language of the Scottish people. My second thought was, how many chartered accountants talk like that when discussing business. How dare they waste time coming up with such findings.

It really is becoming ridiculous that people will complain about such matters. I wouldn't say it’s wokedom at play again, but common sense tells us that such directives are totally unnecessary. As I said, no professional person, whether they are a chartered accountant or a banking (I said banking) executive, would use such a way of speaking when discussing business matters. We all adjust our language to suit the occasion. No professional person would be, for example, effing and blinding when at work (The exception is footballers, of course.) but they might resort to foul and more colloquial language when with pals in the pub.

Another part of this advisory document suggests that the use of confusing expressions such as 'raining cats and dogs' be avoided. I can agree with that to some extent. That expression doesn't make sense to anyone. Probably not even the person saying it. How can rain be likened to such animals? It's an expression that was always lost on me. Paddle your own canoe is a better example. It means you are on your own, mate. Don't say it to someone with English as a second language, though. That would really confuse them... 'Pagayer mon canoe? Je n'ai pas de canoe. Vous etes un idiot!'

However, where this guidance information does become very wokey is when it starts advising its members to avoid using gender specific terms. Thus, it suggests that the word parents should be used instead of mums and dads; children should be used instead of boys and girls.

What do you say when you are addressing a group of men and women? If you can't say hello ladies and gentlemen, what can you say? Hello people? Hello individuals? Hello folks and what about the workers?* Certainly not hello guys, a term used far too much by over-friendly waiters and waitresses... sorry, meant table servers.

And here's one that ought to really screw up their findings. Can you no longer refer to your parents' siblings as uncle and aunt? Come on you directive authors, work that one out. You can't, can you?

In conclusion, I would like to address the perpetrators of this nonsensical directive by saying, 'Gonnae stop f***ing aboot and dae something mair useful; like work. Ya f***ing numpties.'

I feel better for that.

* A favourite line of Eric Morecambe’s.




Birthday honours...

Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we?

Were any famous or not so well-known individuals born on the 5th of February? Of course there were. Here are some that even I know.

Robert Peel 1788 - Politician who coined the phrase, evening all.

John Boyd Dunlop 1840 - Vet who invented the pneumatic tyre.

Patsy Hendren 1889 - Crickety bloke.

W. E. Johns 1893 - Pilot and orfer. Gave us Biggles.

Dai Francis 1911 - Trade unionist, isn’t it.

Frank Muir 1920 - Scriptwriter and radio personality.

Derek ‘Blaster’ Bates 1923 - Explosives and demolition expert and raconteur.

John Nettleton 1929 - Actor. Sir Arnold Robinson, Cabinet Secretary in Yes Minister.

Alex Harvey 1935 - Musician. Have a clip. I may have given you a link to this before, but it’s a good un’ so here it is again, The Boston Tea Party.

Brian Luckhurst 1939 - Crickety bloke.

Charlotte Rampling 1946 - Actress. Lucia in The Night Porter.

Tom Wilkinson 1948 - Actor. Gerald in The Full Monty.

Christopher Guest 1948 - Screenwriter, director, comedian, musician and actor. In fact, a right old smarty boots. Nigel Tufnol in This Is Spinal Tap.

Russell Grant 1951 - Astrologer and TV personality.

Alex Forsyth 1952 - Fitba guy. Ex-Motherwell, you know.

Daniel Postgate 1964 - Illustrator, writer and owner of Smallfilms.

Michael Sheen 1969 - Actor. Latter-day Mike Yarwood. Has played Tony Blair, Kenneth Williams, David Frost, Brian Clough and Chris Tarrant.

Billy Dodds 1969 - Fitba guy.

Alison Hammond 1975 - Actress, presenter and perpetual ‘celebrity’.

Ben Ainslie 1977 - Hello sailor.

Jo Swinson 1980 - Politician.

Steven Craig 1981 - Fitba guy. Ex-Motherwell, you know.

Henry Golding 1987 - Actor. Tom in Last Christmas.

Jordan Rhodes 1990 - Footy bloke/fitba guy.








I’ve received a letter...

Dear Alex Grambley,

It was nice to hear a record by your beat combo The Sensational Alex Grambley Band, but I don’t believe it was your most successful single. I seem to recall you did a version of a Tom Jones song, but I can’t remember which. Can you help?

