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…
You may have been wondering why there was no edition of your favourite ill-informed blog last week. What do you mean, you never noticed? The reason for its non-appearance was that Mrs G and I have been on our travels again. Abroad. First time in getting on for three years. However, this is not a 'what I did in my holidays' essay, but it does pick up on one small aspect of it.
We stayed in a hotel. Very nice I hear you say. Indeed it was. Clean, comfortable room overlooking the sea; good food at mealtimes. What could be better? The evening's entertainment, that's what.
We've been to many hotels and resorts over the years; we have witnessed some brilliant and not so brilliant entertainment.
I recall the world's best bingo caller...'One and three... thirty one'. We've seen possibly the world's clumsiest magician. He couldn't magish at all. His act was supposed to finish with a dove flying out of a silver server when he lifted the lid. We worked out the big finish quite early in the act; he had placed the server complete with lid on a table beside him. Unfortunately, during another trick, he managed to knock the platter off the table and a stunned dove tried to crawl out. Only by clamping the lid shut on the poor animal's wing did he stop it escaping. Not surprisingly, the finale was somewhat spoiled because the dove was a bit wary when it came to the point where it was actually meant to leave the server; the magician had to give it a right old prod to get it moving.
Any road up, back to last week's holiday, the entertainment on the first night was a female singer. She had a pleasant enough voice; a bit Joni Mitchell, I thought. And she sang some songs Mrs G and I recognised... eventually. Her problem was that the tune accompanying the words was almost exactly nothing like the original.
Her first number, a take on the Red Hot Chilli Peppers' song Under the Bridge, for example, we didn’t recognise immediately, but we persevered and got there in the end. She had obviously taken the words of the song and just sang them to whatever notes came in to her head.
Some songs were easy to spot. Zombie by the Cranberries was one. There aren’t too many songs with the word zombie repeated over and over. Carole King's It's Too Late, was not so easy to work out.
All in all, nice voice, terrible memory for tunes.
A couple of nights later, another female singer rocked up to... erm... entertain us.
This one didn't have a very pleasant voice at all. Imagine a combination of Rod Stewart, Joe Cocker, Bonnie Tyler and her dad Steven. Now imagine that voice with a severe dose of laryngitis and you'll be somewhere close to envisaging how truly awful this singer was.
She also had the same problem as the singer from two nights previous; she made her own tunes up. Sadly, because she had such a godawful voice, it was nigh on impossible to spot a song, and having English as a second language, some of her pronunciation was iffy. It was sometimes possible to spot a word or two which gave you an idea of what she was attempting to sing in her gravelly way. There aren't too many songs with a chorus of 'you can go your own way' so we surmised that she was having a go at the old Fleetwood Mac tune.
She then began a song which featured a phrase which sounded something like 'ah hee ah hee ah hee'. Nope. This was a new one on me. It bugged me no end. I even went to bed thinking about it and trying to work out what that song was.
After drifting off to sleep, I awoke and with such a start that I also woke a worried Mrs G...
'What's wrong? Are you all right?' she enquired.
'The one we couldn't work out... ah hee ah hee ah hee.'
'And what was it?'
'Zombie by the Cranberries.'
I would like to end this week’s story time with a link to a version of a song that always struck me as being quite ironic, given its title. Here’s Ray Charles making a right old mess of Melanie’s Look What They've Done to My Song, Ma.
Ray Charles - Song murderer
Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we?
Were any famous or not so well-known individuals born on the 20th of August? Of course there were. Here are some that even I have heard of.
Duncan Macrae 1905 - Actor. Para Handy in Para Handy - Master Mariner.
Bunny Austin 1906 - Tennisy bloke. Not a real rabbit.
Andre Morell 1909 - Actor. Professor Bernard Quatermass in Quatermass and The Pit.
Bernard Archard 1916 - Actor. Inspector Pike in The List of Adrian Messenger. 141 IMDb credits.
Yootha Joyce 1927 - Actress. Mildred Roper in Man About The House and its spinoff series George and Mildred.
Anthony Ainley 1932 - Actor. The Master in Doctor Who. Well, one of the many actors who played that role over the years.
Ronnie Browne 1937 - A Corrie. A clip? But of course. Here’s Rattlin' Bog. [He should get a plumber in. - Ed.]
Jim Bowen 1937 - Comedian. Great super smashing!
Ronnie McKinnon 1940 - Fitba guy.
