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…
What have an old Ford Escort, a brand new, but beaten up, Aston Martin non-runner and a pair of old sandals got in common?
Not a lot, I hear you cry and, in normal circumstances, you would be right. However, they do have something in common in that they were all recently sold at auction for absolutely crazy sums of dosh.
Why? Provenance, that's why. Sorry pardon excuse me? Provenance as in something with a bit of history to it. The Ford Escort sold for £700,000. You read that correctly - seven hundred thousand pounds. For an old Ford? That is just ridiculous until you learn that this particular example was once owned by Princess Diana.
The Aston Martin? It didn’t have a famous owner unless a fictitious spy counts. It is actually brand new but is a replica of a mid 1960s Aston Martin DB5. You know, the one driven by 007 with its passenger ejector seat and revolving number plates and the like. It was built especially for use in the last James Bond film. It has working stunt props, apparently, such as led licence plates and gatling gun lights, although I shouldn't think that they actually work. As for it being beaten up, on one side of the car, every panel is damaged. So how much did this heap sell for? Please don't read this if you are holding a hot drink... £2.9 million. For a replica that isn't even a proper Aston Martin? And a non-runner? Madness.
What about the old pair of sandals? How much did they sell for, you may ask. [Thank you. How much did they sell for? - Ed.] Are you ready for this? £183,000. For a pair of old, and well-used, sandals. Why? Once again, it's all down to provenance and they sold because they belonged to somebody famous. [Who? Jesus? - Ed.] No, not that famous. They once belonged to Steve Jobs, the co-founder of the Apple empire.
It seems that anything that once belonged to somebody famous is considered by some to be worth a lot of money. Really? I'm afraid I just don't understand why. Those cars will never be driven and will probably just end up in a museum somewhere and, as for those sandals, who knows what the buyer plans to do with them.
The words more, money and sense come to mind. These objects, even with their history, are totally useless. By useless, I mean that so much money has been spent on them that the new owner wouldn't dare use them for their actual purpose. Thus, they are utterly useless.
Mind you, the price paid for these objects is but a pittance compared to the eye-watering sum paid for Leonardo da Vinci's painting Salvator Mundi which, in November 2017, sold for... $450.3 million. That is obscene.
Having spent that kind of money, where can the new owner place such an expensive piece of canvas and wood? A bank vault somewhere... or in a safe?
I'm sure he delights in telling everyone how he is so rich he has blown nearly half a billion dollars on a piece of 25 x 19 artwork which only he can view...
‘I’ve just spent nearly half a billion dollars on a painting.’
‘What? Are you mad?’
‘No, I’m very, very rich.’
‘Show us it, then.’
‘It’s in a bank vault.’
‘Where’s the bank vault?’
‘Can’t tell you. It’s a secret.’
‘So, let me get this straight. You have just spent a vast sum of money on a painting, which nobody can see?’
‘An invisible painting.’
‘No, no, it’s definitely real.’
‘It is. It is real. Honest. I bought it. I did.’
‘Aye. Right. Sure you did.’
I'll stick to pictures of my grandkids on the wall that I can see, a car I can drive and shoes I can actually wear, thank you.
Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we?
Were any famous or not so well-known individuals born on the 12th of November? Of course there were. Here are some that even I have heard of.
Talbot Rothwell 1916 - Screenwriter.
Bob Holness 1928 - Broadcaster and game show host.
Bob Holness receives some complaints after a Blockbuster contestant requests a P please, Bob.
Carmen Munroe 1932 - Actress. Shirley Ambrose in Desmond’s. [In Desmond’s what? - Ed.]
Chris Welch 1941 - Music journalist.
Valerie Leon 1943 - Actress. Patricia Potter in Carry on Girls... which was written by Talbot Rothwell.
Hugh Keevins 1948 - Sports journalist.
Ayshea 1948 - Actress, singer and TV presenter. Host of Lift Off with Ayshea.
Errol Brown 1948 - Singer and songwriter. Frontman of Hot Chocolate. Shall we have a clip? Why not. Here’s the band’s only Yuk number 1, So You Win Again.
Stuart Cosgrove 1952 - Journalist, television executive and, most famously, perhaps, broadcaster... Off The Ball is a must-listen for every Scottish football fan... well, quite a lot of them.
Calum MacDonald (Gaelic: Calum Dòmhnallach) 1953 - Musician. Drummy bloke with Runrig. A clip? Here’s the band’s biggest hit, An Ubhal as Àirde (The Highest Apple) which he co-wrote.
Les McKeown 1955 - A Bay City Roller. A clip? But, of course. Here he advises us to keep on dancing and a-prancing.
Kevin Ratcliffe 1960 - Pêl-droediwr, isn’t it.
Kevin Ball 1964 - Footy bloke.
Eddie Mair 1965 - Broadcaster.
Grant Nicholas 1967 - Musician. A bit of Feeder. Another clip? Sure thing. They had their first hit a quarter of a century ago, but here is a bang up-to-date song, The Healing.
Harvey Spencer Stephens 1970 - Actor. Damien Thorn in The Omen. He had a cameo role in the 2006 remake.
