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: Oh, hello Dougal.
DOUGAL: You seem a bit engrossed in that book you’re reading.
HAMISH: I am. It’s very exciting. I borrowed it from that English chap in the village.
DOUGAL: The fellow who makes hessian bags?
HAMISH: That’s the chap. He and I both enjoy the same kind of literature and we lend each other books all the time. It’s my turn to lend him one next time.
DOUGAL : You mean...
HAMISH: Yes, that’s a book I owe sacker.
Let’s crack on, shall we?
Have you received any dodgy phone calls or messages, lately? No? Well, be alert because there are a few scams out there at the moment.
Christmas seems to be the time of year that scams are most prevalent. Is that because we are all too busy Christmas shopping and carousing to notice that someone is trying to dupe us?
Apparently, there is one scam at the moment where you receive a call purporting to be from your phone/internet/mobile provider or bank advising you of some changes taking place. Surely, you would spot it was a scam straight away, because they always get something totally wrong, like suggesting that they are from a bank or internet/phone/mobile provider other than your own. They are easy to spot. But, these latest scams seem to have the correct information to hand. If you are able to check the number calling you, it even seems legit. It would be very easy to be taken in.
How can you stay safe? Well, banks claim that they would never phone you about such matters. Not the actual bank, obviously. Buildings can’t make phone calls. People who work in the bank say they would never call you. Ahem, where was I? Oh yes, you would never get a call from someone at your bank out of the blue. If you were to receive such a call, it would be somebody inviting you to come into the branch to discuss something. Face to face. Remember that fact and you shouldn’t go wrong.
What if you didn’t twig straight away? After all, dodgy phone/mobile/internet providers might well phone customers to discuss, say, their tariff [Their tariff. Now what? - Ed.] ahem... How can you protect yourself from such unscrupulous scoundrels?
Well, if they didn’t bother asking you to give a character or several from your password (usually by means of the phone keypad), that ought to trigger alarm bells, but maybe some are smart enough to ask you for that information. Ah, I hear you say, they could ask you to put in such info and say that it is correct and dupe you that way. Well, this is where you can use a bit of subterfuge (Ooh, that’s a good word; I must look up what it means.). How? Tap in some wrong information. It is very likely that whoever is on the other end of the telephone line would accept whatever you put. If that happens, say nothing and hang up. Chances are you won’t hear from them again. [What if they call your bluff and say that the characters you’ve put in are incorrect? Eh? Answer that one, smartypants. - Ed.] Erm... Is that the time? I really should get on with this.
Why am I so keen to tell you about potential scams? Tonight, as in this very evening, Mrs G received a text message. It was from an unknown number and stated simply, ‘Mum, I have lost my phone and am using a friend’s. Whatsapp this number to contact me.’ She knew immediately that it was a scam having only moments before received a message from our son. Now, I have no idea what the outcome would have been if she had done as instructed, but, after speaking to a few of her friends, it was plain that this message was ‘doing the rounds’. They had either received something like it or knew someone who had received it.
My advice? Apart from being wary about any odd-looking messages, I would suggest that you immediately contact your ‘son’, by calling their own number.
Festive time of year? Goodwill to all men? Bollocks! There are some right b******s out there ready to fleece you.
Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we?
Were any famous or not so well-known individuals born on the 3rd of December? Of course there were. Here are some that even I have heard of.
Samuel Crompton 1753 - Inventor who revolutionised the spinning industry with his invention the spinning mule. No, I don’t understand that, either.
Rowland Hill 1795 - Postman.
Joseph Conrad 1857 - Orfer.
Jack Judge 1872 - Songwriter and music-hall entertainer famous for writing this, It's a Long Way to Tipperary.
Anna Freud 1895 - Shrink, like her dad, Sigmund.
Les Ames 1905 - Crickety bloke.
Edward Underdown 1908 - Jobbing actor. Air Vice Marshall in Thunderball.
Jimmy Jewel 1909 - Comedian.
Trevor Bailey 1923 - Crickety bloke.
Ralph McTell 1944 - Musician. He had one huge hit. Would you lke to hear it? Of course you would. Here’s Streets of London. [Here are Streets of London, surely. - Ed.]
Paul Nicholas 1945 - Actor and singer. Cousin Kevin in Tommy. Here he gives an over the top performance as Kevin aka School Bully.
Ozzy Osbourne 1948 - Singer and songwriter. Front man of Black Sabbath. Let’s have a clip. Let’s have a bit of headbanging with the band’s biggest hit, Paranoid.
Nicky Stevens 1949 - Singer. One quarter of Brotherhood of Man. Have a clip. Here’s Oh Boy.
Mike Stock 1951 - Record producer and songwriter. He holds the record for having written/produced the most number ones for different artists... Dead or Alive, Mel and Kim, Ferry Aid, Rick Astley, Kylie Minogue, Kylie with Jason Donovan, Jason Donovan without Kylie, Sonia, Band Aid II plus ‘Various Artists’ singing this, Ferry Cross The Mersey.