Dave Brock 1941 - Musician. A mainstay of prog rock band, Hawkwind. I think another clip is in order. Let’s have a bit of Space Chase.
Sylvester McCoy 1943 - Actor. Doctor Who number whatever.
Peter Denyer 1947 - Actor. Dennis Dunstable in Please, Sir! and its spinoff The Fenn Street Gang.
Robert Plant 1948 - Singer, most famously with Led Zeppelin. Let’s have another clip. Here, from Knebworth 1979, is a live version of Kashmir. Let's rawwk!
Phil Lynott 1949 - Musician. Frontman with Thin Lizzy. Time for another clip, methinks. Here’s Emerald.
John Emburey 1952 - Crickety bloke.
Simon Shepherd 1956 - Actor. Dr. Will Preston in Peak Practice.
Joe Pasquale 1961 - Comedian, it says here.
Steve McMahon 1961 - Footy bloke.
Sophie Aldred 1962 - Actress. Ace in Doctor Who.
Matthew Chambers 1968 - Actor. Dr. Daniel Granger in Doctors.
Neil Fitzmaurice 1969 - Actor, comedian and writer. Jeff Heaney in Peep Show.
Adrian Bower 1970 - Actor. Brian Steadman in Teachers.
Scott Quinnell 1972 - Rygbi'r undeb a haen rygbi'r gynghrair.
Jamie Cullum 1979 - Musician. Have a clip. Talking of mucking up songs, here’s Jamie’s take on The Wind Cries Mary.
Judd Trump 1989 - Snookery bloke.
Leigh Griffiths 1990 - Fitba guy.
Callum Skinner 1992 - Bike racey bloke.
Okay that’s last week’s birthday honours, what about this week? Who was born on the 27th of August?
Charles Rolls 1877 - Car salesman.
Eric Coates 1886 - Composer. Here’s a tune Radio 4 listeners will recognise, By The Sleepy Lagoon.
James Finlayson 1887 - Actor. Played the foil in many a Laurel and Hardy film.
Cecil Troughton 1899 - Who? He was an author, better known by his pen name C. S. Forrester. Created Horatio Hornblower... Stop sniggering at the back.
Kay Walsh 1911 - Actress. Nancy in Oliver Twist (1948).
Norman Mitchell 1918 - Jobbing actor. Usually played unnamed characters such as Landlord, Barman, Commissionaire or Lorry driver. He played four different characters in Mildred and George. He was always in demand, though: 312 credits on IMDb.
Nat Lofthouse 1925 - Footy bloke.
Pat Coombs 1926 - Actress. Lana Butt in Beggar My Neighbour.
Antonia Fraser 1932 - Orferess.
Phil Shulman 1937 - Musician. Founding member of prog rockers Gentle Giant. Have a clip. Here is Phil as lead vocalist of The Advent of Panurge.
Polly Adams 1939 - Actress. Mrs Brown in Just William.
Derek Warwick 1954 - Racey car bloke.
Andrew Marshall 1954 - Screenwriter. 2point4 Children, that was one of his.
John Lloyd 1954 - Tennisy bloke.
Nicola McAuliffe 1955 - Actress. Sheila Sabatini in Surgical Spirit.
Glen Matlock 1956 - Musician. Original bassist for The Sex Pistols. Though credited as being a writer on 10 of the 12 songs on Never Mind the Bollocks..., this is one of only two songs that he actually recorded for the album, God Save The Queen. So, although that video shows Sid Vicious ‘playing’ bass, it is actually Matlock’s work you hear.
Siobhan Redmond 1959 - Actress. Janice Taylor in Holby City way, way back. More recently, she provided the voice of Ollie the Smell Neuron in Nina and the Neurons. Okay, so I watch kids’ TV.
Mark Curry 1961 - TV presenter.
Reece Shearsmith 1969 - Comedian, actor and writer. With Steve Pemberton, writes and stars in Inside No. 9.
Mark Ealham 1969 - Crickety bloke.
Peter Ebdon 1970 - Snookery bloke.
Denise Lewis 1972 - Heptathleticky bloke
Suranne Jones 1978 - Actress. Anne Lister in Gentleman Jack. Her/him.
Vicky Binns 1982 - Actress. Molly Dobbs in Coronation Street.
Ed McKeever 1983 - Kayak racey bloke.
I’ve received a letter...
