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…
You may have read this week that Deborah James aka the Bowel Babe has finally succumbed to that most horrible of diseases, bowel cancer. Bowel cancer that only affects over fifties, we are told. She was 40. Because of her crusade to raise awareness about bowel cancer, over £6 million has been raised for Cancer Research UK. Great. She was also made a dame. Well, whoop-de-f******-doo! How patronising. Here, have a meaningless title. Most people pay thousands to get a title. She had to pay with her life.
Excuse my cynicism, but what difference will any of it make? Raising awareness now, but will people remember her 'legacy' (a popular in-word the media love to use) in years to come?
Did Stephen Sutton receive a knighthood? No, he only got an MBE; an even more meaningless title. [Surely, you can't quantify the word meaningless. Something is either meaningless or it isn't. - Ed.] Fair point... Who, I hear you ask. Stephen Sutton MBE. He was 18 when he was diagnosed with bowel cancer. Remember that? The one that only affects over fifties? Aye, sure. He was only 19 when he died. It was then that he received his title. Fat lot of use that was to him, then. Like Dame Debbie, he raised millions for cancer research. Who talks about him now, eight years on?
I'm going to relate to you another terribly sad story about bowel cancer being ignored until it was too late. A 39 year-old man first went to see his doctor about bowel problems in February 2020. He was sent home with a course of antibiotics, a GP's answer to any ailment it would seem, despite requesting that he have a scan to check for bowel cancer. After more requests, he was finally given a scan in June, which showed that he did have bowel cancer, but it was so advanced that it had spread to his liver and lungs. He died in February of this year.
Who can know whether having a scan three months earlier would have saved him? Nobody. But wasting any time when a cancer is even the merest hint of a possibility can make all the difference between a cure and, as in this case, death.
Sadly for him, his problem was first spotted as hospitals were beginning to struggle with coronavirus cases and he was told that a scan was out of the question because of the possibility of contracting covid 19.
Unfortunately, whether we are in the throes of a pandemic or not, all other diseases are still there and still need treatment. How many cancers have gone undetected because treatments are on hold while coronavirus takes precedence?
So, whatever symptoms you have that you think could indicate bowel cancer, tell your doctor immediately and request a scan to deal with your concerns. If he or she tells you that you are wrong or are too young to be even thinking about bowel cancer, just relate this tale, or Stewart's story and any number of other similar ones.
Too many doctors are still of the opinion that bowel cancer only affects older people. Like Dame Debbie and Stephen MBE, we, Stewart's family, aim to raise awareness that that is not always the case. Maybe those doctors should read thegrambler.com. It might alter their view.
Still related to bowel cancer, but on a lighter note, you regular readers out there in Gramblerland know that we raise money for bowel cancer research by holding events such as afternoon teas, quizzes and the like. Last Friday night, in a first for us, Mrs G organised a bingo night. And very successful it was too; it raised £1033 for the Bobby Moore fund (which, as you regular readers also know, specialises in funding bowel cancer research). Well done Mrs G, I hear you say. It also marked a couple of landmarks for us; we have been raising money for the fund for 10 years (Stewart began raising money for the Bobby Moore fund back in 2012.). The second landmark was that we had raised £60,000 over the years. Actually, we have raised considerably more than that, as that figure only covers the money raised since Stewart's death in 2013.
All the cash that has been raised was given to the fund via Justgiving which, ten years ago, was the best way to transfer money to a charity. The problem is that Justgiving itself is not a charity; it is a business and, as such, it takes a cut of any money that it passes on to charitable causes. The figure is something between 2.9 and 5%. Why don't I know the exact figure? Because Justgiving, themselves, don't seem to know; different posts give different amounts. Okay, say they take the higher figure, that would mean that £3000 of the money we have raised for charity has instead helped in making somebody very rich.
Remember Captain Tom who raised dosh for the NHS two years ago? He raised £33 million. If all of that passed through Justgiving, then that business was richer to the tune of £1.65 million. Maybe, with Tom's fundraising being so high profile, Justgiving didn't take their usual cut. I hope that was the case, because that is a huge amount that could otherwise be going to the NHS.
