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…
Before we start this week’s (g)ramble, let’s pay a visit to a couple of Scottish gentlemen...
HAMISH: Dougal! It’s yourself.
DOUGAL: It is indeed. Here, what’s that old and tatty-looking thing in your hand?
HAMISH: It’s a holiday snap from our trip to Ghana all those years ago.
DOUGAL: Och, yes. I remember it well. Let’s have a wee swatch... if you’ll pardon the expression. It seems to be a picture of someone sitting on some sort of beer delivery wagon... Hold on a wee meenit... That’s not me, is it?
HAMISH: On dray? Aye... You.
For sale. One printer. Hardly used...
Hang on, hang on, I hear you say. Has our favourite ill- informed blog turned to selling second-hand goods? No, not at all. It was just a means of beginning this week's blog. And it is relevant, I assure you. So, what's with the printer for sale? Pull up a chair and I'll tell ee.
About five years ago, I was getting a bit cheesed off with my computer's printer seeming to have a mind of its own. I refused to pay the wildly inflated prices that the printer manufacturer... let's call them Heinz... charged for ink, so I bought 'compatible' ink costing about a tenth of the 'official' ink's price. All well and good... for a while. You see, when I first set up the printer, I had to register it online. I didn't, at the time, think there was any problem with that. However, I soon realised that software within the printer's computer... yes, printers, along with a host of other household goods, have a computer... was programmed to spot so-called compatible inks. Don't ask me how, but it did, and suddenly compatible inks became anything but compatible. To me, it was all down to witchcraft.
I would buy said compatible ink and, for a while, the printer would operate just fine, but it wasn't long before it stopped printing. Somehow, it had spotted that the ink wasn't the official product.
So, rather than pay nigh on fifty quid to replace the ink each time it ran dry, I decided to get shot of the printer. And so, a perfectly good printer ended up in a landfill site somewhere, all because of its maker's greed.
I began looking for a new printer. I had decided not to buy another H... Heinz... product. My previous experience with them taught me to steer clear of them at all costs.
So, Mrs G and I headed to the nearest PC World [A theme park dedicated to policemen! Whatever next. - Ed.] Ahem... to look at printers.
'Ooh,' says Mrs G... or it might have been oh. No, it was definitely ooh... 'Look at this. You pay a monthly fee and they send ink to you whenever you need it. That means you wouldn't have to buy your own ink anymore.'
Surely there had to be a catch, but there wasn't. It was a genuine offer. Dependent on how many prints you required, you paid a set fee every month. So, if you did 50 prints or less, you paid £1.99 per month. Brilliant, we decided we would take it... then I spotted the catch... it was made by, you've guessed it, our old friend, Heinz.
Oh well, I thought, there was never a problem with the print quality so, if I didn't have to buy ink anymore, it ought to be okay... oughtn't it? What could possibly go wrong?
There was a slight problem when I first registered the machine. It wouldn't accept my email address as it was already in use. Of course, it was; it was me that registered it for my previous printer. Unfortunately, the computer that handled the registration process was not programmed to allow a user to replace a printer. No matter, I'll just register it under a different email address.
All went well for the next five years and then, without any warning, my printer refused to work; not because it was damaged but possibly due to something happening with my direct debit that meant payment didn't go through.
No problem, thinks I, I'll just sign in and sort things out. Now what email address did I use? You know what is coming, don't you? I could not for the life of me remember the address I had used to sign in five years back. Okay, try contacting somebody at Heinz... nope. Not possible. Okay, try another way.
Aha, thinks I, or it might have been oho, they have an online help service, I'll try that. Nope. Not working. Hmm...
I don't know what has caused Mr Heinz to stop talking to me, but stop he has. What could I do?
I tried registering the printer under a different email address. That doesn't work. Why not? Because the unit has already been registered. Jeez!
That means that I could not pass the printer on to anyone else even if I had wanted to.
