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…
Your queries answered...
To Miss Flasker of Lower Podville, yes some are battery-operated but nowadays most are rechargeable.
Well, boom bang a bang, knock knock, who’s there and shine a light if it isn’t time for the Eurovision Song Contest. Huzzah!
For those of you who don’t know, the Eurovision Song Contest is a yearly event (running since 1956) to decide the best tune from most of the European countries (and Israel... and Australia. Since when were they European?) Every year, each nation enters a particular song in an attempt to win this coveted prize of the best song in all of Europe.
It’s all got a bit political these days, with certain countries refusing to vote for certain other countries. Actually, that is nothing new; back in 1968 it is said that General Franco, the well-known Spanish dictator, nobbled the juries so that the song entered by Spain won. Britain came second on that occasion and would have won were it not for these political machinations. It should have been congratulations to Cliff Richard, but it wasn’t to be. Do you see what I did there? [Only Brits with long memories would spot it. - Ed.]
Actually, a similar thing happened last year. Sam Ryder was poised to win for Britain for the first time since 1997, but the sympathy vote went to Ukraine, so they won. How patronising is that? Your country is being ripped apart by the Ruskies, so what does the rest of Europe do? Let you win a song contest. Well, whoop de f****** doo.
Changing the subject slightly, it seems to me that there could be other Euro (and elsewhere) wide contests. Why not a contest aimed at perfumiers to see which country can come up with the best fragrance each year? It could be called the Eurovision Pong Contest. [Oh no. Not this again. - Ed.]
Or how about a contest aimed squarely at those who enjoy the occasional recreational drug? Yes, it could ascertain who can make the most efficient filtration device for smoking cannabis. The Eurovision Bong Contest. [Oh dear. - Ed.]
Then we could have a competition among the makers of cutlery. That would decide who made the best eating utensil. [A fork, obviously. - Ed.] Obviously. That would be the Eurovision Prong Contest. [I walked into that one. - Ed.]
On a similar note what about a competition to find the best commemorative medal? [I think I might have guessed this one. Is it the Eurovision Gong Contest? - Ed.] It is, indeed.
Our politicians often make blunders, don’t they? [Where’s this one going? - Ed.] I wonder if other European countries have such incompetent leaders. There could be an annual contest to see just who has made the biggest cock-up of the year - the Eurovision Wrong Contest. [I think everyone has had enough now. Please stop. - Ed.]
And finally, [Thank goodness. - Ed.] I think everyone enjoys church bells (as long as they aren’t played all through the night) so, how about a competition to see which church from Europe has the best peal of bells. That would be the Eurovision Dong Contest. [That could have been worse; at least you kept it clean. - Ed.]
Pardon? I’m not with you. Ohhh... I see what you’re getting at. Damn, I hadn’t thought of that one... On second thoughts, maybe not. Mind you, there might be a certain TV channel that would be interested in the idea... Dear Channel 4 (the channel that makes Naked Attraction), I have a programme idea that you might like...
To finish this week’s story time, a teaser for you. What was the first song from the Eurovision Song Contest to become a worldwide hit? Answer at the end.
Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we?
Were any famous or not so well-known individuals born on the 13th of May? Of course there were. Here are some that even I have heard of.
Vesta Tilley 1864 - The original cross-dresser. Have a clip, Here’s, It's Part of a Policeman's Duty. That was recorded 116 years ago [Sounds it. - Ed.]
Eileen Fowler 1906 - The well-known keep-fit instructor. Try and work this out without having the instruction leaflet. Come on, Rise and Shine. [She sounds a bit bossy, to me. - Ed.]
Daphne du Maurier 1907 - Orfer. Jamaica Inn, that was one of hers.
Robert Dorning 1913 - Actor. Often played pompous officious types in sitcoms of the 60s and 70s. The Rt. Hon. Hesketh Pendleton in Bootsie and Snudge. Ask your granny.
Phil Drabble 1914 - TV presenter. He fronted One Man and His Dog. a really exciting programme about sheepdogs herding sheep... yawn!
Harry Driver 1931 - Comedy scriptwriter. With co-writer Vince Powell, he was responsible for such gems as George and the Dragon, Never Mind the Quality, Feel the Width, Nearest and Dearest, For the Love of Ada, Bless This House and the programme which just wouldn’t be commissioned nowadays, Love Thy Neighbour. Ask your granny.