Why am I telling you all of this? Well, after ten years, things have changed. There are alternatives to Justgiving. In future, all the money we raise will be donated to the Bobby Moore fund via Cancer Research UK. The reason for making the change is that every penny will go directly to bowel cancer research. No middle man means that nobody is siphoning off any cut. Huzzah!
Though the Justgiving page is still quoted in the introduction to this blog, the change will be made soon and, should you wish to, you can donate in the knowledge that anything you give will go directly to the charity.
Well, that's all a bit serious, you must be thinking. You are right, so let's finish with some bingo facts and funnies.
Did you know that the biggest bingo prize ever was won in a national game in Scotland back in 2008 when a lucky lady won £1,167,795?
Did you know that a few famous folk began their showbiz careers as bingo callers? Shane Ritchie, Kian Egan (Westlife), Simon Webbe (Blue) and, of all people, Russell Crowe.
Did you know that over 3 million people in the UK play bingo at least twice per week? That is almost five percent of the population.
Well, whadder you know! as they used to say.
How about a couple of gags to finish?
The first concerns a good old-fashioned bingo caller who likes to use bingo slang when calling the numbers...
'All the sixes: clickety click. All the twos: two little ducks. Six and two: clickety duck.'
Well, I liked it.
The second gag concerns a bingo player who is 'sweating', that is, waiting for one number to complete her card and win the big prize. The number she is waiting for is 13...
'...And your next number is... unlucky for some...'
Before the caller can finish the sentence, our eager player cries out, 'House!'
The caller continues with his sentence, '... twelve.'
Feeling cheated, our bingo player says, 'That's not unlucky for some!'
The caller replies, 'It is for you, missus.'
Boom and indeed, tish.
Please take note
Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we?
Were any famous or not so well-known individuals born on the 25th of June? Of course there were. Here are some that even I have heard of.
Basil Radford 1897 - Actor. Known as ‘The Eternal Englishman’, often playing stuffy, well-bred types, don’t-cha-know. Captain Waggett in Whisky Galore.
Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma 1900 - Royal bloke.
Eric Blair aka George Orwell 1903 - Orfer. 1984, he wrote that one.
Roger Livesey 1906 - Actor. Clive Wynne-Candy in The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp. a satire on the leadership of the British army.
Cyril Fletcher 1913 - Comedian who gets name-checked at the end edition of your favourite ill-informed blog.
Mavis Pugh 1914 - Actress. Lady Lavendar in You Rang, M’Lord.
Harold Spiro 1925 - Songwriter. He wrote Long Live Love, the UK entry in 1974’s Eurovision Song Contest. But that’s not what you are getting a link to. Oh no. He won an Ivor Novello Award for this.
Moray Watson 1928 - Actor. Sir Donald Stuffy in Norbert Smith, a Life.
Roy Williamson 1936 - A Corrie. He wrote this one. Roy’s the one playing the mandolin type thing. Yes, I know I’ve put that in a previous edition, but it’s a belter.
Clint Warwick 1940 - Original bassist for The Moody Blues. He was also co-lead vocalist on this one, I've Got A Dream. Factoid: His real name is Albert Eccles. I wonder why he changed it?
Eddie Large 1941 - Comedian.
Roy Marsden 1941 - Actor. Adam Dalglish in Death of an Expert Witness, Shroud for a Nightingale, Cover Her Face, The Black Tower, A Taste for Death, Devices and Desires, Unnatural Causes, A Mind to Murder, Original Sin and A Certain Justice. That’s eight series and two film-length features. In all, he played the character in 45 episodes.
Patricia Brake 1942 - Actress. Ingrid Fletcher in Porridge.
Labi Siffre 1945 - Musician. A clip? Indeed. Here’s Crying, Laughing, Loving, Lying.
Ian McDonald 1946 - Musician. Founding member of both King Crimson (which he left) and Foreigner (which he was kicked out of). Have a clip. Here’s Cold as Ice.
Alan Green 1952 - Football commentator.
Vic Marks 1955 - Crickety bloke.
