Saturday 9 July 2022

Post 453 - a grambling farewell


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 .

This link can still be accessed, but a new link will be in place soon to ensure that every single penny raised goes straight to bowel cancer research without a fee going to any middleman.

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...

And so we bid a fond farewell to another piece of old technology which has been replaced by newer, more efficient processes. It's a piece of kit that used to grace every business that accepted credit cards. What am I referring to? Why, the good old-fashioned credit card imprinter. Sorry pardon excuse me?

Yes, for those of you too young to remember, before everything to do with spending became electronic, if you wished to pay for goods with a credit card, it would be placed in such a machine with a three-layer 'receipt' and the vendor would swipe across the card with a lever which, when returned to its starting point, revealed that, as if by magic, your card details were now printed on the receipt. Wow!

Of course, it wasn't magic, was it boys and girls? It was just like carbon paper... Oh dear, another one from back in the mists of time. You won't know what that is either. Ask your mum, or granny. Any road up, the machine had simply forced the receipt onto the embossed information on the card to reveal its details and you then signed the receipt to validate the sale and received a copy for your records. One copy was retained by the vendor and the third would go to your bank to make the payment which you had signed for.

It all sounds so old-fashioned compared to contactless payments. And, indeed, it is old-fashioned; when was the last time you encountered a card swiper?

Today, I received proof that the swipe machine is no longer used and is yet another piece of history destined for a museum. How so, I hear you ask. My new credit card arrived through the post and guess what, the number and name are now simply printed on the card rather than embossed. Such is progress.

There's a thing that's always bothered me about credit and debit cards. If you order something online, or over the phone, and pay by card, you are asked for the security number of the card. That three digit number on the back. All well and good, but how is something printed on the back of the card a form of security? Surely it would make sense for those good people at the bank to send card holders a security number under separate cover (the way they do with passwords) so that, should the card get stolen, it can't be used online (or over the phone). As it is, it would take a very stupid criminal indeed to not spend loads of your dosh when he had nicked your card.

Come on bank people, think it through. You know it makes sense.


R.I.P. old friend




Birthday honours...

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

Were any famous or not so well-known individuals born on the 9th of July? Of course there were. Here are some that even I have heard of.

William Burrell 1861 - Shipping magnate and philanthropist. [He collected stamps, that’s interesting. - Ed.] Jeezo!

Barbara Cartland 1901 - Orfer. She wrote 723 novels, don’t cha know.

Ian Mikardo 1908 - Politician who liked Gilbert and Sullivan.

Mervyn Peake 1911 - Orfer. Mr Pye, that was one of his.

Edward Heath 1916 - The well-known sailor.

Hazel Adair 1920 - Scriptwriter.

Christopher Morahan 1929 - Director.

Alex Welsh 1929 - Jazz musician. Have a clip. Here’s It Don't Mean A Thing (if it ain't got that swing). Shocking grammar.

Jimmy Reid 1932 - Trades unionist and politician.

Oliver Sacks 1933 - Neurologist, naturalist, historian of science and writer. In fact, a right old smarty boots. The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. That was one of his. [Didn’t he play Manuel in Fawlty Towers? - Ed.] No.

John Clegg 1934 - Actor. La-di-dah Gunner Graham in It Ain’t Half Hot Mum.

Michael Williams 1935 - Actor. Mike in A Fine Romance. Mr Judi Dench.

Richard Wilson 1936 - Actor. Victor Meldrew in One Foot In The Grave.

David Hockney 1937 - Artist.

Barry Howard 1937 - Actor. Barry Stuart-Hargreaves in Hi-de-Hi!

Natasha Pyne 1946 - Actress. Anna Tanner in Father, Dear Father.

Bon Scott 1946 - Original AC/DC singer. A clip. Here’s Whole Lotta Rosie.

John ‘Mitch’ Mitchell 1947 - Drummy bloke with The Jimi Hendrix Experience. A clip? Here’s their biggest UK hit, Purple Haze.  A favourite misheard lyrics song... Excuse me, while I kiss this guy. [Pardon? - Ed.]

Nigel Lythgoe 1949 - Dancer, TV producer and director.

John Frieda 1951 - Barber. He used to be Mr Lulu.

