Saturday 19 March 2022

Post 442 - Grambling, just like that


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...

Do you remember John Wayne, the actor known as Duke or Dook (as it was proounced over in the good ol’ U.S. of A)? Did you know that he was a dentist working in a town six miles south of Glasgow? [Nurse. Time to up the medication. - Ed.] Don’t believe me? Then read on.

We are living in an age when politicians feel the need to apologise for events that happened years, sometimes centuries, ago. This week alone, there have been apologies made for the abuse of young children in care in postwar Northern Ireland and the Scottish government has apologised for the witchcraft trials and executions in Scotland following the Witchcraft Act of 1563. That one is perhaps taking things a little too far. However, there is a more recent crime that deserves an apology or two. Dentistry. Sorry pardon excuse me? Yep. Dentistry. Let me explain. [Please do. - Ed.]

When I was a nipper [Uh oh. Hovis time. - Ed.] growing up in the 1960s (Yes, I am that old.) dentists were paid a lot of dosh to look after children’s teeth. Actually, that isn’t quite correct. They were offered a lot of dosh for fillings they put into children’s teeth. Actual dental ‘care’, didn’t seem to apply. As a youngster, I probably looked after my teeth the same way as the current generation... brushing twice a day. In those days, nobody thought to mention flossing as being a useful way to improve cleaning of the gnashers, now a fairly commonly accepted practice. The difference between my teeth and those of today’s kids is that mine were filled with amalgam every time I visited my local butcher. Any speck of discolouring meant decay to my dentist and that meant the need to fill which, in turn, meant loadsamoney in his bank account. Looking back, I realise that many of those fillings were unnecessary, but that nice new Jaguar sitting in the driveway wasn’t going to pay for itself.

It would be easy to say he was a rogue dentist, but they were all at it... there was gold in them thar fills.

I still have a few of those teeth left and, despite the gaps, I do not have dentures. That is a surprise, since the dentist once announced to my mother that I would have false teeth by the time I was 16. What he forgot to add were the words ‘if I’ve got anything to do with it.’

On one occasion he made such a hash of filling a tooth... one that had not been giving me any sort of problem... that I ended up with severe toothache.  My only option was to go back to him to have it extracted.  He was probably cursing his luck that he had to do that; he wouldn't be able to make any money off a gap with nothing to fill.

Nowadays, an extraction would be carried out after a couple of novocaine injections; in those days, gas was used. No doctor’s approval was sought. Nope. The dentist just stuck a rubber mask over your face and while you were having forty winks, the offending molar was removed.

Now, here comes the John Wayne bit. While I was under, I must have been having a dream about cowboy John Wayne winning the west, or soldier John Wayne winning the war because, when I came to, there was Duke or Dook removing the mask from my face. I think I exclaimed, ‘Wow! John Wayne!’

My mother was present and she laughed, as did John Wayne himself and his assistant. After a while, I began to focus properly and understood why they found it so amusing but, for a few minutes, my dentist had, indeed, been big John Wayne... The hell it was!




Birthday honours...

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

Were any famous or not so well-known individuals born on the 12th of March? Of course there were. Here are some that even I know.

Thomas Arne 1710 - Composer. Are you feeling patriotic? No? Tough. Here is this week’s wee bit cult-yer, Rule Britannia. [Was that Margaret Thatcher? - Ed.]

Charles Boycott 1832 - Land agent. Sorry pardon excuse me? I’m going to refer to Wikipedia here for the story of how the word boycott entered the English language...After retiring from the army, Boycott worked as a land agent for Lord Erne, a landowner in the Lough Mask area of County Mayo. In 1880, as part of its campaign for the ‘Three Fs’ (fair rent, fixity of tenure, and free sale) and specifically in resistance to proposed evictions on the estate, local activists of the Irish Land League encouraged Boycott's employees (including the seasonal workers required to harvest the crops on Lord Erne's estate) to withdraw their labour, and began a campaign of isolation against Boycott in the local community. This campaign included shops in nearby Ballintrobe refusing to serve him, and the withdrawal of services. Some were threatened with violence to ensure compliance. The campaign against Boycott became a cause celebre in the British press after he wrote a letter to The Times. Newspapers sent correspondents to the West of Ireland to highlight what they viewed as the victimisation of a servant of a peer of the realm by Irish nationalists. Fifty Orangemen from County Cavan and County Monaghan travelled to Lord Erne's estate to harvest the crops, while a regiment of the 19th Royal Hussars and more than 1,000 men of the Royal Irish Constabulary were deployed to protect the harvesters. The episode was estimated to have cost the British government and others at least £10,000 to harvest about £500 worth of crops. So that was a great success, then. Not only is that a crib from Wikipedia, it’s a crib from the article I wrote on Boycott six years ago. So that explains your feeling of deja vu. Damn good story, worth repeating. About time someone apologised to the Irish for that sort of behaviour.