Ricky Gervais 1961 - Comedian, actor, director, producer, musician and writer. In fact, a right old smarty boots.
Phil Jupitus 1962 - Comedian. Factoid: His early stage persona was Porky the Poet.
George Michael 1963 - Singer-songwriter and musician. Another clip coming up. Here’s Fastlove.
Johnny Herbert 1964 - Racey car bloke.
Neil Lennon 1971 - Fuddy blook, surely noy.
Jamie Redknapp 1973 - Footy bloke.
Sunetra Sarker 1973 - Actress. Kaneez Paracha in Ackley Bridge.
Derek Adams 1975 - Fitba guy. Ex-Motherwell, you know.
Callum Davidson 1976 - Fitba guy.
Sheridan Smith 1981 - Actress. Now, what’s she been in? [What hasn’t she been in, you mean. - Ed.] Jenna in The Teacher.
Scott Brown 1985 - Fitba guy.
Jamie Walker 1993 - Fitba guy.
Lauren Price 1994 - Boxy bloke.
Now then, what about July the 2nd?
Thomas Cranmer 1489 - The well-known archbishop. Looked nothing like Bernard Hepton. Now, there’s an old reference for you.
Jack Hylton 1892 - Band leader and impressario. Here’s a little song dedicated to Britain’s answer to Amelia Earhart, Amy Johnson.
Ian Wilson 1901 - Jobbing actor. Never heard of him? Chances are, you will have seen him. 206 credits on IMBd ranging from Office Boy in the 1914 short, Don’t Tell Your Wife to Communicant in 1973’s The Wicker Man.
Alec Douglas-Home 1903 - The well-known prime minister. Looked nothing like David Annan.
Alan Webb 1906 - Jobbing actor. Colonel Cope-Addams in Knight Errant Limited.
Robert Sharples 1913 - Composer and bandleader. Here’s the theme tune he wrote a 1960s series called Public Eye.
Annette Kerr 1920 - Actress. Dora Grimes in 2point4 Children.
Peter Taylor 1928 - Footy bloke. Cloughie’s sidekick.
John Timpson 1928 - Journalist and presenter.
Frank Williams 1931 - Actor. Rev. Timothy Farthing in Dad’s Army. I have just had a very weird moment; when putting fingers to keyboard to type in Frank’s details, I checked IMDb. I saw there that he was still alive. Wow, I thought, 90 not out. I then checked Wikipedia just to make sure I had his date of birth correct. I had, however, it noted that he had died. Indeed he had, the very day I was typing this out, the 26th of June. Spooky.
Johnnie Mortimer 1931 - TV scriptwriter. With Brian Cooke wrote such popular sitcoms as Man About the House and its follow-ups George and Mildred and Robin’s Nest.
Terry Major-Ball 1932 - John Major’s big brother. Made a bit of a career as a media personality (whatever that means.)
Tom Springfield 1934 - Musician. Brother of Dusty. Dusty’s real name was Mary O’Brien. Tom’s real name? Dionysius O’Brien. No wonder he changed it. Have a clip. Here’s Green Leaves of Summer. Tom is on the right.
Dee (formerly David) Palmer 1937 - Musician. One time member of Jethro Tull. Yay! A chance to include a link to a Tull track. Here’s a live version of Songs From The Wood. David (sorry Dee) is the one in the black penguin suit playing the keyboard (and helping out with vocals).
David Owen 1938 - Politician.
Kenneth Clark 1940 - Politician. Looks nothing like Nick Wymer. [Who? - Ed.]
Christopher Awdry 1940 - Orfer. Took over writing duties for the Thomas the Tank Engine stories from his dad.
Chris Huhne 1954 - Politician.
William Haughey 1956 - Businessman and philanthropist.
Michael Clark 1962 - Cosmic dancer.
Mark Kermode 1963 - Film buff.
Roy Boulter 1964 - Musician, writer and director. Drummer with The Farm. A clip? Why not. Here’s Don't Let Me Down the third single from the album Spartacus. That explains the video, then.
Sue Devaney 1967 - Actress. Debbie Webster in Coronation Street.