Terry Scully 1932 - Actor. Bicket in The Forsyte Saga (the 1967 one).
Stella Rimington 1935 - Spy mistress.
Trevor Baylis 1937 - Inventor of the wind-up radio.
Anna Cropper 1938 - Actress. Margaret Castle in Castles.
Milton Johns 1938 - Actor (Not David Battley). Seems to specialise in sinister or obsequious (That’s a good word. Must look it up.) roles. Played a character called Clarence Creep in the children’s series Happy Families.
Frank Jarvis 1941 - Actor. Glen in Catterick.
Joe Brown 1941 - Musician and singer. Have a clip; you’ll recognise this.
Miles Kington 1941 - Journalist and musician. He was part of a comedy quartet known as Instant Sunshine who suggested a way to get around food shortages; here’s Worms.
Jeff Astle 1942 - Footy bloke.
Vivien Heilbron 1944 - Actress. Kay Grant in Take the High Road.
Clive Radley 1944 - Crickety bloke.
Tim Pigott-Smith 1946 - Actor. Sir Henry Ponsonby in Victoria & Abdul.
David Hughes 1947 - Crickety bloke.
Rab Noakes 1947 - Singer/songwriter. Have a clip. Here’s Branch.
Overend Watts 1947 - Musician. Bassist with Mott the Hoople. Have a clip. Here’s Roll Away the Stone.
Zoe Wanamaker 1948 - Actress. Susan Harper in My Family.
Andy Cunningham 1950 - Actor/puppeteer. Simon Bodger in Bodger and Badger.
Danny Kirwan 1950 - Musician. Guitarist with Fleetwood Mac. Here’s a real oldie, Albatross.
Selina Scott 1951 - TV presenter.
Jane Cox 1952 - Actress. Lisa Dingle in Emmerdale.
Richard Madeley 1956 - TV presenter.
Mark Heap 1957 - Actor. Jim Bell in Friday Night Dinner.
Frances Barber 1958 - Actress. Connie Woolf in Funland.
Lorraine McIntosh 1964 - Singer with Deacon Blue. Have a clip. All together now... Woo oo, woo oo, woo oo, woo oo.
Tamsin Little 1965 - Fiddler. Have a clip. Here’s a bit of Schindler's List.
Alison Goldfrapp 1965 - Musician. Best known as the vocalist with Goldfrapp [There’s a coincidence. - Ed.] Methinks a clip is called for. Here’s the duo’s best-performing single, Ooh La La.
Natalie Cassidy 1983 - Actress. Sonia in Eastenders. You slaaaag!
Iwan Rheon 1985 - Actor. Ramsay Bolton/Snow in Game of Thrones.
Robert Pattinson 1986 - Actor. Edward Cullen in Twilight and its many spinoffs.
I’ve received a letter...
Dear Alison Gramblefrapp,
It was nice to hear a song from your little group, although I’m surprised Norman Greenbaum didn’t try to sue you. Tell me, what was Goldfrapp’s last top ten hit?
Yours with inquisitiveness,
How did our last bet with Drablokes fare? We won. Yay! Not really worth a yay; only £2.30 back from our £2.20 stake, but still a profit. What happened? Read on.
Motherwell vs Kilmarnock - Home win
Result - Motherwell 2 Kilmarnock 0
Slack defending from Kilmarnock allowed Blair Spittal to bury an early opener.
The visitors responded by hitting Liam Kelly's woodwork with a Danny Armstrong free-kick, but Killie were fortunate not to be two down at the break when a narrow offside call ruled out Kevin van Veen's finish.
However, the Dutchman got the goal his performance merited in second-half injury time as a sublime solo effort sealed three points for the Steelmen.
Hibs vs St. Mirren - Home win
Result - Hibs 2 St. Mirren 1
Only three minutes had passed when Hibs’ ElieYouan gave them the lead. Marcus Fraser received a throw and misread the situation, his clearance clattering straight into the Frenchman, who raced clear and finished with composure.
The second was similarly simple. A corner whipped to the front post bounced all the way to the back, where an unmarked Will Fish [Will fish what? Swim? - Ed.] ...ahem... nodded in.
