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…
Following on from last week's article... What do you mean, you haven't read it? Well, do it now. This instance. Otherwise, this week's, won't make much sense. Last week's edition related to folk being promoted beyond their abilities in the media. Sort of. Anyway, read on...
It now seems that, if you are not from a minority group, any minority group, not just differently-abled, you are at a disadvantage. Would you be chosen for a post at the Beeb Beeb Ceeb? It could cause a lot of stress. So much so, that the Beeb might have to provide counselling...
'Can you help me, doctor?'
'You look a bit down. What seems to be the trouble?'
'I'm think I'm being victimised. I can't cope with it.'
'How do you mean, victimised?'
'I tried to get a job as a presenter. I was perfectly qualified but I didn't get it because I'm... sniff...'
'Take your time...'
'Because I'm... able-bodied.'
'Oh dear. And how long have you been non-differently-abled?'
'Oh dear that is sad. Are you sure you didn't get the job solely because of your lack of a disability?'
'I think other factors were at play as well. I'm white for one thing.'
'And you're certainly not a female.'
'Obviously. And I'm not from an ethnic minority. They asked if I was transgender or at the very least a transvestite. I had to answer no. I mean I'm not even gay. Then there's my diction.'
'Your diction is superb.
'Exactly. Something else against me. I haven't even got a regional accent.'
'Sounds like you have nothing going in your favour.'
'I know. Its always been a problem right from school days. I used to be teased about it. 'Look at you with your complete set of limbs that all work' or 'Look at you with your brain that can do sums.'
'Ah. Bullying. Lots of people get bullied and use it in their favour later in life.'
'How do you mean?'
'Have you thought about becoming a comedian? Quite often comedians have turned to comedy simply as a means of deflecting the bullying.'
'I wasn't really bullied. It was just a bit of teasing, nothing more... and I don't know any jokes.'
'Pity you weren't the bully. Lots of people get on if they are a bully... Alan Sugar, Gordon Ramsay, Anne Robinson... erm... Mr Punch... Are you a misogynist, by any chance?'
'No. I was never any good on the pommel horse.'
'That's a gymnast. Misogynist. Do you hate women?'
'No. Quite the reverse.'
'Got it! Are you a bit of a Casanova? Love em and leave em? The viewers love a bad boy image.'
'No. I've been with my wife since our teenage years.'
'Blimey, this is hard. You must have some fault that could help you... Are you a drug addict?'
'I like a sherry now and then, but alcoholic? No.'
'Pity. Addicted to anything?'
'There is one thing I can't stop doing.'
'Aha! What is that?'
'Yes. If I get a song in my head, I'll be whistling it all day long. It really annoys my wife.'
'Not really an addiction, then. More an annoying trait.'
'Suppose. It's really getting me down.'
'Are you suicidal? You could tell your story of coming back from the brink.'
'No. I'm not suicidal. Just a bit low. I really did want to get into the BBC.'
'You have got nothing in your favour. Unless...'
'How is your sports knowledge?'
'Erm... not very good.'
'What do you know about minority sports?'
'How do you mean?'
'What do you know about, say, table tennis?'
'What about bmx biking?'
'Same again. Nothing.'
'Absolutely nothing... look, what are you getting at?'
'I have the solution. A sure fire way to get on at the beeb. The Commonwealth Games are coming up soon... they'll need someone to talk about those sports that nobody knows, or even cares, about. They can't expect Gary Lineker to do everything.'
'If you can show them that you know nothing about minority sports, you must be in with a shout. '
'I'll just go and brush up on the rules of kayaking.'
'Good choice, but don't go into it too much. You don't want them to think you actually know something. And remember not to be all sexist if they ask you what you know about volleyball. Don't mention the skimpy outfits.'
'I won't... then there's lacrosse... extreme ironing... cheese rolling... so many sports that no one gives a monkey’s about. Do you really think I'll stand a chance?'
'Trust me. I'm a doctor.'
Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we?
Were any famous or not so well-known individuals born on the 5th of March? Of course there were. Here are some that even I know.
King David II of Scotland 1324 - The well-known monarch.
John Adam 1721 - Architect.
Henry Travers 1874 - Actor. Clarence Odbody in It’s a Wonderful Life.
William Beveridge 1879 - Economist and social reformer. Not a drink.
Ann George 1903 - Actress, it says here. She played Brummie waitress Amy Turtle in Crossroads where she was famous for fluffing her lines.
Oi keep forgettin me loins.
Rex Harrison 1908 - Actor. Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady. How about a little clip. Here he has grown accustomed to her face.