Mel Smith 1952 - Comedian, writer, film director, producer and actor, not forgetting would-be pop star. Here’s a bit of Mel with Kim (Wilde).
Eamonn Holmes 1959 - Broadcaster with dodgy legs... ‘Oh, may pyoor leyugs are soo soower.’
Tosh McKinley 1964 - Fitba guy.
Natalie J. Robb 1974 - Actress. Moira Barton in Emmerdale.
Kevin James 1975 - Fitba guy.
Rod Jones 1976 - Musician. Founding member of Idlewild. A clip? Why not. Here’s You Held the World in Your Arms.
Jennifer James 1977 - Actress. Geena Gregory in Coronation Street.
Dan Snow 1978 - Historian and TV presenter.
Daniel Bedingfield 1979 - Singer. Had a few hits back in the noughties. Here’s Never Gonna Leave Your Side. Incidentally, if you are one of those people whose laptop/computer opens with a random image, you might recognise a location or two in that video.
Martin Canning 1981 - Fitba guy.
Tom Lockyer 1994 - Pêl-droed.
Now then, what about the 10th of December?
James I of Scotland 1394 - The well-known king.
E. H. Shepard 1879 - Artist. Famous for the illustrating The Wind in the Willows and Winnie the Pooh.
Victor McLaglen 1886 - Boxer turned actor. Sgt. Quincannon in She Wore a Yellow Ribbon.
Mary Norton 1903 - Author of children’s books. Famous for The Borrowers and The Magic Bedknob (later made into the Disney film Bedknobs and Broomsticks).
Rumer Godden 1907 - Author of such classics as The Black Narcissus and The Greengage Summer.
Harry Locke 1913 - Jobbing actor. 137 credits on IMDb, but often played nameless characters such as Detective, Tobacconist or Photographer. My favourite was from the post-war George Formby film George in Civvy Street where Locke’s character was listed as ‘Demob Suit Fitter’.
Dorothy Lamour 1914 - Actress.
Gerald Thomas 1920 - Film director/editor/producer. Best known for the ‘Carry On’ series of films.
Harry Fowler 1926 - Actor. Joe Kirby in Hue and Cry.
Don Charles 1933 - Singer and record producer. Here’s his only song to trouble the charts, Walk With Me My Angel.
Alan Fennell 1936 - Writer and editor who wrote many episodes of the Gerry Anderson children’s series such as Fireball XL5, Stingray and Thunderbirds.
Kyo Sakamoto 1941 - Singer famous for a very famous song sung in Japanese. I’ve given a link to this song before, but I’m going to do it again; here’s Sukiyaki.
Peter Sarstedt 1941 - Musician. He had one or two big hits back in the sixties. This wasn’t one of them: As If It Were a Movie.
Ken Campbell 1941 - Actor, writer and director. Known as a ‘one-man dynamo of British theatre’.
Ann Gloag 1942 - Businesswoman, activist and charity campaigner. Co-founder of the bus company, Stagecoach.
John Birt 1944 - Former Director-General of the British Broadcorping Casteration.
Christopher ‘Ace’ Kefford 1946 - Bassist. Founder member of The Move. Here’s a live version of the band’s first hit, Night of Fear.
Clive Anderson 1952 - Television presenter and lawyer.
Jack Hues 1957 - Musician. Best known as frontman of Wang Chung. Let's Go. [We’ve got this blog to finish. We can’t just go. - Ed.] That’s the name of the song. [Oh. - Ed.]
Paul Hardcastle 1957 - Musician. Had a huge hit with N...N...N...N...Nineteen, but this isn’t it: Don't Waste My Time. [No need for that attitude. - Ed.] That’s the name of the song. [Oh. - Ed.]
Keith Jayne 1960 - Actor. Stig in Stig of the Dump.
Kenneth Branagh 1960 - Ectaw, dear leddie. Famous now, but he wasn’t even credited in his first film role: a student in Chariots of Fire.
Steve Huison 1963 - Actor. Lomper in The Full Monty.
Stephen Billington 1969 - Actor. Greg Kelly in Coronation Street.
Daniel Betts 1973 - Actor. Tenuous link time: He played A. A. Milne in an episode of Mr Selfidge. A. A. Milne who wrote the books for which E. H. Shepard (see above) provided illustrations. Told you it was tenuous.
Brian Molko 1972 - Musician. Frontman of Placebo. A clip? Indeed. Here’s Pure Morning.
Charlie Adam 1985 - Fitba guy.
I’ve received a letter. How lovely...
Dear Paul Gramblas,
We are writing to ask you a question. We both recall you playing Vince in Just Good Friends and Cousin Kevin in Tommy, but didn’t you also have some hit records? If so, what was the most successful?