No doubt some clever clogs somewhere knows how to bypass all the software dead ends. As I have already said, it is all witchcraft to me.
So, back to the beginning of this article...
For sale, one printer. Would make ideal doorstop or giant garlic press.
Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we?
Were any famous or not so well-known individuals born on the 26th of November? Of course, there were. Here are some that even I have heard of.
John Harvard 1607 - Wealthy clergyman who left all his dosh to a university in the U.S. of A. [Really? Which one? - Ed.]
William Cowper 1731 - Poet and anti-slavery campaigner. His poem Light Shining out of Darkness gave us the line ‘God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform’. So now you know.
Dick King 1811 - Businessman. I’ve no idea who he was; it’s just a cracking name.
Emlyn Williams 1905 - Writer, dramatist and actor, isn’t it.
Charles Forte 1908 - Caterer.
Gerald James 1917 - Jobbing actor. Frazier in The Man with the Golden Gun.
Noel Coleman 1919 - Actor. Cat Priest in the first episode of Red Dwarf.
Dick Turpin 1920 - No, not that one. He was a boxer; Randolph’s brother.
Michael Holliday 1924 - Singer. He was dubbed The British Bing Crosby. See what you think, here’s Starry Eyed. If you think he looks a little uncomfortable there, he probably was, as he always had a problem with stage fright.
Phil McCall 1925 - Actor. Famous for the line... ‘Pea and ham? From a chicken? Now, that’s clever.’ Ask any Scot and they will know what it means.
Jane Wenham 1927 - Actress. Mrs Jamieson in the Porridge episode, The Desperate Hours. Mr Barraclough’s, ahem, friend.
Michael Hawkins 1928 - Actor. Richard De Lacy in The Devil’s Crown.
John Selwyn-Gummer 1939 - Politician. Do you remember when mad cow disease (BSE) was at its newsworthy heights, he was the tw*t that fed his four-year-old daughter a hamburger as if to refute the evidence that BSE could be transferred to humans if they consumed beef. Feeding it to his daughter! Not even himself! What a b******!
Marcia Warren 1943 - Actress. Currently Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother in The Crown.
Paul Burnett 1943 - DJ. Had a hit with fellow DJ, Dave Lee Travis, as Laurie Lingo and the Dipsticks with Convoy UK, a p*** take on the US original. Do you want a clip? Why not.
John McVie 1945 - Musician. Together with Mick Fleetwood, he is a member of Fleetwood Mac who has been with the band since its formation. Definitely a clip required, and definitely the one with his most famous bassline. Ladeez and genullum, I give you The Chain.
Brian Hibbard 1946 - Actor and singer. Doug Murray in Coronation Street, but perhaps more famous as the frontman of Flying Pickets. Here is their acapella version of Yazoo’s Only You.
Martin Lee 1946 - Singer, most famously with (the second incarnation of) Brotherhood of Man. A clip? Yes, indeedy. Here is their second of three number ones, Angelo. Martin is the one with the moustache.
Julien Temple 1952 - Film director. His first film was The Great Rock ’n’ Roll Swindle. He also directed quite a few music videos for artists such as Duran Duran, The Rolling Stones and David. He is one he made with Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, Into The Great Wide Open. Hope you enjoyed singing along to that one.
Hilary Benn 1953 - Politician. Son of Tony. [Son?! Who gives their son a name like Hilary? - Ed.]
Keith Vaz 1956 - Politician.
Derek Murray 1960 - Fitba guy. Ex-Motherwell, you know.
Louise Harrison 1962 - Actress. W.P.C. Donna Harris in The Bill.
Des Walker 1965 - Footy bloke.
Colin Meldrum 1975 - Fitba guy. Ex-Motherwell.
David Partridge 1978 - Pêl-droediwr. Arfer chwarae i Motherwell.
Natasha Bedingfield 1981 - Singer songwriter. She had a number one with these words.
Karl Henry 1982 - Footy blowk. (That’s an attempt at a written Wolverhampton accent. Doesn’t really work, though.)
