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 The Grambler’s Kick Cancer’s Backside (cancerresearchuk.org).
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…
Have any of you out there in gramblerland got children or grandchildren that go to a dancing class? Second question: does that dance class have an annual display? Third question: did any of you go along to watch it? Fourth question: did you manage to stay awake?
My granddaughter was in just such a show recently. Mrs G and I attended the second night of two.
Maybe the show I went to wasn't indicative of all shows, but it went something like this.
There was a big opening number with all the older, more talented of the dancers strutting their funky stuff, I believe is the expression. [Strutting their funky...? Just how old are you? - Ed.] They then danced their way off stage to be replaced with a group of younger, less-gifted dancers.
The first lot managed to do all the moves in sync; this crowd aren't quite at that stage yet.
As before, they finish their stint to be replaced by even younger would-be Ginger Rodgers. [Ginger Rod...? you must be flipping ancient. - Ed.] They are really only at the learning stage. Some are naturals and would seem to be destined to join the older ones. Others are obviously struggling a bit and are watching whoever is in the wings prompting them. As they leave the stage, a group of kids, little more than toddlers really, wander into the limelight. This disparate bunch wave their arms about and kick their legs vaguely in time to the music. The audience all coo and ah while this bunch of cute kids go through their routine.
When they leave the stage, we have been been watching for 20 minutes or so. Time for a break? Don't you believe it. Back come the oldest group in different outfits and twirling batons about. Again their routine is pretty much flawless.
Once again, the younger group replace them to do a similar routine. They are not at the same level as the first lot and a few batons get dropped.
The second youngest group take over and the batons are not so much twirled as wiggled about a bit. Again, some of the girls aren't sure what they are meant to be doing and are watching the instructors in the wings.
Finally, for this section, the youngest kids come onto the stage. Batons are dropped, picked up, not picked up, jabbed into other kids and the audience smiles and continues to coo and ah.
After this routine, there is an intermission... thank goodness. [Thank you goodness. - Ed.] Just in time before cramp sets in. Why are theatre seats so close together?
After our break, we get on with the show. The next routine is quite energetic compared to what we watched in the first half. I think this might have been the disco section.
Now we see that a few of the older squad are not as supple as they could be. Some of the more lithe ones can kick above head height. A few can't... I'd have thought that dancing would keep you slim. Obviously, it doesn't.
As the older troupe make way for the not-quite-so-good lot, we are made aware that some of the girls are quite severely overweight. A few of this group can kick above head height. A few can barely kick at all; they are just raising their legs a bit.
As they leave the stage, the next to youngest group appears and, as before, some need a bit of prompting from the wings. They make way for the younger squad who, as before, just move about a bit and look cute.
The next discipline would seem to be cheerleaders. I'm not sure when that was ever a dance type but then I'm not running a dance school. Anyway, the first lot move about in unison, the second lot not quite as good, the third lot are still needing some prompting and the last lot just try to hit each other with their pom poms.
You can tell I'm getting really bored by this point. The little cuties then vacate the stage.
Yay! We're finished. No we're not.
There is tap to come. Ye gods and little fishes! Tap?! When was the last time anyone did tap dancing? Lionel Blair was the last I can recall. Anyway, see previous comments re levels of competence.
After the tap section, we are treated to the big finale. All the dancers come onto the stage for the extravaganza that (please god) will end this display of dancing prowess. Or lack of prowess depending on your levels of cynicism. Eventually, they all wave to the audience and leave the stage
Yay! Time to go home. No. Hold your horses. This being the second of two nights, we are now treated(?) to the awards part of the evening.
The dance part of the evening was tedious enough, now we have to sit and watch all the patting on the backs that showbiz types love so much. This was worse than the Oscars. It also seemed to drag on for hours. It didn't, of course. It only dragged on for 40 minutes. It was made all the worse that my granddaughter didn't win anything, even though she was quite obviously the best dancer.
Anyway, when this lovefest is complete we can all go home. Or can we? No we can't. Somebody was leaving the dance school and so, more hugs and kisses were doled out and then we had to have speeches. Dearie me. I was thinking I would never get home. Obviously, some of the younger participants were thinking the same and were beginning to get a bit fractious. There were tears, as well. That was dismissed as kids getting emotional about the lady who was leaving them; I would have said it was down to sheer bloody fatigue.
Finally, after all the speechifying, we were released into the wild. Hurrah!
The whole show lasted for a little under four hours. Four hours! No wonder those little kids were starting to get grumpy.
I have some advice for anyone out there in gramblerland that is expected to attend one of these end-of-year displays. Firstly, if you can, go on the first, rather than the final, night... no awards ceremony. Secondly, if that isn't possible, make sure you've got a flask of hot tea and plenty of sandwiches to last you through the ordeal.
Better still, buy a ticket but feign illness on the night and simply don't go.
Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we?
Were any famous or not so well-known individuals born on the 16th of July? Of course there were. Here are some that even I have heard of.
Joshua Reynolds 1723 - Painter.
Nat Jackley 1909 - Comedian.
Tommy Eytle 1926 - Musician and actor. Jules in Eastenders.
Shirley Hughes 1927 - Children’s writer and illustrator.
Jane Hylton 1927 - Actress. Mrs Fisher in Some Mothers Do ’Ave ’Em.
John Chilton 1932 - Musician (trumpet). Leader of John Chilton’s Feetwarmers, George Melly’s backing band. Here is Hometown.
Mary Parkinson 1936 - Journalist and presenter. Mrs Michael Parkinson.
Jeremy Spenser 1937 - Former child actor. He played the young Louis Mazzini in Kind Hearts and Coronets.
Tommy Bruce 1937 - Singer. Here is his version of Ain't Misbehavin'. What the fu... What was that meant to be?!
Tony Jackson 1938 - Singer. He was the vocalist on this hit by The Searchers, Sweets for My Sweet
Corin Redgrave 1939 - Ector, dear leddie. Old Jolyon in The Forsyte Saga.
Frank Field 1942 - Politician. [Didn’t he sing I Remember You? - Ed.] Sigh... That was Frank Ifield.
Frank Field? Surely not.
Angharad Rees 1944 - Actress. Demelza in Poldark.
Barry Dudleston 1945 - Crickety bloke.
David Sibley 1948 - Jobbing actor. Played seven different characters in The Bill... not at the same time, you understand.
Dennis ‘The Menace’ Priestley 1950 - Darty bloke.
Lorraine Chase 1951 - Actress. Steph Stokes in Emmerdale.
Phil Carrick 1952 - Crickety bloke.
Aftab Sachak 1952 - Actor. Ashraf in (early) Eastenders.
Nicholas Frankau 1954 - Actor. Flying Officer Carstairs in Allo Allo.
Norman Cook 1963 - Musician. Perhaps better known as Fatboy Slim, but has a few other aliases... Are you ready for this?... Arthur Chubb, Asher D. Slim, Biggie Slims, Cheeky Boy, Chemistry, Chimp McGarvey, Cook Da Bass, Disque Attack, DJ Delite, DJ Quentox, Drunk Soul Brother, The Feelgood Factor, Grime Minister, Hot Since 63, Hobblefoot Hound, Margret Scratcher, Mighty Gus Poyetz, Pierre Burner Down, Sensateria, Son of a Cheeky Boy, Son of Wilmot, Stomping Pondfrogs, Sunny Side Up and let’s not forget Yum Yum Head Food. Here’s one of Fatboy’s biggest hits, Praise You. I love that video; brilliant and crap at the same time.
Andy Abraham 1964 - Who? Singer who nearly won 2005’s The X Factor, being narrowly beaten by Shayne Ward. In 2008 he represented GB in the Eurovision Song Contest which he would have won if only every other entry hadn’t scored more points than him. Here is that song, Even If.
Johnny Vaughan 1966 - Radio presenter.
Matt Healy 1970 - Actor. Matthew King in Emmerdale.
Gareth Bale 1989 - Pêl-droediw.
Bob McHugh 1991 - Fitba guy. Ex-Motherwell, you know.
Andros Townsend 1991 - Footy bloke.
Katie McGlynn 1993 - Actress. Sinead Osbourne in Coronation Street.
Kortney Hause 1995 - Footy bloke.
Righty ho, what about the 23rd of July?
Michael Wilding 1912 - Jobbing actor. Who can forget his Ponsonby in Waterloo? I know I can.
Michael Foot 1913 - Politician.
Ronald Ridout 1916 - Writer of school textbooks.
Robert Brown 1921 - Jobbing actor. Bert Harker in The Newcomers. 139 credits on IMBd.
Charles Stapley 1925 - Jobbing actor. He was in The Adventures of Robin Hood (the Richard Greene one) as characters such as Lt. Howard, Edmund, Exeter, William, Will, Spicer, Dick the Smith, Seneschal, Sir Gaillard, Jack, Rolf and Sir Miles as well as various soldiers, outlaws and drinkers at bar.
Charlotte Mitchell 1926 - Actress. Mary in Not in Front of the Children.
Richard Rodgers 1933 - Architect.
Mandy Miller 1944 - Child actress. Mandy in Mandy. Had a hit novelty record that you all (probably) know.
Andy McKay 1946 - A Roxy Musician. He co-wrote this one, Angel Eyes. That’s him playing the sax.
David Essex 1947 - Singer and actor. Have a clip. This one kept Queen off the number one spot.
Michael Wood 1948 - Historian and broadcaster.
Cheryl Hall 1950 - Actress. Shirley Johnson in Citizen Smith and a former Mrs Robert Lindsay.