Yours with anticipation,

D. Lila.



Gramble time...

How did The Grambler’s predictions fare last time? Well, we won. Really. Actually in profit. We won some money. £3.68 from our £2.20 stake. I know, I can’t believe it either. What happened? Read on.



Barnsley vs Bournemouth - Away win

Result - Barnsley 0 Bournemouth 1


Philip ‘Energy’ Billing headed home Dominic Solanke's cross after goalkeeper Brad Collins had been caught out of position and should have doubled the lead before half-time when he shot over from close range following good work on the left by Ryan ‘Agatha’ Christie.

Barnsley, threatened either side of the break as Mark ‘Mary’ Travers saved well from Callum ‘Harry’ Styles and (ex-Motherwell man) Devante ‘King’ Cole.

The Tykes drew a blank in front of their own fans despite a determined second-half effort as Bournemouth held on for the three points despite the late dismissal of Gary Cahill for a poor challenge on Cole.


QPR vs Reading - Home win

Result - QPR 4 Reading 0


Lyndon ‘Tattoo’ Dykes scored with two first-half headers before team-mate Luke Amos fired the ball in off the bar.

Jimmy Dunne nodded home after the break to add further gloss to the win.


Cheltenham vs Wigan - Away win

Result - Cheltenham 0 Wigan 0

Ooh! ’It the bar!

Alfie ‘Cumquat’ May's corner was nodded into the middle by Will ‘Pot’ Boyle and Callum ‘Allus’ Wright headed over from a good position in the fifth minute as Cheltenham started well.

Gwion ‘King’ Edwards saw a low shot flash wide of the left post at the other end in the 24th minute, but the leaders found it hard to break down their well-drilled hosts.

May fired wide after the ball fell kindly to him in the Wigan box in the 28th minute.

Wigan missed a big chance to take the lead eight minutes after half-time when Graeme Shinnie's pass was helped on by the chest of Josh Magennis into the path of Will Keane, but the striker could not hit the target and injured himself in the process.

Jack Whatmough shot straight at Evans. Ben Williams was sent off for a second yellow card in stoppage time.


Doncaster vs Plymouth - Away win

Result - Doncaster 1 Plymouth 3


Doncaster took the lead after 10 minutes when an attempt to clear a Tommy ‘Dizzy’ Rowe cross was sliced straight at Branden ‘Tim’ Horton, who turned home.

Rovers could have extended their advantage through new signing Mipo Odubeko and Josh Martin.

But Plymouth grabbed the equaliser in the 23rd minute when Luke Jephcott powered in a cutback from Niall ‘Rutle’ Ennis.

Doncaster were the most threatening before the break and should have been ahead with Odubeko missing a pair of chances.

Plymouth moved 2-1 in front after 63 minutes when an unmarked Joe Edwards headed home a deep cross from Macaulay Gillesphey.

Both sides rattled the post in quick succession with Rowe volleying off the upright shortly before Jephcott almost doubled his tally.

Argyle extended their advantage when substitute Jordan ‘David’ Garrick smashed in from 10 yards with 11 minutes remaining.


Gillingham vs Oxford - Away win

Result - Gillingham 2 Oxford 7


Cameron ‘Laura’ Brannagan scored four penalties as Oxford ran riot in an impressive 7-2 victory over Gillingham.

Billy Bodin fired the visitors in front after eight minutes, brilliantly cutting inside Max Ehmer to poke past Pontus ‘Pilate’ Dahlberg at the end of an incisive counter-attack.

Oxford doubled their lead soon after as Brannagan coolly converted his first penalty of the afternoon, awarded by Bobby ‘Songs’ Madley for Olly Lee's lunge on Matty ‘Thirty Bob’ Taylor.

Taylor all but sealed Oxford's win just 19 minutes into the game when he glanced his header from Bodin's free-kick into the bottom corner.

Brannagan extended the visitors' advantage three minutes after half-time with his second spot-kick, one that he won himself after being bundled over by the careless Dahlberg.

The U's midfielder then became the first player in English football since Gillingham's Josh Wright nearly five years ago to score a hat-trick of penalties, blazing his third off the inside of the post following Jack Tucker's foul on Sam Long.