Hibs had plenty of chances to kill the game. Chris Cadden failed to convert a Kevin Nisbet cross before they traded roles in the second half, with the Scotland striker blasting over from Cadden's cut-back. Josh Campbell went close twice, too.
St Mirren needed a response and they got one. Curtis Main swept into the arms of David Marshall from three yards, but the keeper was less brick wall and more open door when Alex Greive went clear through and jabbed a tame shot under him.
With a solitary goal in it, the visitors tried their best to find an equaliser. However, they would come no closer than the side netting when Lewis Jamieson fired inches wide.
Clyde vs Montrose - Away win
No review available but Montrose won 2 - 1.
Edinburgh City vs Airdrie - Away win
No review available but Airdrie won 4 - 1.
Albion vs Stirling - Away win
No review available but Albion Rovers won 2 - 0.
That was last week, what about this? The Grambler has selected from the few games taking place at 3pm and come up with this. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear...
Game - Result - Odds
Aberdeen vs Hibs - Home win - 11/10
Dundee Utd. vs Ross County - Home win - 6/5
Kilmarnock vs Livingstone - Home win - 17/20
Falkirk vs Airdrieonians - Home win - Evens
Dumbarton vs Annan - Away win - 6/4
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
Oh crikey! That really is whopping. If they all win as predicted by The Grambler, I’ll have to buy me a hat to eat.*
* As I am late publishing this week, I can confirm that no hats need to be consumed. Only one result correct out of five. Rubbish!
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 1989 in Split, Croatia. A winger, I began my senior career at Sochaux II (loaned out to Roeselare) before moving to Club Brugge, then Borussia Dortmund, VfL Wolfsburg, Inter Milan (loaned out to Bayern Munich) and am currently at Tottenham Hotspur. I have been capped for Croatia 125 times.
Answer - Ivan Perišić
2. Talking of Spurs, who is the only Colombian player in Tottenham Hotspur’s current squad of players?
Answer - Davinson Sánchez
3. How many Welsh sides will be playing in the English Football League system next season?
Answer - Four (Cardiff City, Swansea City, Newport County and Wrexham)
4. Cristiano Ronaldo is, unsurprisingly, Real Madrid’s highest goalscorer, but who is their next highest scorer?
Answer - Karim Benzema
5. Which club plays its home games at The Peninsula Stadium?
Answer - Salford City
Now then, what about five for this week?
1. Who am I?
I was born in São Gonçalo, Rio de Janeiro in 2000, I began my senior career at Flamengo in 2017, moving to my present club, Real Madrid in 2018 for the sum of £38 million, the highest amount paid for any player under the age n n n n nineteen. I scored the winning goal in the 2022 Champions League Cup Final. I have been capped for Brazil 21 times.
2. Who has managed... deep breath... Sheffield United, Huddersfield Town, Wigan Athletic (twice), Crystal Palace, Birmingham City, Sunderland, Hull City, Aston Villa, Sheffield Wednesday, Newcastle United and West Bromwich Albion?
3. Who was the youngest player to have played for Chelsea in the Premier League?
4. Who is Leeds United’s all-time highest goalscorer? I don’t mean he was on drugs, I mean he scored more goals than anyone else... I’ll get me coat.
5. Which club plays its home games at Recreation 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 (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; and with the money from singalongabingo, it is now sitting at...
And finally, Cyril? And finally, Esther, I am indebted to a Signore D. Modugno who provides us with this week’s closing item. He was, of course, the singer of the first big international hit from the Eurovision Song Contest and the name of that song was... yes, you at the back? No, it wasn’t Puppet on a String. No, nor Waterloo. No, not All Kinds of Everything. Since, you don’t know I’ll tell you. It was Nel blu, dipinto di blu (It translates to In the blue that is painted blue. What a daft title.) It didn’t win the contest (it came third), though it had previously won the Sanremo Music Festival. It became a huge hit in Italy, selling 800,000 copies. It topped the US Billboard chart and sold over 2 million copies in the States. Billboard named it as Song of the Year in 1958. At the time of its success, it was recorded by eight other international singers. You don’t recognise its name do you? You perhaps had a different name for it. Any road up, I am sure you will recognise 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 www.thegrambler.com where you can also catch up on any previous editions you may have missed.