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…
This is a conversation which actually, definitely, most certainly took place.*
'Morning, Mr G.'
'(Uh oh, it's my nosey know-all neighbour, Nigel.) Hello, Nigel.'
'I see you've taken your coat off.'
'You don't miss a thing, do you?'
‘No, I don't. Far too early.'
'Yes it's far too early in the year. You know what they say, don't you?'
'No. What do they say?'
'They say ne'er cast a clout till May is out.'
'Is that what they say?'
'Indeed they do. Ne'er cast a clout... It's poetic.'
'Ne'er. Poets say that. It’s called poetic licence.'
'Really? How very interesting. (By which I mean how totally boring.)'
'I'll wager you don't even know what a clout is.'
'(It's what I want to give anyone who insists on telling me something I don't want to know.) Doesn't it mean cloth, as in don't start shedding layers of clothing until the end of May?'
'Oh my goodness me, no. Oh dearie me. No no no. A clout isn't a coat at all. It is, in actual fact, a stitch.'
'Indeed. You know... A stitch in time saves nine? One of them. Yes, in actual fact, it dates back to olden times when people wore cloaks rather than coats.'
'Well, that explains it. (What the f*** are you on about?)'
'You see, people would wear their cloaks in winter and would stitch them to help conserve heat. Casting a clout refers to the removing of the stitches when the warmer weather came.'
'So they wore their cloaks through the winter?'
'Indeed they did.'
'And never took them off?'
'Well if they were stitched to conserve heat and the stitches weren't removed till the warm weather, people must have been sewn into the cloaks and unable to take them off.'
'Erm... um... er... Yes... Well... Ahh... Did you know May doesn't refer to the month of May?'
'Oh my goodness me, no. In actual fact it refers to the time when May blossom is on the trees. Or it has been suggested that it, in actual fact, refers to mayflies appearing. So there you are. Clout means a stitch and May doesn't mean the month. In actual fact, ninety-nine point nine per cent of people don't know that.'
'That's because in actual fact ninety-nine point nine per cent of people couldn't give a flying f***... Did I just say that out loud?'
* Well, maybe it wasn’t quite like that... Poetic licence.
Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we?
Were any famous or not so well-known individuals born on the 7th of May? Of course there were. Here are some that even I know... not many, though.
Valentine Dyall 1908 - Actor. Deep Thought in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
Huw Wheldon 1916 - Controller and later managing director of the British Broadcorping Casteration.
David Tomlinson 1917 - Actor. Mr Banks in Mary Poppins.
David Hatch 1939 - Radio performer and producer.
Jim Craig 1943 - Fitba guy. A Lisbon Lion, you know.
Richard O’Sullivan 1944 - Actor. Robin in Robin’s Nest and before it, Man About The House.
Brian Turner 1946 - Chef.
Michael Rosen 1946 - Children’s writer. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, that was one of his.
Pete Wingfield 1948 - Musician. He had one hit, Eighteen with a Bullet, but let’s have a non-hit instead. Here’s We Fit Together.
Bernie Marsden 1951 - Musician. He was in many bands, none more successful than Whitesnake, so let’s have a clip. What’s it to be? Not sure if he is in the video, but he did co-write this one, Here I Go Again.
Steve Diggle 1955 - A Buzzcock. He took over vocal duties when Pete Shelley left The Buzzcocks to go solo. Here’s the band’s biggest hit with Diggle on vocals, Harmony In My Head. Sorry about the scary man at the start of that clip.
Anne Dudley 1956 - Musician. She was part of The Art of Noise. Here is their biggest hit, Close (to the Edit) here performed live in 2004.
Marty Willson-Piper 1958 - Musician. Has been involved with bands The Church, All About Eve and Anekdoten. Here is a clip from The Church, Anna Miranda.
Norman Whiteside 1965 - Footy blook, so he is.
Morgana Robinson 1982 - Comedienne.
Jay Bothroyd 1982 - Footy bloke.
Garry O’Connor 1983 - Fitba guy.
Matthew Helders 1986 - An Arctic Monkey. Have a clip. Here’s the Arctics’ first biggie, I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor.