How did The Grambler’s predictions fare the last time we had a gramble? We won. Yay! Really! Five out of five! £8.70 back from our £2.20 stake. Woo hoo! What happened? Read on...
Accrington Stanley vs Barnet - Home win
Result - Accrington Stanley 1 Barnet 0
Ethan Hamilton scored a late winner to send Accrington Stanley through to the third round of the FA Cup with a narrow win over National League side Barnet.
For much of the tie, it looked like Barnet would force a replay at the Crown Ground, but Hamilton struck with six minutes remaining.
Rosaire Longelo's cross was not dealt with by Barnet goalkeeper Laurie Walker and it fell for Hamilton to turn in.
The hosts almost took a very early lead as Korede Adedoyin struck a post in just the second minute before Longelo forced a save from Walker from inside the area.
Oxford Utd vs Exeter - Home win
Result - Oxford Utd 4 Exeter 1
Billy Bodin scored twice late on as Oxford beat League One rivals Exeter 4-1 to cruise into the FA Cup third round.
Matty Taylor put Oxford ahead in the ninth minute when he capitalised on a lapse of concentration by defender Cheick Diabate to fire first-time past Jamal Blackman from 20 yards.
That is the way the score remained until 11 minutes from time, when Oxford netted the first of three quick goals before Exeter responded with a late consolation.
Substitute Bodin doubled Oxford's lead with a simple far-post tap-in after Exeter failed to clear Taylor's cross from the right.
Cameron Brannagan made it 3-0 with a well-placed shot into the far corner before Bodin got his second with an unerring left-foot finish.
Exeter substitute Matt Jay pulled a goal back a minute from time.
Sam Nombe went close for the Grecians with a first-half drive that Ed McGinty turned around his post, but with the U's scoring three times in nine second-half minutes the Devon side finished well beaten.
Portsmouth vs MK Dons - Home win
Result - Portsmouth 3 MK Dons 2
Colby Bishop grabbed a penalty brace to send Portsmouth into the FA Cup third round with victory over fellow League One side MK Dons.
Pompey dominated the opening 20 minutes but fell behind when Dons forward Darragh Burns got in behind to clip over Josh Griffiths after a quick counter-attack.
The lead lasted just three minutes as Reeco Hackett-Fairchild latched on to a stunning Jay Mingi through ball to fire into the bottom corner for his fourth goal of the season.
The lively Mingi was hacked down by Josh McEachran in the 35th minute before Bishop sent Jamie Cummings the wrong way to complete the comeback.
Pompey thought they had taken control when Bishop thumped his second penalty of the afternoon, after Hackett-Fairchild had been taken down by Bradley Johnson.
But Mo Eisa pulled one back in the 62nd minute after Conor Grant had squared in the box but the visitors could not force a replay, despite Grant forcing a fine save out of Griffiths in the closing stages.
Morton vs Queen of the South - Home win
Result - Morton 4 Queen of the South 1
No match report.
Linlithgow Rose vs Sauchie Jnrs - Home win
Result - Linlithgow Rose 1 Sauchie Jnrs 0
No match report.
Yay! Well done The Grambler. What have you come up with this week?
Game - Result - Odds
Middlesbrough vs Luton - Home win - 5/6
Millwall vs Wigan - Home win - 17/20
Exeter vs Sheffield Wed - Away win - 19/20
Morecambe vs Charlton - Away win - 19/20
Sutton vs Colchester - Home 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
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 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).
Answer - Richarlison (de Andrade)
2. Which countries will host the World Cup in 2026?
Answer - Canada, USA and Mexico
3. Who has played the most World Cup games having appeared in five tournaments?
Answer - Lothar Matthäus with 25 (But Messi is right behind him on 24).
4. Who was the youngest ever World Cup goalscorer?
Answer - Pele (aged 17)
5. What was the highest aggregate score in a World Cup match?
Answer - Austria 7 Switzerland 5 (1954)
Shall we have another five for this week? Yes, let’s.
1. Who am I?
I was born in Opole, Poland in 1978. A striker, I made 137 international appearances for Germany and hold the record as the highest scorer with 71 goals. I also hold the record for scoring the most goals at FIFA World Cup finals with 16.
2. Who was the first player to be shown a red card at the 2022 FIFA World Cup finals.
3. Which two players captained England the most times?
4. Who has won the most International caps for Spain?
5. What is unusual about Qatar’s Stadium 947?
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...
That is the reason for this (g)ramble being a little late, I wanted the recent fundraising efforts to be included in the total. Over £3,000 raised since the last edition; Woo hoo!
And finally, Cyril? And finally, Esther, I am indebted to a Mr A. Williams, the well-known singer, who was born on the 3rd of December 1927. I didn’t include him in the birthday honours. Why not, I hear you ask. Well, Christmas is nearly upon us and he did sing one of the most popular Christmas songs of all time... Ladeez and genullum, here is It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.
Andy Williams when he was an Osmond Brother
[Some mistake, surely. - Ed.]
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.