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…
Let’s start with a song from Mr Neil Sedaka.
Yes indeed, breaking up is hard to do, but I’ve finally done it. After ten years together, we have parted company. All fairly amicable, though. But I just got fed up with being ignored. Every time. I just got... rebuffed. That’s the word. Rebuffed. I mean, one can only take so much. Hence the split. I suppose the odds were against it working out right from the start. It seemed to be a relationship of give and take... and I was doing all the giving. Of course, they had form. I just never forecast that it would end like this.
Yes, I have stopped using Bet free six foive and have now taken my business to Radblokes instead. [You shameless hussy! - Ed.]
I cannot understand why Bet free six foive stopped accepting my bets. Free six foive, sorry, 365 suggests that it is possible to gaymbull reeshponsheebly (said in my best Ray Winsome voice) every day of the year... I wonder if their name changes to Bet366 on a leap year... I digress. My point is that I was happy to gaymble only on about 30 days each year. Perhaps, that is the root of the problem; I simply don’t bet enough. If my bet, as predicted by The Graymbler... ahem... Grambler, were to lose every time a bet was placed, Bet free six foive could only make around 70 quids each year. Even if the blog was put online every single week of the year, £110 is as much as they could ‘earn’ from The Grambler being wrong in those 52 weeks. It’s not much of an earner, is it?
Truth is, they have made nothing from me for over three years. Yep. Not a bean. How can you be so sure, I hear you ask. I answer, that was the last time that the funds in my betting account dropped below two quids and I had to bung a tenner into it to keep it afloat. That was it. That tenner has seen us through thick and thin for three years.
Last week, when I withdrew money from the account to put it into a new Bradlokes account, there was nearly 20 quids in there. In other words, I have profited by, ooh... about eight quids. Okay, eight smackeroonies in three years isn’t much, but at least it hasn’t lost me any money.
So, it looks to me as if the bookie doesn’t like to be beaten. Yes, I know that no human is ever involved in the transactions, so nobody thinks anything of the sort. It is all dealt with by a computerised system. Perhaps, however, the computer system is designed to simply pull the plug on those accounts which are not profitable. Hmm? Am I on to something here? I can’t think of any other reason for my bets being blocked. Discuss.
Anyway, here’s to a new, happy relationship with Brokelads. Will it be profitable? I wouldn't bet on it.
Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we?
Were any famous or not so well-known individuals born on the 11th of February? Of course there were. Here are some that even I have heard of.
Elizabeth I 1466 - The well-known queen.
Henry Fox Talbot 1800 - Photography pioneer. Not a real fox.
Ernest ‘E.W.’ Swanton 1907 - Cricket journalist and broadcaster. Known by his initials.
Brian Oulton 1908 - Jobbing actor. Often played scholarly or legal types; often nameless - Judge, Schoolmaster, Headmaster, Clerk of Court. 188 credits on IMDb.
Michael Balfour 1918 - Jobbing actor. Often played cabbies or thugs; usually nameless. 232 credits on IMDb. Take that Oulton.
Douglas Smith 1924 - Broadcaster. Played the ‘announcer’ on Round the Horne.
Ted Moult 1926 - A farmer who became a radio and TV personality.
Alexander Gibson 1926 - Conductor.
Dennis Skinner 1932 - Politician.
Mary Quant 1934 - Fashion designer.
John Surtees 1934 - racey bike and car bloke. He is the only person to have won world championships on both two and four wheels.
Brian Gould 1939 - Politician.
Anne Gregg 1940 - TV presenter.
Ian Porterfield 1946 - Fitba guy.
Derek Shulman 1947 - Musician. Frontman with prog rock band Gentle Giant. Time for a clip. Here’s Peel the Paint. Derek is the second voice you hear.
Brian Capron 1947 - Actor. Richard Hillman in Coronation Street.
Monica Rose 1948 - Gameshow hostess. She was a contestant on Double Your Money who so impressed Hughie Green, the show’s presenter, that he asked her to be the show’s ‘hostess’. They became something of a double act [Ha! A double your money act! - Ed.] and even made a record, Clap Your Hands.
Bobby Russell 1957 - Fitba guy.
Deborah Meaden 1959 - Dragon.