Danny ‘Hugh’ Lloyd beat Oxford goalkeeper Jack Stevens at the second attempt to claim one back for the Gills.

After substitute Daniel Phillips was adjudged to have handled in the box, Brannagan completed his unforgettable day seven minutes from time with the best of his four spot-kicks.

Gillingham added a second late on through Robbie McKenzie before substitute Anthony Forde slid to knock Ryan Williams' cross into an empty net for Oxford's seventh.


So close to a full house. Never mind. What has The Grambler randomly selected for us this week?

Game - Result - Odds

Charlton vs Wimbledon - Home win - 10/11

MK Dons vs Lincoln - Home win - 10/11

Shrewsbury vs Fleetwood - Home win - Evens

Orient vs Colchester - Home win - 17/20

Hibs vs St Mirren - Home win - 17/20


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


Do you want a short history lesson? [Not really. - Ed.] I wondered to myself if anything interesting happened in the year 1278 and found a tale of anti-semitism that rivals that of 20th century Nazi Germany. And it happened in England. At this time, Jews were deprived of a legal livelihood, were limited as to where they could live and were required to wear a yellow badge to identify them as Jewish. Sound familiar? Worse was to come. Coins at that time were made from precious metals and were not milled around their circumference as modern day coins are. Coin clipping was rife at this time and it was treated as being a capital crime if anyone was found interfering with currency. Though many people were guilty of coin clipping and Jews were singled out as being responsible and many were arrested. The following year 300 (out of a population of 3000) Jews were executed. Only 29 non-Jews were executed. There followed the expulsion of Jews and by 1290 all had been forced to leave.

Not the cheeriest of subjects, but it just shows that whenever there is a crisis, there is a minority who will be blamed.




Teaser time...

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 Gateshead in 1967. I began my senior career at Newcastle United, before several moves to, among others, Spurs, Lazio, Rangers, Middlesbrough and Everton. I was capped 57 times for England. Wikipedia says that I was ‘widely recognised as the most naturally talented English footballer of his generation’.

Answer - Paul Gascoigne

2. Who has made the most Premier League appearances for Crystal Palace?

Answer - Wilfried Zaha

3. Who was the last English manager of Arsenal?

Answer - Steve Burtenshaw who was caretaker manager for two months from March 1986.

4. How many Scots have managed F.A. Cup winning teams?

Answer - 18 (Don’t ask me to list them.)

5. Which African national teams have the nicknames Super Eagles (for the men’s team) and Super Falcons (for the women’s team)?

Answer - Nigeria

How about another five to test you this week? Why not.

1. Who am I?

I was born in Lanarkshire in 1922. During my playing career, I played over 200 games for Albion Rovers and 100 games for Celtic. I am better known for my career as a manager; I managed Celtic for 13 years and Scotland for seven.

2. Which manager has won the F.A. Cup the most times?

3. Who was the youngest manager to win the Premier League Title?

4. Who was the only African to win Chelsea’s Player of the Year Award?

5. In what country was Raheem Stirling born?

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




Please, take a few minutes to watch an informative little video from Mersh (a great friend of Stewart’s).

Click on this link: 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...

And finally, Cyril? And finally, Esther, I am indebted to a Mr. D. Bates, better known as ‘Blaster’ Bates, explosives expert and raconteur. Are you ready for a bit of Hovis time? [Oh gawd. - Ed.] When I were a lad, we had a friend of the family who came from Crewe (as did Blaster), worked at Rolls-Royce (as did Blaster) and had served in the Royal Air Force during WWII (as had Blaster). Frank, for that was his name, was a huge fan of Blaster Bates... local lad done good... and had several records of his funny, but earthy, stories. I recall an occasion when he put a record on to let my dad hear some of them. Obviously, he had forgotten that dad had a seven year old kid in tow (me). After hearing a few bloodies, a couple of buggers and a lot of shites, my old man decided that this was not for my ears and dragged me off home. Any road up, when I grew up I got to hear some of Blaster’s tales and thoroughly enjoyed them. So, to end this week’s edition, here is a short extract from one of his hilarious after-dinner talks. I will warn you now, it is definitely not woke. Ladeez and genullum, I give you (with coarse language intact) Blaster Bates.



Here, stick this in your back pocket.


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 where you can also catch up on any previous editions you may have missed.


Happy grambling.


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