Diana Coupland 1928 - Actress. Jean Abbott in Bless This House.
Nicholas Smith 1934 - Actor. Mr Rumbold in Are You Being Served?
Judy Grinham 1939 - Swimmy bloke.
Samantha Eggar 1939 - Actress. Delia Mallory in Doctor in Distress.
Jane Rossington 1943 - Actress. Jill Richardson/Harvey/Chance in Crossroads. She knew Ann George. That must have been nice for her.
Huge Scully 1943 - TV presenter.
Murray Head 1946 - Actor and singer. Here’s a song that gave him a minor hit back in 1969, Say It Ain't So, Joe. I have no idea who Joe is.
Clodagh Rodgers 1947 - Singer. Here she is singing her 1969 hit, Goodnight Midnight while dressed as a feather duster.
Eddy Grant 1948 - Musician. Let’s have another clip. Here he is Living On The Front Line.
Elaine Paige 1948 - Rerr chanter. Here she is dressed as the lion from Wizard of Oz singing Memory and the words are there so, come on folks, sing along.
Richard Hickox 1948 - Conductor.
Mike Gwilym 1949 - Actor. Sid Halley in The Racing Game.
Alan Clark 1952 - Musician. One-time Dire Strait keyboardist. Let’s have another clip. Here’s So Far Away.
Richard Sanderson 1953 - Singer. Never heard of him? Well, this song was number one in 15 countries... but not Britain. Here’s Reality.
Mark E. Smith 1957 - Singer (speaker?) with The Fall. Have a clip. Here’s Free Range.
Andy Gibb 1958 - Singer. The non-Bee Gee Gibb brother. Here’s one written by big bruv, Barry, An Everlasting Love.
Kevin Patterson 1960 - Who? Singer who didn’t spend long in the music industry but did manage to produce this absolute gem with his band, Fiction Factory, (Feels Like) Heaven.
Rosemarie Ford 1962 - Actress, dancer and singer. Let’s have another visit to the cattery, here she and Aeva May sing about Macavity.
Craig and Charlie Reid 1962 - The Proclaimers. Yay! Let’s have a clip... but which singalong crowd pleaser should we pick? Here’s I'm On My Way Uh huh, uh huh...
Melissa Bell 1964 - Singer with Soul II Soul and mum of Alexandra Burke. Have a clip. Here’s Wish.
Paul Ritter 1966 - Actor. Martin Goodman in Friday Night Dinner.
Paul Blackthorne 1969 - Actor. Stephen Saunders in 24.
Adam Zindani 1972 - Musician. Rhythm guitarist with Stereophonics. Let’s have a clip. Here’s Indian Summer.
Matt Lucas 1974 - Comedian, screenwriter, singer and actor.
Lucian Msamati 1976 - Actor. John Faa in His Dark Materials.
Trevor Carson 1988 - Fooddy blooke nigh. Ex-Motherwell goalie.
Parry Glasspool 1992 - Actor. Harry Thompson in Hollyoaks.
Harry Maguire 1993 - Footy bloke.
I’ve received a letter...
Dear Grambly Grant,
It was wonderful to hear an example of your solo work. I wonder if it would be possible to hear a hit from your time with The Equals. I believe they had a number one, but I can't remember its title. Can you help?
How did The Grambler’s predictions fare last time? Badly, is the blunt answer. Only one correct result out of the five predictions so no money back. What happened? Read on.
Barnsley vs Middlesbrough - Away win
Result - Barnsley 3 Middlesborough 2
Amine Bassi provided the chip into the box for Mads Andersen to give Barnsley an early lead and then netted his first goal (of two) from Carlton Morris' lay-off. Bassi shrugged off Anfernee Dijksteel's challenge to make it 3-0 after the break.
Andraz Sporar pulled one back from the spot after Isaiah Jones was fouled and Liam Kitching's own goal further reduced the deficit with seconds remaining.
Morecambe vs Ipswich - Away win
Result - Morecambe 1 Ipswich 1
Ooh! ’It the bar
A late goal from Wes Burns earned Ipswich a draw at Morecambe.
Burns squeezed a close-range shot under Morecambe keeper, birthday boy Trevor Carson with just three minutes remaining to snatch victory from the Shrimps, who opened the scoring with an Aaron Wildig header.
The visitors enjoyed the greater share of possession in the first half and created a number of chances, with James Norwood firing over from close range and Sone Aluko and Sam Morsy forcing Carson into fine saves.