Jayde Adams 1984 - Comedienne.
Danny Welbeck 1990 - Footy Blorrrk (Manchester accent? Any better than Wolverhampton?)
Tamsin Egerton 1988 - Actress. Holly Goodfellow in Keeping Mum.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka 1997 - Footy bloke. (Not sure how they talk in Croydon.)
I’ve received a letter. How very quaint...
Dear Gramblon McVie,
I have been a fan of your band, Fleetwood Mac, from the very beginning when Peter Green fronted them. I believe you once had a number one record, but I can’t recall its title. Can you enlighten me?
Yours in anticipation,
How did The Grambler’s predictions fare the last time we had a gramble? We won. Yay! Not a full house, but four out of five correct, so we got £4.18 back from our £2.20 stake. What happened? Read on...
Barnsley vs Milton Keynes - Home win
Result - Barnsley 3 Milton Keynes 1
Goals from Jordan Williams, Adam Phillips and Herbie Kane earned Barnsley a 3-1 victory over MK Dons.
Phillips and Kane struck in the second half - after Mohamed Eisa had cancelled out William's opener.
The home side broke the deadlock in the 18th minute when Williams calmly volleyed home at the far post following a neat cross from Kane on the left.
MK Dons had a chance to equalise 10 minutes later when Eisa appeared to be one-on-one with Bradley Collins, but Liam Kitching made a last-ditch challenge to prevent the shot.
They drew level five minutes before the break, however, when Louie Barry found Eisa on the edge of the box and he slotted past Collins.
But Barnsley retook the lead in the 50th minute. Nicky Cadden picked out Phillips in the middle of the box and he headed beyond Jamie Cumming.
And Kane made it 3-1 in the 68th minute when he cut inside on to his right foot and struck into the bottom left corner from outside the box.
Lincoln vs Morecambe - Home win
Result - Lincoln 2 Morecambe 1
Joe Walsh put the hosts ahead after 17 minutes before Ben House's sixth goal of the season.
Brighton loanee Jensen Weir pulled one back nine minutes from time, but it was too little too late for the visitors at the LNER Stadium.
Shrimps stopper Connor Ripley made a good early reaction save to keep out Charles Vernam's deflected strike.
Max Sanders' free-kick then took a deflection off Walsh to give the hosts the lead.
Kieran Phillips' strike smashed a post for Morecambe before Carl Rushworth made a good save to keep out Weir early in the second half.
Ripley could only parry Tashan Oakley-Boothe's strike into House's path as the Imps doubled their lead in the 67th minute.
Weir's fine strike got the visitors back into the game, but Lincoln held on for the points.
Newport vs Gillingham - Home win
Result - Newport 2 Gillingham 0
(Contender for cracking name of the week) Priestley Farquharson's first-half header helped Newport County on the way to a 2-0 win at home over Gillingham.
The defender headed home Aaron Lewis' 43rd minute corner, despite Gillingham goalkeeper Jake Turner getting a strong hand to it.
County doubled the lead when a long throw fell to Farquharson, and Gills defender Elkan Baggott (Hmm... also a contender) could only deflect the effort into his own net.
Swindon vs Crewe - Home win
Result - Swindon 0 Crewe 1
Luke Offord's timely intervention just about kept Crewe level when Remeao Hutton got beyond his defender and delivered a dangerous cross to the back post towards Jacob Wakeling but the defender nipped in ahead of him to turn it behind.
Crewe took the lead after 23 minutes from the spot as Lachlan Brook was brought down in the area before Daniel Agyei coolly dispatched his penalty.
In the 50th minute, Ellis Iandolo had two chances to get Swindon level after he was picked out with a cross. His first shot was parried back to him before his first-time volley flew over the top.
The crossbar came to Crewe's rescue when Ben Gladwin played an inch-perfect cross onto the head of Luke Jephcott, only for his close-range header to strike the woodwork.