Mark Reynolds 1987 - Fitba guy. Ex-Motherwell, you know.
Iain Vigurs 1988 - Fitba guy. Ex-Motherwell, you know.
Fraser Murray 1999 - Fitba guy.
I’ve received a letter...
Dear Matthew Gramblers,
It was so nice to hear the song I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor. I do worry about the object of the singer’s attention who, while appearing to be able to dance well, seems to be suffering from a frozen shoulder. I’m surprised it didn’t impair her dancing, because it’s a very painful thing, a frozen shoulder. Perhaps she had it strapped up, or was on some strong painkillers. Anyhoo, my question to you is, did the Arctic Monkeys have any other number one records?
Yours with kisses on the bottom,
How did The Grambler’s predictions fare last week? Well, we won. Sort of. £1.84 back from our £2.20 stake. What happened? Read on...
Rochdale vs Bristol Rovers - Away win
Result - Rochdale 3 Bristol Rovers 4
Hat-trick hero Aaron Collins snatched a late winner as Bristol Rovers twice overturned a two-goal deficit to beat Rochdale 4-3.
Dale took a two-goal lead into the break after Luke Charman netted in the ninth minute and added a second eight minutes later.
Rovers improved after the break and Sam Finley brought them back into the game with a composed finish in the 53rd minute.
Dale restored their two-goal lead on the hour mark when Matt Done teed up Corey O'Keeffe to beat James Belshaw in the Rovers goal at the second attempt.
However, Rovers hit back in the 66th minute, Antony Evans sliding an intelligent delivery across the face of goal for Collins to convert.
The visitors levelled the scores in the 89th minute, Harry Anderson setting up Collins for his second of the afternoon.
And the three points were secured in dramatic fashion in the fifth minute of added time when Elliott Anderson's header was turned home by Collins.
The visitors' Paul Coutts was sent off in the eighth minute of added time following a melee in his own penalty area, but Rovers held on to win.
Scunthorpe vs Hartlepool - Away win
Result - Scunthorpe 1 Hartlepool 1
Ooh! ’It the bar!
Pools could have been out of sight by half-time but struggled in front of goal and skipper Nicky Featherstone was denied by a late block by Ryan Delaney.
But the home side took the lead after 49 minutes. A loose ball by Pools' Tom Crawford was intercepted and Cameron Wilson broke away to net his first career goal.
Foster then saved again from Bogle, pushing a shot against the post.
However, Pools levelled after 72 minutes when Luke Molyneux was tripped in the area and Featherstone scored confidently from the spot.
Sutton Utd vs Bradford - Home win
Result - Sutton 1 Bradford 4
Charles Vernam scored twice for Bradford before Yann Songo'o and Andy Cook wrapped it up late on.
Sutton went close after 90 seconds when Donovan Wilson set up Will Randall for a first-time shot against the post.
But Bradford responded well with Dion Pereira, Liam Ridehalgh and Vernam all testing home keeper Dean Bouzanis.
The visitors then took a 16th-minute lead as Vernam headed home from Luke Hendrie's cross.
Jamie Walker lobbed another shot onto the roof of the net as Bradford controlled the first half.
Sutton came back out a lot brighter and were level 10 minutes into the second half as Alistair Smith fired a superb strike into the top corner.
Bradford restored their lead in the 77th minute with Vernam sliding home his second goal from Ridehalgh's cross.
Defender Songo'o (85) added a third from close range from Elliot Watt's corner before sub Cook scored in stoppage time.
Swindon vs Barrow - Home win
Result - Swindon 2 Barrow 1
It looked like the game was heading for a draw after Matt Platt's late goal cancelled out Josh Davison's first-half opener, but Reed struck with five minutes left to secure a vital home victory.
Davison scored the only goal of the first half in the 22nd minute when he capitalised on lacklustre defending to meet Akin Odimayo's cross.
Midfielder Reed dictated play and was at the heart of a move in the 39th minute that saw Harry McKirdy fire an edge-of-the-box effort over the bar.
Louie Barry and McKirdy both wasted second-half goalscoring opportunities, with the latter left red-faced after rounding the keeper in the 71st minute but making the wrong decision as his shot was blocked.
