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…
WARNING in big capital letters. This week's story time might cause offence as it could upset just about everybody.
Those of you who are regular readers of this esteemed blog know that I occasionally don't call a spade an earth moving implement. This is especially true when it comes to the topic of disability which is, of course, a dirty word, the woke generation of snowflakes now insisting that nobody is dis-abled, but differently-abled. Bollocks to that says I. Stop messing with the English language is my first gripe. My second gripe is that disabled people are nowadays being promoted beyond their capabilities. How do you mean, I hear you ask. Well, when I were a lad [Uh oh, Hovis time. - Ed.] anyone who was differently-abled and couldn't keep up with classwork was sat at the back and given raffia to play with. That was a horrific way to deal with kids who weren't the smartest, but I can't help thinking that nowadays it has gone full circle and such kids would now receive more attention and, it follows, a better education than able-bodied children. All well and good, it means that they can legitimately earn for themselves when they grow up rather than, again as happened in the past, being put in a Remploy factory which made aids for other disabled people.
Unfortunately, the British Broadcorping Casteration believes that all minorities should be given a chance and so we are now seeing lots of disabled... sorry, differently-abled people... in the media. But it can go too far. And has done.
A current darling of radio and TV is a comedian with severe cerebral palsy. She can be amusing, but her speech is such that it is very difficult to make out what she is saying. I can't fault her for having a go at a career that wouldn't be my first choice if I had such real problems with speaking, but I would criticise the radio people who have not worked out that an important part of anyone broadcasting is that they must be understood. To me, it is just the usual patronising attitude of those in charge. You may remember that years ago I wrote an edition of this blog berating (That's a good word. Wonder what it means... A Jamaican hat, apparently.) those that dish out Oscars for always giving the awards to anyone who is playing a disabled character. To me, this is the same thing. I listened to a podcast that featured the comedian I am talking about. Obviously, she was on it to be amusing, which she was, occasionally, but the presenter of the podcast laughed a little too often, a little too long and a little too loudly over statements which were a little unfunny and so he sounded totally insincere. That patronising attitude again.
Moving away from the media for a moment, it all reminds me of an incident from many years ago. [You can get too much Hovis, you know. - Ed.] I recall that my sons, who were cub scouts, were chosen as part of their 'pack' to take part in a five-a-side football competition. [Is this in the least bit relevant? - Ed.] Yes, bear with me on this. They would be pitted against other packs with the winners being crowned top dogs. [Ha! Cubs! Top dogs. Very good. Oh no, that's pups. Just ignore me. - Ed.] Any road up, the leader of another group, believing in the concept of total inclusion, had chosen a lad with cerebral palsy as part of the team representing his pack. All very nice. All very inclusive. However, children don't have the same view on total inclusion. This poor lad struggled his way around the five a side pitch and was totally ignored by all the other boys in his team. To them, he was just a liability. Obviously, they didn't win a game because they were really only a team of four. I recall my thoughts at the time as feeling sorry for the lad who was disabled because he was unable to do what he was in the team for and looked totally embarrassed throughout; I felt sorry for the rest of his team because they had absolutely no chance; and I felt anger towards whoever thought it was the right thing to do to put the boys into this situation.
In my view, 'inclusion' is not always the right approach; especially if it is done without considering those who might suffer as a consequence.
This rant will be continued, I promise you. Tune in next week, folks.
Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we?
Were any famous or not so well-known individuals born on the 26th of February? Of course there were. Here are some that even I know.
Orde Wingate 1903 - Soldier.
Arthur Brough 1905 - Actor. Mr Grainger in Are You Being Served.
Madeleine Carroll 1906 - Pamela in The 39 Steps. [No, there were only six of them in Steps. - Ed.]
Fanny Craddock 1909 - The scary TV chef.
Keter Grukk 1916 - Ventriloquist, and not a very good one.
Margaret Leighton 1922 - Actress. Mrs Maudsley in The Go-Between.
Keith Smith 1926 - Actor. Never heard of him? If you watched TV between the 1950s and 1990s, chances are you would have seen plenty of him. He seemed to be in just about every light drama or sitcom as a minor character. 133 credits on IMDb. Mr. Wheeler in The Beiderbecke Affair and its spinoffs.