Samantha Giles 1971 - Actress. Bernice Blackstock in Emmerdale.
Lee Boardman 1972 - Actor. Jez Quigley in Coronation Street.
Peter Kay 1973 - Comedian.
Dan Tetsell 1974 - Another comedian.
Daniel Kitson 1977 - Yet another comedian.
Danny Rose 1990 - Footy bloke.
Jordan Bowery 1991 - Footy bloke.
I’ve received a letter...
Dear (the late) George Grambael,
I always loved your music; right from the days of Wham. It was a Wham song that I wanted to ask you about. I believe one of your songs was used as a charity fundraiser for Children in Need. I think Shane Ritchie sang it. Could you enlighten me, please?
How did The Grambler’s predictions fare last time? Well, we did win. Sort of. £2.10 back from our £2.20 outlay. What happened? Read on...
FC Haka vs IFK Mariehamn - 13.00 - Home win
Result - FC Haka 3 IFK Mariehamn 2
FC Ilves vs Lahti - 15.00 - Home win
Result - FC Ilves 3 Lahti 2
HJK Helsinki vs AC Oulu - 15.00 - Home win
Result - HJK Helsinki 0 AC Oulo 1
SJK vs FC Inter - 15.00 - Away win
Result - SJK 1 Inter 1
Ooh! ’It the bar!
HIFK vs VPS Vaasa -21.00 - Away win
Result - HIFK 1 VPS Vaasa 5
Perhaps we should stick with that league for this week. What do you reckon, Grambler? Yes? What do you mean, we can’t? Oh, only four games on Saturday. Well, what about other days? There’s one on Monday. Shall we go with that one as well? Aye, why not. Let’s have a look what he/she/it has randomly selected.
Game - Result - Odds
FC Honka vs IFK Mariehamn - Home win - 9/20
AC Oulu vs VPS Vaasa - Away win - 6/5
HJK Helsinki vs KuPS Kuopio - Home win - Evens
Lahti vs FC Inter - Away win - 10/11
HIFK vs FC Ilves - Away win - Evens
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
That’s a bit whoppinger than usual.
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 1992 in Bree, Belgium. I am 6’ 7” tall. I began my senior career with Gent. I then moved to Chelsea, but was immediately loaned out to Atletico Madrid for three seasons. I helped them to win the Europa League in 2012 and La Liga title in 2014. I returned to Chelsea and was part of the team that won the Premier League in 2015 and again in 2017. In 2018 I was sold to my present club, Real Madrid, for £35 million.
Answer - Thibaut Courtois
2. Which two players tie as Scotland’s top goalscorers with 30 goals each?
Answer(s) - Denis Law and Kenny Dalglish
3. Which English club has the motto ‘Audere est facere’ (To dare is to do.)?
Answer - Tottenham Hotspur
4. Which English club has the nickname ‘The Grecians’?
Answer - Exeter City
5. Another daft one to finish. Name the seven clubs in the English and Scottish senior leagues with a compass point as part of their name.
Answer - West Ham, Southampton, West Bromwich Albion, Preston North End, Northampton Town, Queen of the South and East Fife.
Shall we have another five for this week? I should say so...
1. Who am I?
I was born in 1945 in Farnworth, Lancashire. A midfielder, I played at many clubs, but the bulk of my career was spent at Blackpool, Everton, Arsenal and Southampton. In all, I made 833 league appearances. I was capped for England 72 times and was a member of the 1966 World Cup winning team.
2. Who is Burnley’s manager?
3. Which Italian player has made the most Premier League appearances?
4. Which current Liverpool player boasts the most international caps?
5. A daft one to finish. Can you name all the teams in the English senior leagues with ‘ton’ in their name? I’ve a feeling I may have asked that question in the past. If so, I do apologise, but have fun anyway.
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. [You don’t need to. It’s £60,000. You were told earlier. - Ed.]
And finally, Cyril? And finally, Esther, for this week’s finishing item, I am indebted to a Mr. P. Kay who features in this week’s birthday honours. Here is a short clip from the most successful comedy tour show ever, The Tour That Doesn't Tour Tour... Now On Tour.
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.