Paddy Bush 1952 - Musician and Kate’s big brother. Have a clip. Here’s Jig of Life.

Steve Coppell 1955 - Footy bloke.

Paul Merton 1957 - Comedian.

Marc Almond 1957 - [Nut? - Ed.] Oh ha bloody ha. Singer. Here is his first big hit with Soft Cell, Tainted Love.

Moray Hunter 1958 - Comedian.

Jim Kerr 1959 - Singer (it says here). Have another clip. Here’s Promised You A Miracle.

Tom Hingley 1965 - Singer and Inspiral Carpet. Time for another clip. Here’s Saturn 5.

Owen Powell 1967 - Guitarist. Have a clip. Here’s Catatonia with Road Rrrrage.

Dani Behr 1970 - Presenter on The Word. Not a real bear.

Simon Tong 1972 - Jobbing musician. One time guitarist with The Verve. Another clip, methinks. Here’s Lucky Man.

Ashley Young 1985 - Footy bloke.








I’ve received a letter...

Dear Marc Gramblemond,

I have always been a fan of your good self. I recall you had a hit or two with other people. Gene Pitney and Something’s Gotten Hold of My Heart was one. Did you also have a hit with Bronski Beat? What was that one?

Yours with bells on,

I. Fee-Love.






Gramble time...

How did The Grambler’s predictions fare last time? Well, we did win. Sort of. 88 pees back from our £2.20 outlay. Oh dear. What happened? Read on...

FC Honka vs IFK Mariehamn - Home win

Result - Honka 1 IFK Mariehamn 1

Ooh! ’It the bar!

AC Oulu vs VPS Vaasa - Away win

Result - AC Oulo 0 VPS Vaasa 6


HJK Helsinki vs KuPS Kuopio - Home win

Result - HJK Helsinki 1 KuPS Kuopio 1

Ooh! ’It the bar!

Lahti vs FC Inter - Away win

Result - Lahti 2 Inter 1


HIFK vs FC Ilves - Away win

Result - HIFK 0 Ilves 1


Not too good. Oh well, let’s see what The Grambler has come up with this week. Ooh, he/she/it has gone for the Sweden Allsvenskan. There’s fancy.

Game - Result - Odds


Degerfors vs IFK Norrkoping - Away win - 19/20


Elfsborg vs AIK - Home win - 11/10

Mjallby vs BK Hacken - Away win - 19/20


Hammarby vs IFK Goteborg - Home win - 13/20

Helsingborg vs Djurgarden - Away win - 3/5


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


In whoppingness terms, that’s not too bad.





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 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.

Answer - Alan Ball

2. Who is Burnley’s manager?

Answer - Vincent Kompany

3. Which Italian player has made the most Premier League appearances?

Answer - Gianfranco Zola (229)

4. Which current Liverpool player boasts the most international caps?

Answer - Mohamed Salah (85)

5. A daft one to finish. Can you name all the teams in the English senior leagues with ‘ton’ in their name?

Answer - 14 - Aston Villa, Brighton & Hove Albion, Everton, Southampton, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Luton Town, Preston North End, Accrington Stanley, Bolton Wanderers, Burton Albion, Charlton Athletic, Milton Keynes Dons, Leyton Orient and Sutton United.

I say you chaps, shall we have five teasers for this week? That would be rather spiffing, what.

1. Who am I?

I was born in 1987 in Shrewsbury. 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.

2. Which former Premier League side will play season 2022-23 in the National League?

3. Which team conceded the most Premier League goals in one season?

4. Which national sides have been managed by Jurgen Klinsmann?

5. What management feat is shared by Jock Stein and Alex McLeish?

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; it is now sitting at £60,000.





And Finally...

And finally, Cyril? And finally, Esther, I am indebted to a Mr. P. Merton who celebrates his birthday today. Paul Merton has been a mainstay of Have I Got News For You for 32 years... except for the one series where he wasn’t there. [Sorry? - Ed.] Yes, he left for the 11th series, but returned for the 12th... and the subsequent 50 series (and counting). This week, for our finishing item, please enjoy some Paul Merton moments from HIGNFY (as aficionados like to call it).





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.


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