Hutton stood a cross up for Wakeling in the middle late on but he couldn't keep his header down.
Walsall vs Crawley - Home win
Result - Walsall 2 Crawley 1
Danny Johnson scored a stoppage-time winner to give Walsall victory over 10-man Crawley Town.
Goalkeeper Ellery Balcombe's (There’s another good ’un.) heroics looked set to earn Town a point, despite Ludwig Francillette's (No, that is definitely the winner) 39th-minute dismissal.
But Johnson spun in the six-yard box to fire into the roof of the net.
Crawley took the lead after 11 minutes as Dom Telford steered home Ashley Nadesan's pull-back, but Walsall levelled three minutes later as Tom Knowles' free-kick was diverted home by Hayden White.
Town went down to 10 men before half-time as Francillette, booked earlier for hauling down Knowles, saw a second yellow for a replica foul on Johnson.
After the break, Balcombe smartly kept out Jacob Maddox's flick before diving full length to foil Donervon Daniels' 20-yard effort.
He superbly denied Isaac Hutchinson's header and Knowles' overhead kick before Liam Gordon struck a post from an acute angle.
Nadesan curled wide a great chance to pinch the points for Crawley before Johnson popped up to earn Walsall the win.
Well, I suppose most of you have been enjoying watching the World Cup games... some interesting results. However, there are still games back here in Blighty, don’tcha know. As is The Grambler’s wont, these games are the ones at his/her/its disposal.
The problem is that there are very few league games as it is cup weekend in England and Scotland, so these are the games from which The Grambler has ‘chosen’. And the random selections are...
Game - Result - Odds
Accrington Stanley vs Barnet - Home win - 11/20
Oxford Utd vs Exeter - Home win - Evens
Portsmouth vs MK Dons - Home win - 7/10
Morton vs Queen of the South - Home win - 4/6
Linlithgow Rose vs Sauchie Jnrs - Home win - 8/13
That last selection sums up why The Grambler should stick to league games. There is an added problem with cup games; if they go to extra time, the bet does not count. It's no wonder we never can beat the bookie.
Anyway, 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
Hardly worth bothering with.
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 1967 in Gassin, France. My senior career began at Toulon before moves to RC Paris, Brest, Paris Saint-Germain, Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur, Aston Villa and Everton. Why so many teams? Because I’m worth it.
Answer - David Ginola
2. Who was the last Swede to win a UEFA Champions League medal?
Answer - Henrik Larsen
3. Which coach has managed Benfica, Uniao de Leiria, Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Real Madrid, Chelsea (again), Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and Roma?
Answer - Jose Mourinho
4. Which club plays its home games at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium
Answer - Real Madrid
5. Continuing our international theme, what country hosted the first World Cup competition?
Answer - Uruguay
Shall we have five for this week? Of course, we shall, and it’s a World Cup special...
1. Who am I?
I was born in Nova Venécia, Brazil in 1997. I began my senior career with América Mineiro before moving to Fluminense followed by Watford and Everton. I am now at Tottenham Hotspur. I have 39 caps (and counting) for Brazil and have scored 19 goals (and counting).
2. Which countries will host the World Cup in 2026?
3. Who has played the most World Cup games having appeared in five tournaments?
4. Who was the youngest ever World Cup goalscorer?
5. What was the highest aggregate score in a World Cup match?
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 (the already mentioned) Never Too Young | Bowel Cancer UK
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...
£63,008 (still, but watch this space)
And finally, Cyril? And finally, Esther, I am indebted to a Mr B. Baker who with the help of The Pit Orchestra for our finishing item this week. Why? I noticed a certain past I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here winner, makes an appearance in a couple of this week’s clips. His name, according to Binky Baker, is Toe Knee Black Burn... so, take it away, Binky. Yeah, I know I’ve played it before... I like it. Okay? Okay.
Knee Toe Burn Black aka Lenny Gamble
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.