Dear (the very late) Eric Grambloates,
It was rather wonderful to hear the wonderful tune, By The Sleepy Lagoon which, as we all know, is the theme tune for the wonderful Desert Island Discs. Didn’t you write other wonderful tunes for other wonderful programmes on the wonderful BBC? I recall a wonderful programme called Music While You Work which used to be broadcast in all the wonderful factories up and down this wonderful country of ours. I think you wrote a rather wonderful theme tune for it, but can’t remember its title. It would be rather wonderful if you could remind me.
Yours in anticipation,
How did The Grambler’s predictions fare last time? We won. Indeed, we almost made a profit. Only almost, though... £1.90 back from our £2.20. What happened? Read on...
Accrington vs Burton - Home win
Result - Accrington 4 Burton 4
Ooh! ’It the bar! Sounds like a cracking game, though. Tell us about it...
Davis Keillor-Dunn scored a hat-trick but an added-time goal from Rosaire Longelo meant Burton's trip to Accrington finished as a thrilling draw.
Burton took the lead on 10 minutes when Stanley debutant Baba Fernandes was judged to have tripped Gassan Ahadme in the area. Keillor-Dunn sent Lukas Jensen the wrong way for Albion's first goal of the campaign.
It was two on 17 minutes when Victor Adeboyejo chested the ball down for Keillor-Dunn in the area and he fired home.
Burton made it three on 50 minutes when Jonny Smith's ball across the face of goal was tapped home at the far post for Keillor-Dunn's treble.
Stanley gave themselves a lifeline on 52 minutes when Sean McConville's cross was headed home by Joe Pritchard.
It was 3-2 on 57 minutes when Tommy Leigh sent McConville clean through and he chipped keeper Viljami Sinisalo.
Burton made it 4-2 on 81 minutes when Joe Powell headed against the post and Ahadme fired the rebound into the empty net.
Josh Woods headed home on 90 minutes for Stanley and then Burton failed to clear their lines in injury time and Longelo, in the 96th minute, forced the ball home at the far post.
Derby vs Barnsley - Home win
Result - Derby 2 Barnsley 1
The Reds started very nervously, with a mix-up between Conor McCarthy and goalkeeper Brad Collins in the six-yard box seeing Louis Sibley denied from close range by the stopper.
The same two players will be disappointed with the opener on eight minutes as Collins totally missed a corner by former Barnsley captain Conor Hourihane and the ball appeared to bounce in off McCarthy for an own goal.
James Norwood was denied one-on-one by home goalkeeper Joe Wildsmith but the Rams made it 2-0 when Tom Barkhuizen set up the unmarked Nathaniel Mendez-Laing to smash into the bottom left corner from the edge of the box.
Barnsley's Jack Aitchison blazed over a golden chance then James Collins fired wide at the other end when he looked sure to score.
Josh Benson's deflected 20-yard shot made it 2-1 midway through the second half then Mads Andersen headed a Benson corner wide of the top right corner in injury-time.
Ipswich vs MK Dons - Home win
Result - Ipswich 3 MK Dons 0
Goals from Wes Burns and Marcus Harness put the hosts 2-0 ahead at the break before Conor Chaplin swept home Town's third in the second half to wrap up a comfortable win.
Ipswich had a sight of goal in the second minute when striker Freddie Ladapo broke free on the left, but his low drive was smothered by Jamie Cumming.
Janoi Donacien's superb run and cross from the right flank was then expertly fired home by Burns three minutes later as Town opened the scoring.
MK Dons responded and Conor Grant brought a fine save from goalkeeper Christian Walton before Matt Dennis missed a glaring chance to equalise when he headed over Grant's excellent left-wing cross.
The Tractor Boys doubled their lead in the 28th minute when Harness reacted quickest to force the ball home after Burns' low shot from outside the area was saved by Cumming.
Ipswich skipper Sam Morsy's stinging drive was tipped over by Cumming six minutes later as the hosts ended the half strongly.
Chaplin turned in Ipswich's third in the 60th minute after Donacien cut the ball back following some clever footwork in the penalty area.
Substitute Sone Aluko (Crikey! Is he still playing? Oh, he’s 33; not that old, then.) went close to adding a fourth after he drove into the box but his low effort was turned wide by Cumming with 11 minutes to go.
Sheffield Wed vs Charlton - Home win
Result - Sheffield Wed 1 Charlton 0
Tyreeq Bakinson's goal late in the game was enough to give Sheffield Wednesday a victory over Charlton.
Barry Bannan had a chance for the hosts after only two minutes, glancing a header just wide.
