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…
I am a proggie. There I've said it. I like prog music. They can't touch you for it.
Regular readers of the world's greatest ill-informed blog may recall an article I wrote some time ago about Prog magazine's survey to find the greatest prog musician of all time. Do you remember? It was... ooh... must be about two years back. Any road up, they've done another to determine the readership's favourite artists (or is that artistes?) of 2021.
So, guess who was favourite guitarist? None other than my favourite guitarist, Steve Hackett, 72 and still performing Genesis music at a venue near you in 2022. Yay!
Top band was Big Big Train. Who, I hear you ask. It's a band I've only grown to like over the past couple of years. Oh, I thought... or it might have been oho... no, it was definitely oh... they are more popular than I realised.
Top album was Common Ground by... Big Big Train. They really are popular, I thought.
Top singer? David Longdon of... Big Big Train. Wait a minute, they must be really big (Sorry about that.).
The final category of the survey was for Person of 2021. Guess who... Yes, it went to none other than David Longdon. It's that man again. I was beginning to think I had wasted a good few years of my life by not listening to this mega band earlier than I did.
If I could backtrack a little, to the survey conducted two years ago. Do you recall that the recipient of the title of greatest prog musician of all time was a drummer called Neil Peart? Those of you in the know will remember him as one of the three-man prog band Rush.
Those of you who read my article on the matter of that survey might remember that Neil Peart couldn’t pick up his award in person, because he had snuffed it shortly before the survey was conducted.
My thoughts at the time were that, while he was certainly a formidable drummer, he most certainly was not the greatest prog musician of all time. The, I think, undeniable reason for him winning was that his death was still fresh in the minds of those that voted.
I think you know what is coming. David Longdon, the winner of so many of the 2021 awards, died in November, just before the survey was conducted.
Who placed second? None other that top axeman Steve Hackett.
I think a little tweak of the categories is required...
Ladeez and Genullum, Steve Hackett wins the title of Person (who is still alive) of 2021. Yay!
Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we?
Were any famous or not so well-known individuals born on the 19th of February? Of course there were. Here are some that even I know.
David Garrick 1717 - Ector.
Cedric Hardwicke 1893 - Ector. Pharaoh Sethi in The Ten Commandments.
Jack Haworth 1896 - Actor. Albert Tatlock in Coronation Street. Have a clip. Here’s The Skids with TV Stars.
Al bert Tat lock!
Merle Oberon 1911 - Actress. Anne Boleyn in The Private Life of Henry VIII.
Dick Emery 1915 - Comedian. Very popular in the 1960s, he was.
Mike Sammes 1928 - Singer and leader of the singing combo, The Mike Sammes Singers. [How original. - Ed.] They had just one record in the charts, Somewhere My Love.
Gerald Sinstadt 1930 - Footy commentator.
Pat Crerand 1939 - Fitba guy.
Erin Pizzey 1939 - Activist against domestic abuse.
Gwen Taylor 1939 - Actress. Peggy Armstrong in Heartbeat.
Phil Coulter 1942 - Musician, songwriter and producer. As a songwriter he and lyricist Bill Martin penned four Number One hits in the UK - Puppet on a String, Congratulations, Forever and Ever and, as this is a footy blog (of sorts), this one, Back Home.
Jon Whiteley 1945 - Actor. I say actor, he only appeared in five films when he was just a kid, but one of them, The Kidnappers, was a favourite of mine when I was a nipper. The plot revolves around two young brothers, Harry and Davy, staying with their grandfather who ‘find’ a baby and decide to look after him. Even as a youngster, I enjoyed comedy and liked the funny moments...
‘What are we going to call him, Harry?’
‘I’m going to call him Edward.’
‘Oh... I wanted to call him Rover.’
Glyn Matthias 1945 - Broadcasting journalist.