Doug Sandom 1930 - Drummer. Never heard of him? He was the original drummer with The Who. Replaced by mad man Moon.
Josephine Tewson 1931 - Actress. Never heard of her? She seemed to be in many a sitcom back in the 1970s. And 80s. And 90s. And noughties. Elizabeth in Keeping Up Appearances was perhaps her best known role.
Ally McLeod 1931 - Fitba guy. Yes, that Ally McLeod. He could certainly talk a good game. Have a clip. All together now... Oh, we're on the march...
Michael Goldie 1932 - Jobbing actor. Kenneth in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. [Kenneth?! - Ed.]
Tony Selby 1938 - Actor. Corporal Marsh in Get Some In. From 1951 to 2016 he accrued 139 credits on IMDb. Popular choice.
Darcus Howe 1943 - Broadcaster, writer and campaigner for racial justice.
Allan Ball 1943 - Footy bloke.
Colin Bell 1946 - Footy bloke.
Colin Telfer 1947 - Rugby guy.
Sandra Goodrich 1947 - Who? Better known as Sandie Shaw. Time for another clip; here’s (There's) Always Something There To Remind Me.
Emma Kirkby 1949 - Rerr chanter. Time for a bit of culture. Here she sings If God be for us.
Jaz Coleman 1960 - Musician. Killing Joke frontman. Have another clip. Here’s Eighties.
Fay Ripley 1966 - Actress. Jenny Gifford in Cold Feet.
Wasim Khan 1971 - Crickety bloke.
Oliver Wakeman 1972 - Musician. Rick’s lad. Here’s a small sample of his work, Overture from Jabberwocky. Dad is the narrator you hear at the beginning.
Jonny Quinn 1972 - Drummy bloke with Snow Patrol. Have a clip. Here’s You're All I Have.
Robin Jones 1973 - Another drummy bloke. He was in The Beta Band. A clip? Why not. Here’s Assessment.
Michelle Hardwick 1976 - Actress. Vanessa Woodfield in Emmerdale.
Shane Williams 1977 - Chwaraewr rygbi.
Craig Easton 1979 - Fitba guy.
Corinne Bailey Rae 1979 - Singer songwriter. Here’s her biggest hit, Put Your Records On... (in widescreen)
Georgia Taylor 1980 - Actress. Toyah Battersby in Coronation Street.
Michael Stewart 1981 - Fitba guy.
Danny Mac 1988 - Actor. Mark ‘Dodger’ Savage in Hollyoaks.
Charley Webb 1988 - Actress. Debbie Dingle/Jones/Barton in Emmerdale.
I’ve received a letter...
Dear Jaz Grambleman,
I enjoyed hearing your band, Killing Joke, again. I know you released a number of singles, but they rarely entered the top level of the charts. Your highest placed song, Love Like Blood, topped out at number 16, I believe. What was your next best performing song?
How did The Grambler’s predictions fare last time? Not very well at all. 40 pees back from our £2.20 bet. What happened? Read on.
Blackburn vs Millwall - Home win
Result - Postponed
Derby vs Peterborough - Home win
Result - Derby 1 Peterborough 0
Patience finally paid off for the dominant Rams as Louie Sibley fired a shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the penalty area in the second minute of added time.
Posh had Hayden Coulson sent off 10 minutes before the break after the left-back picked up two bookings in just four minutes, but the hosts then lost skipper Tom Lawrence to a straight red card two minutes after the break when his leading arm struck Nathan Thompson.
Preston vs Reading - Home win
Result - Preston 2 Reading 3
Portuguese striker Joao stunned Preston by putting the visitors 2-0 up inside the opening 20 minutes.
John Swift extended the Royals' advantage early in the second half, only for Daniel Johnson to cut the deficit immediately.
Cameron Archer made it 3-2 with his third goal in four games but Reading clung on to secure the points.
QPR vs Hull - Home win - 5/6
Result - QPR 1 Hull 1
Ooh! ’It the bar!