The second half saw Morecambe hit back, with Cole Stockton coming close before substitute Wildig headed Adam Phillips' cross home from six yards out.
Carson made two excellent saves from Bersant Celina before Burns finally breached the Shrimps' defence with a shot on the turn from eight yards out.
Plymouth vs Rotherham - Away win
Result - Plymouth 0 Rotherama(?) 1
Argyle's best chance to score fell to Jordon Garrick but his 11th-minute header from a pinpoint Conor Grant cross came back off the post.
Rotherham responded with Ben Wiles letting fly with a shot from outside the box that flew just wide.
Freddie Ladapo - who had fired into the side netting early on - forced a brilliant smothering save from home keeper Michael Cooper after 30 minutes.
Garrick had another opportunity to score in the second half but his header flew wide.
The hosts were made to pay when Michael Smith scored in the 63rd minute.
The striker drilled the ball past Cooper from the right side of the box after being teed up by Wiles, taking his goal tally for the campaign to 18.
Plymouth striker Ryan Hardie was denied by United keeper Josh Vickers in the 78th minute as the Millers held on for the win.
Crawley vs Forest Green - Away win
Result - Crawley 2 Forest Green 1
First-half goals from Ashley Nadesan and Jordan Tunnicliffe gave Crawley a surprise win.
Dominic Bernard scored for Rovers late on.
Forest Green could have scored twice in the opening seven minutes. Jordan Moore-Taylor had a close range header saved before Kane Wilson drove wastefully wide after being set up by Marty Stevens.
But Nadesan, an early substitute for the injured Aramide Oteh, gave Crawley the lead on 24 minutes by slipping the ball past keeper Luke McGee after Nick Tsaroulla's through-ball.
It got better for the Reds eight minutes later when defender Tunnicliffe headed in at the far post following a corner by Jack Powell.
After the start of the second half, Crawley midfielder Isaac Hutchinson had a deflected shot parried by keeper McGee.
Rovers substitute Jack Aitchison twice shot wide within the space of a minute but defender Bernard reduced the deficit on 80 minutes after Reds only half-cleared a free-kick by Nicky Cadden.
Alloa vs Cove Rangers - Away win
Result - Alloa 2 Cove Rangers 2
Ooh! ’It the bar.
No match report other than the fact that Alloa were two up after 19 minutes thanks to goals from captain Andy Graham on six minutes and Steven Boyd on 19. They were down to ten men when Jon Robertson was red-carded after 62 minutes. Cove hit back on 82 minutes and 87 minutes with goals from Ola Adeyemo and Kai Fotheringham respectively.
Ho hum, never mind. What has The Grambler come up with this week?
Game - Result - Odds
Cheltenham vs Doncaster - Home win - 7/10
Oxford Utd vs Burton - Home win - 7/10
Plymouth vs Morecambe - Home win - 8/13
Portsmouth vs Accrington - Home win - 19/20
Rotherham vs MK Dons - 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
Not whopping... just pathetic!
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 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.
Answer - Peter Beardsley, there’s only one Peter Beardsley.
2. What feat is shared by Burnley, Portsmouth, Preston North End, Sheffield United and Wolverhampton Wanderers?
Answer - They have all won League Titles in all four flights of the English League.
3. Why are Southampton F.C. known as The Saints?
Answer - The club’s original name was St. Mary’s Church of England Young Men’s Association. I wonder why they changed it.
4. Which Italian footballer has been capped the most times?
Answer - Gianluigi Buffon with 176 caps
5. Who was the oldest player to be capped for England?
Answer - Stanley Matthews at the grand old age of 42.
Shall we have another five for this week? Indeed we shall.
1. Who am I?
I was born in Breda, Netherlands in 1991. I am a centre back and began my senior career at Groningen, before moves to Celtic, Southampton and, my current club, Liverpool. I have been capped 44 times for the Netherlands and was made captain in 2018.
2. Which British footballer holds the dubious record of receiving the most red cards in his career?
3. After Benfica, which club has won the Portuguese League Championship the most times?
4. Which club plays at the Balmoral Stadium?
5. Who was the first England player to be capped more than 100 times?
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. M. Lucas who is celebrating his 48th birthday today and provides our closing link. Before Little Britain, Matt Lucas appeared on Shooting Stars which ran from 1993 to 2011. It is hard to believe that Matt wasn’t even 20 years old when he began his TV career as ‘George Dawes’. According to Bob Mortimer, he was given free rein to say and do anything he liked on the show. Ladeez and genullum, please enjoy this short compilation from the man with the scores... George Dawes.
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.