Tony Iommi 1948 - Guitarist and mainstay of Black Sabbath, but did you know he was once very, very briefly a member of Jethro Tull. Oh yes. And here is the evidence... Who’s the cat in the white hat on this famous recording of Song for Jeffrey?
Simon Jeffes 1949 - Musician. You may not know his name, but you may know his most famous creation, Still Life at the Penguin Cafe. No? Here’s a clip to help you, Music for a Found Harmonium.
Eddie Hardin 1949 - Musician. Took on the Steve Winwood role in The Spencer Davis Group MkII. Here’s a tune for you oldies out there... Ma..a...a...agpie.
Andy Powell 1950 - Musician. Mainstay of Wishbone Ash. Here’s a wee medley from their early days, Blind Eye/Lady Whiskey.
Eric Knowles 1953 - Antiques expert. He’s on all those antiques programmes the Beeb keeps churning out.
Dave Wakeling 1956 - Musician. Main man of The Beat. They were known as The British Beat in the US of A, because they already had a band called The Beat. Excuse me? The Beat was an English ska band formed in 1978. The Yankee version wasn’t formed until 1979. So don’t go calling them The British Beat, Uncle Sam. No. Call your lot The American Beat! Anyway, here’s The Beat’s biggest UK hit, Can't Get Used To Losing You. Incidentally, that didn’t even chart in the US. Maybe they took exception to somebody daring to reggaefy (I think I just made that word up) Andy Williams.
Ray Winstone 1957 - ’E’s an ector, in he? ’E’s known for being a professional Cockney, in he? Although he now delegates some of his duties to Danny Dyer.
Helen Fielding 1958 - Orfer. Bridget Jones is her most famous creation.
Lesley Ash 1960 - Actress. Steph in Quadrophenia.
Prince Andrew, Duke of York 1960 - The well-known no... [Stop right there! - Ed.] I was going to say nobility personage.
Justin Fashanu 1961 - Footy bloke.
Henry Samuel aka Seal 1963 - Singer songwriter. Have a clip. Here’s Prayer for the Dying.
Malky Mackay 1972 - Fitba guy.
Lisa Faulkner 1972 - Actress and celebrity chef.
Barry Smith 1974 - Fitba guy.
Andrew Buchan 1979 - Actor. Mark Latimer in Broadchurch.
Mo Gilligan 1988 - Comedian.
Sone Aluko 1989 - Footy bloke.
Luke Pasqualino 1990 - Actor. Freddie in Skins.
Luke Newberry 1990 - Actor. Monty Blackett in The Singapore Grip.
Jason Holt 1993 - Fitba guy.
I’ve received a letter...
Dear Dave Grambling,
It was wonderful to hear a song by your ska band The Beat with you singing and Grambling Roger doing the talkie bits. I know you had a few hits way back. What was your first top ten single?
How did The Grambler’s predictions fare last time? I’ll tell you later. What happened? Read on.
Blackpool vs Bournemouth - Away win
Result - Blackpool 1 Bournemouth 2
Siriki Dembele scored a last-gasp winner for Bournemouth, who came from behind to win with two late goals at Blackpool.
Josh Bowler's superb strike gave Blackpool the lead, after striker Dominic Solanke's penalty was saved by home keeper Daniel Grimshaw.
Bournemouth equalised with four minutes remaining when Todd Cantwell's ball into the box was deflected towards Jamal Lowe, who fired home.
And in the final moments Dembele picked the ball up on the right [Surely, that’s rugby. - Ed.]... ahem... before fizzing a low shot past Grimshaw.
Hull vs Fulham - Away win
Result - Hull 0 Fulham 1
Aleksandar Mitrovic scored his 31st league goal of the season as Fulham got a narrow win at Hull City.
The away side had the better of the play in the first half but it was the hosts who should have taken the lead when Marcus Forss shot wide after getting in on goal following a mix-up in the Whites defence.
Mitrovic headed home a cross from Neco Williams to put Marco Silva's men in front.
Hull stayed in it but never really looked like getting an equaliser.