Max Wall 1908 - Comedian and actor.

Tommy Farr 1913 - Boxy bloke.

Googie Withers 1917 - Ectress. Faye Boswell in Within These Walls.

Donald Zec 1919 - Journalist.

Joe Fagan 1921 - Footy bloke.

Gudrun Ure 1926 - Actress. None other than Super Gran.

James Martin 1931 - Actor. Eric in Still Game.

Tammy Jones 1944 - Singer. She won Opportunity Knocks for six consecutive weeks in 1975 and soon had a top ten hit with this, Let Me Try Again.

Les Holroyd 1948 - Musician. A member of Barclay James Harvest who produced this rather apt tune...  Kiev.  You might want to read the lyrics.

My friends it's not what you were famous for

but now the whole world's watching you.

If we could help you then you know we would;

but we don't know just what to do.

Eye to eye our ways are not the same,

we never tried to understand;

but it could pass to each of us you name

then who's the one to take the blame.


Kiev, a candle with a flame,

you'll never be the same.

Our hearts go out to you

and what you're going through,

they've thrown away your past

just like an empty glass.

Into the fire...


Someone wiser took the Steppe from you,

I'm sure with reason it was right;

but now it seems the whole world's blaming you

and who's the one to put things right.


Kiev, a candle with a flame,

you'll never be the same.

Our hearts go out to you

and what you're going through,

they've thrown away your past

just like an empty glass.

Into the fire...


Kiev, a candle with a flame

you'll never be the same.

We all will understand

you're really not to blame,

they've thrown away your past

just like an empty glass.

Into the fire Kiev...


Oh, Kiev...


Virginia Bottomley 1948 - Politician.

David Mellor 1949 - Politician.

Mike Gibbins 1949 - Drummer with Badfinger. Here he is pretending to hit the skins on their biggest hit, Come and Get It.

Anish Kapoor 1954 - Artist.

Lesley Manville 1956 - Actress. Cathy in Mum.

Steve Harris 1956 - Musician. Founder of Iron Maiden. A clip? Why not. Let's Rawwwkkk! CGI has come on a bit in 16 years.

Mark Easton 1959 - Journalist, presenter.

Julian Firth 1960 - Actor. Brother Jerome in Cadfael.

Ian Holloway 1963 - Footy bloke.

Colleen Nolan 1965 - A loose woman. Also a member of family singing troupe, The Nolans. A clip? Why not. Here’s Sexy Music.

Graham Coxon 1969 - Musician. One time guitarist with Blur, but here is a solo effort, Freakin' Out.

Jo Hartley 1972 - Actress. June in After Life.

Pete Doherty 1979 - Musician, songwriter, actor, poet, writer and artist. And we know what kind of artist. Do want a clip? [If you must. - Ed.] Here’s one called Arcady.

Zander Diamond 1985 - Fitba guy.

Danny Jones 1986 - Musician. A bit of McFly. A clip? Here’s the first of seven number ones. 5 Colours In Her Hair.  [Number one? I’d have said it had a whiff of number two about it. - Ed.]

Elly Jackson 1988 - Singer with La Roux. Time for another clip. Here’s their only number one to date, Bulletproof.

Scott Robinson 1992 - Footy blowk. Ex-Motherwell, you know.


Now then, what about 19th of March?

David Livingstone 1813 - Explorer and missionary. How long until someone apologises for some of the things he was involved in.

Tod Slaughter 1885 - Actor. B movie villain.

Frank Atkinson 1890 - Jobbing actor. Never a star but 199 credits on IMDb.

Louis Hayward 1909 - Actor. Denis Moore in Anthony Adverse. I picked that particular film to appeal to Monty Python fans.

George Moon 1909 - Another jobbing actor. Ginger Smart in Shadow Squad and its follow-up Skyport (225 episodes in all)

Jack Odell 1920 - Toy manufacturer. He came up with ‘Matchbox’ toy cars; so called because they were small enough to fit into a matchbox. He later came up with Lledo toys... Lledo... geddit?

Tommy Cooper 1921 - Comedian and magician combined into one.

Mary Wimbush 1924 - Actress. Prudie Paynter in Poldark, the 1975-77 version.

Maurice Roëves 1937 - Actor. Vincent Diver in Tutti Frutti.

John Lambie 1941 - Fitba guy.

Paul Atkinson 1946 - Musician. A Zombie. Have a clip. Here’s Tell Her No.

Derek Longmuir 1951 - A Bay City Roller. The one who ‘played’ the drums. Have a clip. Here’s Shang-a-Lang.  Those cymbals aren’t moving much.