Steve Kynman 1971 - (Mainly voice) Actor. Does loads of voices on Fireman Sam and Thomas and Friends, but was seen in person as Robert the Robot in Justin’s House. Ask your nippers.
Ben Aldridge 1985 - Actor. Captain James in Our Girl.
James McCarthy 1990 - Fitba guy.
James Wilby 1993 - Swimmy bloke.
Scott McKenna 1996 - Fitba guy.
And now, what about the 19th of November?
Charles I of England 1600 - The well-known king.
Alan Young 1919 - Actor. Wilbur Post in Mr. Ed.
William Russell 1924 - Actor. Ian Chesterton in Doctor Who, a role he reprised in 2022, aged 97, in one of those Doctor Who type things where the old doctors appear as well as loads of other actors who had appeared down the years. No Peter Purves, though.
Allan Smethurst 1927 - Postman who sang. He was known as the Singing Postman. Shell we hev a clip? Woi not. Here’s Hev Yew Gotta Loight Boy.
Terence Parkes 1927 - Cartoonist known simply as Larry, famous for his Rodin sculpture cartoons such as Rodin’s Golfer, Rodin’s Hot Bath Water and Rodin’s Idle Bastard.
Adge Cutler 1930 - Singer-songwriter. Founder of The Wurzels. There isn’t a great deal of footage of Adge, but here is a Pathe News report on the making of cider which includes Adge and the lads singing his most famous song, Drink Up Thy Zyder. Footy factoid: This is still sung at Bristol City games and is considered to be the club’s anthem.
Geoff Goddard 1937 - Musician and songwriter. If you ever listened to Joe Meek-produced records, you have probably heard something composed by Goddard. Just Like Eddie by Heinz and Johnny Remember Me by John Leyton were just two, but here is an effort by Geoff himself which perhaps explains why his performing career never took off, Girl Bride. Listen and cringe.
Nicholas Pennell 1938 - Actor. Michael Mont in The Forsyte Saga.
Norma West 1943 - Actress. Queen Elizabeth in The Shadow of the Tower.
Phil Pickett 1946 - Musician. A bit of Sailor [What? The left leg? - Ed.] Stop it! The band, Sailor. Here’s one of their hits, A Glass of Champagne.
Phil Spalding 1957 - Musician. Bass player with various artists and bands including GTR. Have a clip. Here’s The Hunter.
Ian MacLeod 1959 - Fitba guy. Ex-Motherwell, you know.
Tony Gale 1959 - Footy bloke.
Mark Chamberlain 1961 - Footy bloke. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s dad.
Susie Dent 1964 - Lexicographer. They can’t touch you for it.
Peter Kember 1965 - Musician. He performs under various pseudonyms; here is Spectrum with a tribute to the BBC Radiophonic Workshop wizard Delia Derbyshire.
Jason Pearce 1965 - Musician. Worked with Peter Kember in a band named Spaceman 3 before forming Spiritualized. A clip? Why not. Here’s I Think I'm in Love.
Douglas Henshall 1965 - Actor. Jimmy Perez in Shetland.
Gary Ablett 1965 - Footy bloke.
Mark Bonnar 1968 - Actor. Duncan Hunter in... would you Adam and Eve it... Shetland.
Katherine Kelly 1979 - Actress who has done rather well for herself since she played Becky McDonald in Coronation Street.
James Tarkowski 1992 - Footy bloke.
I’ve received a letter, how jolly spiffing...
Dear (the late) Grambrol Brown,
We both enjoyed hearing a Hot Chocolate tune again. We were surprised that you only had the one chart topper. We both thought that other one, the one that was used in the film about the strippers, was your most successful song, although we can’t remember the name of it. Can you enlighten us?
How did The Grambler’s predictions fare the last time we had a gramble? We won... well, we won more than last time. How much more? Two pees. Last time we won 72 pees; this week we got the sum of just 74 pees back from our £2.20 stake. What happened? Read on...
Blackburn vs Huddersfield - Home win
Result - Blackburn 1 Huddersfield 0
The Terriers' plan to defend deep and frustrate Rovers was ruined as Ben Brereton Diaz raced on to an excellent pass from Harry Pickering before tucking the ball past goalkeeper Lee Nicholls.
That ruined the visitors' defensive plan and Blackburn were almost two up in first-half added time, when Town defender Will Boyle timed his tackle perfectly to prevent Sam Gallagher from taking a Ryan Hedges ball which would have left him with a great chance.
Rovers sat back in the second half and invited Huddersfield pressure, and almost paid for their lack of adventure as Brahima Diarra skipped past a challenge and let fly, with keeper Thomas Kaminski tipping the ball round the post.
Jack Rudoni also came close to cancelling out Diaz's goal, failing to connect properly with a great chance and Kaminski gratefully saved.
Middlesbrough vs Bristol City - Home win
Result - Middlesbrough 1 Bristol City 1
Ooh! ’It the bar!
Chuba Akpom's second-half equaliser earned a point for Middlesbrough in a 1-1 draw with Bristol City at the Riverside Stadium.