Reading vs Coventry - Away win
Result - Reading 2 Coventry 3
Lucas Joao headed the hosts in front, with Sky Blues captain Dominic Hyam equalising from close range on the stroke of half-time.
Michael Rose then put Coventry ahead from a corner, only for Andy Yiadom to level through the same method before his team-mate Junior Hoilett was sent off.
Ian Maatsen's deflected effort sealed the away side's win
Cowdenbeath vs Forfar - Away win - 7/10
Result - Void
I’m not sure why, but this match did not take place. Woo hoo, 20 pees back.
Queen of the South vs Arbroath - Away win
For some odd reason, The Grambler has gone against his/her/its rules and selected a game from a date other than the Saturday of the blog’s issue. Naughty Grambler. This match is due to take place on Saturday the 19th of February. As things stand, I could cash in the bet beforehand and win £4.14... It is very tempting. As the weather forecast for the weekend is snow, it is possible that the game will be cancelled. What a dilemma.
Anyway, The Grambler has treated us to five random predictions for this week (definitely the 19th of February). What has he/she/it come up with?
Game - Result - Odds
Blackburn vs Millwall - Home win - 19/20
Derby vs Peterborough - Home win - 19/20
Preston vs Reading - Home win - 8/11
QPR vs Hull - Home win - 5/6
Stoke vs Birmingham - Home win - 4/5
The bets have been placed - Ten 20 pee doubles plus a single 20 pee accumulator. If the results go as predicted by The Grambler... if the matches even get played... the Bobby Moore Fund will be richer to the tune of a whopping
Too whopping by half.
Yay! How did you get on with the five teasers set last time? Here are the answers.
1. Who am I?
I was born in St. Asaph, boyo, in 1961. I began my senior career at Chester in 1978. I moved to Liverpool in 1980, the first of two spells there. In total, I played 469 games for The Reds, scoring 389 goals. I was capped 73 times for Wales.
Answer - Ian Rush
2. Which manager has been in charge of the most games in the English and Scottish leagues?
Answer - Alec Ferguson with a total of 2155
3. How many major European titles have Manchester City won?
Answer - One - European Cup Winners Cup in 1970
4. What statistic is shared by Queen’s Park, Birmingham City, Crystal Palace and Watford?
Answer - They have all played and lost two F.A. Cup Finals.
5. Which Spanish player has been capped more than any other?
Answer - Sergio Ramos with 180 ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY!
Shall we have five for this week? I think we shall.
1. Who am I?
I was born in 1984 in Buenos Aires. I began and ended my senior career at Boca Juniors. I played for English clubs West Ham, Manchester United and Manchester City. I played 517 games during my club career, scoring 227 goals. I was capped 76 times for my country. As a child I was accidentally seared with boiling water which resulted in a burn scar running from my right ear down to my chest.
2. Which Premier League side was originally called St. Luke’s F.C.?
3. Which club features a male red deer on its crest?
4. What is Anatoliy Puzach’s unique claim to fame?
5. Which player was known by the name Tulipano Nero (Black Tulip)? [Ooh... Black Tulip... So scary. And, yes, I am being sarcastic. - Ed.]
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 am indebted to a Mr. R. Emery who is included in this week’s birthday honours and provides us with our final item this week. Emery was one of Britain’s most popular entertainers in the 1960s and 1970s. He made 19 series of The Dick Emery Show for the Beeb between 1963 and 1981. His comedy shows featured him playing various characters such as Mandy (You are awful, but I like you.), Old Lampkin, Ton-up boy, Traffic warden, Hettie, Bovver boy (I got it wrong again, Dad. Incidentally, ‘Dad’ was played by Roy Kinnear, almost 20 years Emery’s junior.), Clarence (Hello, honky tonks.), Sporting gent, College and Vicar. So, ladeez and genullum, sit back and enjoy some examples of 1970s’ humour. Warning: It is neither woke nor PC.
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.