Terry Hall 1959 - Singer with The Specials and Fun Boy Three. Have a clip. Here’s Too Much Too Young. The Specials - Too Much Too Young (Live) - YouTube

Stuart McQuarrie 1963 - Jobbing actor. Do you remember the American tourist in Trainspotting? Him.

Nigel Clough 1966 - Footy bloke.

Dean Smith 1971 - Footy bloke.

Ashley Giles 1973 - Crickety bloke.

Dan Walker 1977 - TV presenter.

Ryan Esson 1980 - Fitba guy.

Lee Naylor 1980 - Footy bloke.

Nick Hendrix 1985 - Actor. DS Jamie Winter in Midsomer Murders.

Maddy Hill 1990 - Actress. Nancy Carter in Eastenders.

Lee Erwin 1994 - Fitba guy. Ex-Motherwell you know.








I’ve received a letter...

Dear Gramblam Coxon,

Nice to hear one of your solo efforts this week. I was a big Blur fan back in the 1990s. I recall you had a couple of number one single. One was Country House, but I can’t recall the other one. Can you help?

Yours questioningly,

B. Tulbum.






Gramble time...

How did The Grambler’s predictions fare last time? Not too bad. We actually made a slight profit. £3.64 back from our £2.20 outlay. Yay! What happened? Read on (but since it all happened a fortnight ago, I’ll just give the results without a match report)...

Cheltenham vs Doncaster - Home win

Result - Cheltenham 4 Doncaster 0



Oxford Utd vs Burton - Home win

Result - Oxford Utd 4 Burton Albion 1



Plymouth vs Morecambe - Home win

Result - Plymouth 2 Morecambe 0



Portsmouth vs Accrington - Home win

Result - Portsmouth 4 Accrington Stanley 0



Rotherham vs MK Dons - Home win

Result - Rotherham Utd 1 MK Dons 2



Oh well. Things are looking up. Maybe... maybe not. What has The Grambler come up with this week?

Game - Result - Odds

Swansea vs Birmingham - Home win - 10/11

Cambridge Utd vs MK Dons - Away win - 10/11

Cheltenham vs AFC Wimbledon - Home win - 10/11

Plymouth vs Accrington - Home win - 10/11

Gillingham vs Sheffield Wed - Away win - 11/20

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


Fairly whopping by our standards.




Teaser time...

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 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.

Answer - (Dick’s lad) Virgil van Dijk

2. Which British footballer holds the dubious record of receiving the most red cards in his career?

Answer - Vinnie Jones (Who else?) with 12

3. After Benfica, which club has won the Portuguese League Championship the most times?

Answer - Porto with 20 titles (Benfica have 37)

4. Which club plays at the Balmoral Stadium?

Answer - Cove Rangers

5. Who was the first England player to be capped more than 100 times?

Answer - Billy Wright (105 caps in all)

Shall we have another five for this week? Why not...

1. Who am I?

I was born in Camos, Spain in 1986. A defender, I began my senior career at Sevilla Atlético in 2003. After a brief spell at Sevilla, I moved to Real Madrid, making 469 appearances over a 16 year period. I have been capped 180 times making me the most capped Spanish player ever.

2. Sticking with Spanish players, which Spaniard has scored the most Premier League goals?

3. Which player made the most Premier League appearances for Liverpool?

4. Which club has won the French League Championship the most times?

5. Which club plays at the Valley Parade stadium?


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. T. Cooper. Tommy Cooper was one of the most popular comedians on British TV in the 1960s and 70s. I’ve heard a term relating to comedians, describing them as having ‘funny bones’ and he seems to be a perfect example. When he walked onto a stage, the audience laughed. He didn’t have to say or do anything, he was just funny. He was famous for his anarchic magic routines and it is one of these which I have found on Ya Tube to end this week’s edition of your favourite ill-informed blog. Before that, I just want to relate a little true story. Stop me if you’ve heard it before. It concerns a chap who was in Egypt on holiday and went to the local market to buy souvenirs. One stall was selling fez hats (the type Tommy Cooper wore) and the stallholder was saying (in the style of Tommy Cooper) ‘Zuh zuh zuh. Just like that.’ The tourist thought this amusing and asked the trader if he liked Tommy Cooper. The stallholder looked at him blankly and asked, ‘Who?’ It seems that all British tourists who came to the stall would put on a fez and say, ‘Zuh zuh zuh. Just like that.’ The salesman had never seen the real thing, but was simply imitating the daft Brits. Anyway, on to our final clip for the week. This was an appearance he made on one of the most prestigious American shows of its era, The Ed Sullivan Show... God only knows what the Americans made of this.


Zuh zuh zuh. Just like that.

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.


No comments:

Post a Comment