Stewart Milne 1950 - Businessman and former chairman of Aberdeen F.C.
Len McCluskey 1950 - Trade unionist.
Graham Gooch 1953 - Crickety bloke.
Jo Brand 1957 - Comedienne.
Kate Buffery 1957 - Actress. D.I. Pat North in Trial & Retribution.
Quentin Willson 1957 - Motoring journalist and presenter.
Martin Gore 1961 - Musician. A bit of Depeche Mode, a band who are incredibly popular in mainland Europe. This was number one in Italy, Spain and Sweden, but only reached number four here in the Yuk - Precious.
Andy Townsend 1963 - Footy bloke.
Matilda Ziegler 1964 - Actress. Irma Gobb in Mr Bean.
Saul Hudson aka Slash 1965 - Musician. A bit of Guns N’ Roses. Notice that? Not Guns ’N’ Roses, which would be more grammatically correct. That is, if they must use N instead of the word and. Honestly! Where were these people educatified? Here’s the band’s first hit single, which sold in sufficient numbers to earn the band a gold disc, Paradise City.
John Torode 1965 - TV Cook.
Fran Healy 1973 - Musician. Frontman with Travis. Here’s a track with one hell of a creepy video, Nina's Song.
Blake Harrison 1985 - Actor. Neil Sutherland in The Inbetweeners.
Stewart Anderson 1985 - Booler.
Reece Ritchie 1987 - Actor. Ray Singh in The Lovely Bones.
Daniel Radcliffe 1989 - Actor. Harry Potter. Him.
Danny Ings 1992 - Footy bloke.
I’ve received a letter...
Dear Lovely David Gramblex,
It was lovely to hear that lovely song, Gonna Make You a Star. It really was lovely. I remember you once starred in a lovely film about you racing a lovely motorbike. Wasn't there a lovely song from it that became a lovely hit? I can't remember the name though. If you could let me know what it was called, that would be lovely.
Yours with love,
How did The Grambler’s predictions fare last time? Well, we did win. Sort of. £1.80 back from our £2.20 outlay. A better result than last time. What happened? Read on...
Degerfors vs IFK Norrkoping - Away win
Result - Degerfors 1 IFK Norrkoping
Ooh! ’It the bar!
Elfsborg vs AIK - Home win
Result - Elfsborg 2 AIK 2
Ooh! ’It the bar again!
Mjallby vs BK Hacken - Away win
Result - Mjallby 1 BK Hacken 2
Hammarby vs IFK Goteborg - Home win
Result - Hammarby 3 IFK Goteborg 0
Helsingborg vs Djurgarden - Away win
Result - Helsingborg 0 Djurgarden 2
What treats has The Grambler come up with this week? Same league as last week. More’s the pity. Have you ever tried typing out crazy Scandinavian names you’ve never heard of? Not easy, I can tell you.
Game - Result - Odds
Mjällby AIF vs Degerfors IF - Home win - 3/4
Helsingborgs IF vs GIF Sundsvall - Home win - 7/10
IFK Värnamo vs AIK - Away win - 21/20
IFK Norrköping vs IFK Göteborg - Home win - 5/6
Varbergs BoIS vs Hammarby IF - Away win - 1/2
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
Yay! How did you get on with the five teasers set last time? Here are the answers.
1. Who am I?
A goalkeeper, I began my senior career at Shrewsbury before moving to Manchester City. I have been capped for England 75 times. In 2021 I moved to Celtic.
Answer - Joe Hart
2. Which former Premier League side will play season 2022-23 in the National League?
Answer - Oldham Athletic
3. Which team conceded the most Premier League goals in one season?
Answer - Swindon Town (100)
4. Which national sides have been managed by Jurgen Klinsmann?
Answer - Germany and USA
5. What management feat is shared by Jock Stein and Alex McLeish?
Answer - Both managed the Scotland team in two separate spells.
How did you get on with those? All correct? Well done. Let’s see if we can come up with some more difficult ones for this week...
1. Who am I?
I was born in 1980 in Terrassa, Spain. A midfielder, I played 505 games for the team I now manage. I was capped 133 times for my country. I am known by a shortened version of my first name.
2. Which club is managed by Christophe Galtier?
3. Which club’s stadium was briefly known as the Sports Direct Arena?
4. Which player has won the most caps for the Republic of Ireland?
5. A daft one to finish, in the 2022-23 season, how many London derbies will take place?
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; it is now sitting at over £60,000.
And finally, Cyril? And finally, Esther, I am indebted to a Ms J. Brand, a comedienne who celebrates her birthday on this day. I have enjoyed Jo Brand’s type of humour ever since I first saw her on Saturday Live in the late 1980s as ‘The Sea Monster’. To finish this edition of the world’s greatest ill-informed blog, here she is with some amusing QI moments.
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.