Bristol City had taken the lead after 10 minutes when Andreas Weimann tapped-in a low cross from Tommy Conway.
Akpom equalised for Boro shortly after half-time, sweeping the ball under Max O'Leary after good work from Riley McGree.
There was an air of expectation around the stadium and the hosts could have taken the lead after eight minutes but for a fantastic double save by O'Leary to deny first McGree and then Akpom.
Millwall vs Hull - Home win
Result - Millwall 0 Hull 0
Ooh! ’It the bar! Again!
A tight game which saw both sides threaten turned eight minutes before the break when Colombia striker Oscar Estupinan was sent off for a reckless, high challenge on Charlie Cresswell.
But the Lions, who went close on three occasions through Zian Flemming, were unable to take advantage to earn a first win in three, despite plenty of pressure and having 24 attempts.
Swansea vs Wigan - Home win
Result - Swansea 2 Wigan 2
Ooh! ’It the bar! And again!
Swansea City fought back from 2-0 down to claim a point and deny Wigan Athletic victory.
The Latics took control of the contest thanks to early headers from Will Keane and Tom Naylor.
But Ryan Manning's classy finish gave Swansea hope just before half-time and they salvaged a draw thanks to Joel Piroe's late penalty.
Rotherham vs Norwich - Away win
Result - Rotherham 1 Norwich 2
Kenny McLean nodded the visitors ahead after a blocked Teemu Pukki shot sat up kindly for the midfielder to finish.
Rotherham were level for a minute when Ollie Rathbone struck early in the second half, only for Aaron Ramsey to immediately restore the Canaries' advantage.
Viktor Johansson made a fine save to deny Josh Sargent from adding to Norwich's lead, while Angus Gunn kept Tom Eaves out at the other end.
An excellent block from Canaries defender Max Aarons on Ben Wiles proved decisive as the Millers slumped to a defeat.
So close and yet so far. All right Grambler; see if you can up your game a bit this week and give us a profit. Okay, I know the World Cup is about to start and I’m sure you would like The Grambler to select from the games taking place there, but we must remain loyal to those teams that still have to play in the lower leagues while the big boys get a nice break... well, those that aren’t going to the World Cup. Agree? No? Tough. Come on, Grambler do your worst... I mean best.
Game - Result - Odds
Barnsley vs Milton Keynes - Home win - 4/5
Lincoln vs Morecambe - Home win - 17/20
Newport vs Gillingham - Home win - 10/11
Swindon vs Crewe - Home win - 4/5
Walsall vs Crawley - Home win - 5/6
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
Hmm... not as whopping as last time.
Wait a minute, who’s this?
HAMISH: Dougal, it’s yourself.
[Oh no! Not this again. - Ed.]
DOUGAL: Well, I certainly hope so. Here, you’re rubbing that a bit vigorously.
HAMISH: I’m not rubbing it, I’m giving it a good polish.
DOUGAL: Oh, I see. What is it? A piggy bank?
HAMISH: Aye, that’s right. Whenever I need money for a hot beverage, I take money out of it.
DOUGAL: You mean...
HAMISH: Yes. It’s ma tea cash.
I like to think Graham Garden and the late Barry Cryer would approve.
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 Madrid in 1981. A goalkeeper, I began my senior career at Real Madrid working my up from Real Madrid C, then B, before becoming the first choice keeper for the club. Between 1999 and 2015, I made 510 appearances for them. After 16 seasons at Real, I moved to Porto. I hold a couple of records: I played for Spain 167 times making me the most capped Spanish goalkeeper and I was the youngest goalkeeper to win the Champions League title four days after my 19th birthday.
Answer - Iker Casillas
2. Which coach has managed... deep breath... AFC Bournemouth, Gillingham, Bristol City, Portsmouth, Stoke City, Plymouth Argyle, Stoke City again, Crystal Palace, West Bromwich Albion, Middlesbrough and Sheffield Wednesday?
Answer - Tony Pulis
3. Which French player has made the most Premier League appearances?
Answer - Sylvain Distin (469)
4. Which club plays at The Hawthorns?
Answer - West Bromwich Albion
5. Which clubs in the four top English leagues have a bird on their crest?
Answer - Currently, there are 13 (or 14) - Wimbledon, Blackpool, Bradford City, Crystal Palace, Cardiff City, Brighton and Hove Albion, Liverpool, Sheffield Wednesday, Norwich, Swansea, Swindon Town, Tottenham Hotspur and West Bromwich Albion. The 14th? Newcastle United’s old crest featured a magpie from 1976 to 1988.
Let’s have five for this week...
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.
2. Who was the last Swede to win a UEFA Champions League medal?
3. Which coach has managed Benfica, Uniao de Leiria, Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Real Madrid, Chelsea (again), Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and Roma?
4. Which club plays its home games at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium
5. Continuing our international theme, what country hosted the first World Cup competition?
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...
And finally, Cyril? And finally, Esther, I am indebted to a Messrs R. Webb and D. Mitchell for our finishing clip. I’ll give you no clues but this might help you out with this week’s teasers.
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.