Marcus Forss put the Tigers ahead with a shot that went in off the bar.
The game was held up for 15 minutes when Hull goalkeeper Matt Ingram was stretchered off, and Ilias Chair levelled soon afterwards for the R's.
But Ingram's replacement, teenager Harvey Cartwright, did enough to secure a point for the visitors.
Stoke vs Birmingham - Home win
Result - Stoke 2 Birmingham 2
Ooh! ’It the bar!
Jordan James put Blues ahead on 12 minutes before Tyrese Campbell levelled on 25 minutes for the Potters.
Campbell then put Stoke ahead on 52 minutes, only for Gary Gardner to level it up again just six minutes later.
Oh dear. What can The Grambler conjure up for us this week?
Game - Result - Odds
Barnsley vs Middlesbrough - Away win - 17/20
Morecambe vs Ipswich - Away win - 19/20
Plymouth vs Rotherhama - Away win - 19/20
Crawley vs Forest Green - Away win - 10/11
Alloa vs Cove Rangers - Away win - 4/5
The bets have been placed - Ten 22 pee doubles plus a single 22 pee accumulator. Don’t ask me why the bet could only be accepted as 22 pees; ask Bet Free six foiv. Any road up, 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
Oh dear. That really is whopping.
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 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.
Answer - Carlos Tevez
2. Which Premier League side was originally called St. Luke’s F.C.?
Answer - Wolverhampton Wanderers
3. Which club features a male red deer on its crest?
Answer - Watford [It looks more like a moose to me. - Ed.]
4. What is Anatoliy Puzach’s unique claim to fame?
Answer - He was the first player in history to come on to the pitch as a substitute in a World Cup game.
5. Which player was known by the name Tulipano Nero (Black Tulip)?
Answer - Ruud Gullitt
Shall we have five for this week? Yes, I think we shall.
1. Who am I?
I was born in 1961 in Hexham, Northumberland. I began my senior career at Carlisle United before a move to Canada. I returned to the UK to begin the first of two spells at Newcastle United during which I played 276 games and scored 108 goals. I also played for Liverpool, Everton, Bolton Wanderers, Manchester City and Fulham. I was capped 59 times for England.
2. What feat is shared by Burnley, Portsmouth, Preston North End, Sheffield United and Wolverhampton Wanderers?
3. Why are Southampton F.C. known as The Saints?
4. Which Italian footballer has been capped the most times?
5. Who was the oldest player to be capped for England?
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 Mrs F. Craddock...sort of. A favourite joke of mine concerns this lady. In the 1950s and 1960s TV chefs were a rarity, unlike today where every spare inch of TV scheduling seems to have cookery programmes crammed into it... if there aren’t any antiques programmes available. Any road up, back in those days, as I say, TV chefs were few and far between... Philip Harbin, Zena Skinner and Fanny Craddock were the few that worked in the medium. Mrs Craddock became a star because of her brusque delivery and bullying demeanour; husband, Johnny was also in on what was obviously an act and got ordered about in such a manner that it was a surprise a divorce lawyer never got involved. They often appeared on shows other than cookery programmes to demonstrate Fanny’s cooking skills. Now, I apologise in advance for the story which is about to end this week’s edition of your favourite ill-informed blog; not because of the content, but because I cannot pin it down as being true. I have been told this story (or joke) on so many occasions that I cannot verify its origin or whether it is true. Anyway, let’s just say it as I first heard it many years ago...
Fanny and Johnny were guests on a Scottish teatime show fronted by a chap called Bill Tennent. That’s not especially relevant, but his was the name mentioned as being ‘involved’. On the programme, so the story goes, Fanny had been making doughnuts. As she was finishing her demonstration, the credits were about to roll, so Bill stepped in to wind up the programme with the words (and I don’t believe this is true), ‘Well, thank you to our guests for this evening and let’s hope that your doughnuts turn out like Fanny’s.’
Boom and, it goes without saying, tish.
Doughnuts, but nothing like Fanny's
* Refers to an old Scottish joke:
'Is that a doughnut or a meringue?'
'No, you're right enough, it's a doughnut.'
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.