Charlton then enjoyed a good spell, with Albie Morgan having an effort saved by David Stockdale while Scott Fraser and Steven Sessegnon both put shots over.
There was another chance for the Addicks when a defensive mix-up let in Corey Blackett-Taylor, but Liam Palmer got back to clear off the line.
Bakinson threatened to force the breakthrough shortly before he found the net.
The goal came nine minutes from time when Windass crossed from the right and Bakinson powered a header home.
Windass then picked up a loose ball, ran into the box and squared to Sow, whose effort was blocked.
The pair combined again in stoppage time, with Sow finding Windass on the edge of the area, but he fired over.
Wycombe vs Shrewsbury - Home win
Result - Wycombe 1 Shrewsbury 2
Matthew Pennington equalised after Garath McCleary had given the hosts a deserved lead, and Salop skipper Luke Leahy completed the turnaround two minutes from time.
Wycombe had the run of the first half, forcing Town goalkeeper Marko Marosi into a string of fine saves. Jack Grimmer was the first to be denied with an instinctive header tipped over, and a venomous drive from Lewis Wing had the Slovakian shot-stopper at full stretch again.
The Chairboys finally found a way through after the interval as a long ball forward sat up nicely for McCleary on the edge of the box and the Jamaica international arrowed his effort into the bottom corner.
Pennington then restored parity on the hour mark with a looping far-post header after a George Nurse long throw.
Then, with full-time approaching, the visitors were awarded a spot-kick as Joe Jacobson pulled down substitute Tom Bayliss and Leahy dispatched from 12 yards with ease.
So close to making a profit, for once. Let’s see if The Grambler can improve on that, this week.
Game - Result - Odds
Blackpool vs Bristol City - Home win - 5/4
Middlesbrough vs Swansea - Home win - 3/4
Millwall vs Reading - Home win - 3/4
Rotherham vs Birmingham - Home win - 19/20
Watford vs QPR - 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
Interesting figure that... if you convert it to the year 1322. On October the 14th of that year, Robert the Bruce’s forces defeated those of King Edward II of England at Byland (near Scotch Corner), forcing Edward to accept Scotland’s independence.
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 Ruabon, Wales in 1963. I began my senior career at Manchester United before being transferred to Barcelona for a record (for a British player) £2 million. I then returned to Man U., playing over 250 games. After seven years, I was transferred to Chelsea and had short spells at Southampton and Everton before ending my playing career at Blackburn Rovers. I was capped for Wales 72 times and became the national side’s manager in 1999 while still playing for Southampton.
Answer - Mark Hughes
2. Who won the first ever Premier League Golden Boot award in season 1992-93?
Answer - Teddy Sheringham
3. Name the coach from these clubs managed - Hartlepools United, Derby County, Brighton and Hove Albion, Leeds United and Nottingham Forest.
Answer - Brian Clough
4. Which player has scored the most goals in a single season? Bonus: how many?
Answer - Lionel Messi with 73
5. Another daft one to finish. On the 4th of May this year, Steve Hodge bought Diego Maradonna’s 1986 shirt at auction. How much did he pay for it?
Answer - £7.1 million
What about five for this week?
1. Who am I?
I was born in Dublin in 1980. A striker, I began my senior career at Wolves. After a few moves, I settled at Spurs where I played almost 200 games and scored 80 goals. I then moved to Liverpool for a season, but returned to Spurs for a second spell in 2009. A couple of loan spells later, I moved to the US to play for LA Galaxy in 2011. Over the next five years, I played 125 games and scored over 80 goals. I was capped 146 times for my country, an Irish record.
2. Which Chinese player has made the most Premier League appearances?
3. Which Scottish player was capped 121 times and scored 116 goals?
4. Name the coach who managed these clubs (and international team) - Motherwell, Hibernian, Rangers, Scotland (twice), Birmingham City, Aston Villa, Nottingham Forest, Genk and Zamalek.
5. Which club plays at the Suit Direct Stadium (aka Victoria Park)?
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 Mr. D. Macrae who provides us with this week’s closing link. This takes me back to my childhood days [Uh oh, Hovis time. - Ed.] when I was allowed to stay up on Hogmonay for the bells and to watch whatever new year programme was on. I recall appearances from old Scottish actors Finlay Currie and John Grieve, but the clip to end this week’s blog was performed every year by Duncan Macrae and was always my favourite moment. Ladeez and genullum, please enjoy A Wee Coak Sparrah.
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.