Platt restored parity in the 83rd minute with his header creeping past Lewis Ward.
But Reed rounded off a brilliant individual performance to save Swindon with a close-range goal just two minutes later.
Tranmere vs Oldham - Home win
Result - Tranmere 2 Oldham 0
Josh Hawkes and Kane Hemmings scored as Tranmere heaped misery on Oldham with a comfortable 2-0 win.
Hawkes struck in the 27th minute and Hemmings sealed victory in the second half as the hosts strolled to victory against a lacklustre Latics side.
Hawkes had skewed horribly wide with an early chance when left unmarked at the back post.
But when a brisk passing move saw Tranmere work the ball to him at the edge of the box, he drilled his finish past Jayson Leutwiler's right hand and inside the foot of the post.
Oldham offered precious little in the first half, with a set-piece header from Will Sutton that cleared the bar their only contribution of note.
Tranmere's half-time lead should have been more than a single goal but Hemmings was denied by Leutwiler after a neat through ball from Elliott Nevitt.
Hemmings made no mistake when he was given a second chance just after the hour mark, however, deservedly doubling Rovers' lead when Lewis Warrington picked him out in space.
And Oldham were denied a late consolation by Tranmere keeper Joe Murphy, who got down well to turn Jack Stobbs' effort behind.
That was last week, but what about this week? What has The Grambler found?
Game - Result - Odds
Barrow vs Northampton - Away win - 4/6
Bradford vs Carlisle - Home win - 19/20
Harrogate vs Sutton Utd - Away win - 17/20
Mansfield vs Forest Green - Home win - 11/10
Newport vs Rochdale - Home win - 19/20
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
Now, that is just too 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 Chuncheon, South Korea in 1992. A forward, I began my senior career with Hamburger SV before moving to Bayer Leverkusen. Two years later I became the most expensive Asian player in history when I signed with Tottenham Hotspur for £22 million. I have now played over two hundred games for the club, scoring 87 times so far. I have been capped 98 times for my national team.
Answer - Son Heung-min
2. Which Premier League club has had the longest uninterrupted run in the top flight?
Answer - Arsenal (since 1919-20)
3. Which goalkeeper holds the record for scoring goals with 131?
Answer - Rogério Ceni
4. Talking of goalkeepers, who is the most expensive goalkeeper in history?
Answer - Kepa Arizzabalaga (£71.6 million)
5. A daft one to finish. Name the teams in the current senior leagues in England and Scotland that have the word ‘ton’ in their name. Clue to help: there are n...n...n...n... nineteen.
Answer - Wolverhampton Wanderers, Brighton and Hove Albion, Aston Villa, Southampton, Everton, Luton Town, Preston North End, Milton Keynes Dons, Bolton Wanderers, Accrington Stanley, Charlton Athletic, Burton Albion, Northampton Town, Sutton United, Leyton Orient, Livingston, St. Johnstone, Greenock Morton and Dumbarton.
What about five teasers for this week, I hear you say. What about them, indeed. Here they are.
1. Who am I?
I was born in Birmingham in 1995. I play as a winger or attacking midfielder. I joined Aston Villa aged 6. I made my first senior appearance for them in 2014 after a loan spell at Notts County. In 2021 I signed with Manchester City for £100 million, a record for an English player.
2. Which player holds the record for the most Champions League winners’ medals?
3. Which current Premier League player has made the most P.L. appearances?
4. Which father and son have made almost 600 Premier League appearances between them?
5. What Premier League team is sponsored by Lotus?
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. D. Tomlinson who provides us with our closing link. David Tomlinson first appeared in films in the early 1940s, but it wasn’t until 1964 that he played the role he is perhaps best remembered by. After 20-plus years in British comedy films, Tomlinson was hired by Walt Disney to play George Banks in Mary Poppins. The rest, as they say, is history. He would go on to star in other Disney flims such as Bedknobs and Broomsticks and The Love Bug. However, it is his first Disney film appearance that gives us our ending for this week’s edition. How windy is it today? Shall we? Let's Go (and) Fly A Kite. That was going well until Dick van Dyke turned up.
David Tomlinson aged a bit after working with Dick van Dyke
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.