Jill Bryson 1961 - Musician. Half of Strawberry Switchblade. Have a clip. Here’s Since Yesterday.
Dorian Healy 1962 - Actor. Kieran Voce in Soldier Soldier.
Karen Matheson 1963 - Singer. Vocalist with Capercaillie. Have another clip. Here’s Coisich A Ruin. That is your actual Gaelic.
John Salako 1969 - Footy bloke.
Damian Lewis 1971 - Actor. Bobby Axelrod in Billions.
Steve McManamananaman 1972 - Fyoooty bloke.
Nick Barmby 1974 - Footy bloke.
Rick Anthony 1979 - Musician. Vocalist with The Phantom Band. Have a wee clip. Here’s The Howling.
Sair Khan 1988 - Actress. Alya Nazir in Coronation Street.
Georgia May Foote 1991 - Actress. Katy Armstrong in Coronation Street.
Are you desperate to find out how our first bet with Baldrokes fared? We won. In a way. We got £2.04 back from our £2.20 stake. 16 pees down. Not a great start, but a win. Of sorts. What happened? Read on...
Swansea vs Birmingham - Home win
Result - Swansea 3 Birmingham 4
Birmingham City’s Auston Trusty's 97th-minute header won a remarkable 4-3 thriller at Swansea.
Blues led through Scott Hogan's penalty before goals by Joel Piroe and Liam Cullen put Swansea City in front.
Tahith Chong equalised for Blues before (ex-Motherwell) keeper John Ruddy's error allowed Piroe to add a second but Lukas Jutkiewicz's (also ex-Motherwell) brave diving header levelled it again.
Blues then found a winner when Trusty headed home Hannibal Mejbri's corner.
Forest Green vs Peterborough - Away win
Result - Forest Green 0 Peterborough 2
Jonson Clarke-Harris scored from the spot as Peterborough beat Forest Green 2-0.
Winger Jordon Garrick bundled over opposite number Kwame Poku in the box and skipper Clarke-Harris belted in the penalty in the 73rd minute.
Hector Kyprianou sealed the win in the fifth minute of added time when he fired in a second goal.
Midfielder Kyprianou drifted in unchallenged from the left corner flag before slotting in from nine yards at a tight angle.
Rovers had improved after United's opener and visiting goalkeeper Will Norris did well to turn a 14-yard shot from striker Amadou Bakayoko over the crossbar one minute later.
And defender Brandon Cooper was left holding his head in his hands after nodding over from eight yards.
Joe Ward then stung Rovers keeper Ross Doohan's hands with a shot from the right angle of the box in the 86th minute, before Kyprianou sealed the victory.
Doncaster vs Hartlepool - Home win
Result - Doncaster 0 Hartlepool 1
Dan Dodds' late strike gave Hartlepool the win as they triumphed at Doncaster.
The hosts enjoyed much the better of the attacking play throughout, but struggled to break down Pools, who showed only glimpses of attacking threat before Dodds' fine strike on 88 minutes.
Midfielder Harrison Biggins was Rovers' main goal threat, with multiple chances in both halves. He hooked a shot wide from 15 yards and looped a header narrowly over the bar in quick succession while Kyle Hurst saw an effort blocked after good build-up play.
Doncaster's best chance saw Caolan Lavery fire straight at Pools keeper Jakub Stolarczyk after being slid through by George Miller after the break.
The breakthrough in the game came after 88 minutes when Dodds was sent clear on the right before powering a shot in off the far post.
Gillingham vs Crawley - Home win
Result - Gillingham 1 Crawley 0
Gillingham’s veteran midfielder Shaun Williams scored the winner in victory over Crawley.
Tom Fellows almost put Crawley in front within 30 seconds when unmarked at the back post.
Town captain Ben Gladwin rounded Glenn Morris before the goalkeeper made an excellent recovery save, then Ludwig Francillette (Cracking name of the week, for sure) fired over from the resulting corner.
Gillingham's best chance of the opening half saw Tom Nichols brilliantly play in Dom Jefferies, but the midfielder scuffed his shot.
The hosts went ahead three minutes after half-time, as Williams fired home after Crawley's Corey Addai had brilliantly denied Nichols.
Addai kept his side in the game as he produced another excellent fingertip save to deny Nichols approaching the hour.
Timothee Dieng and Conor Masterson also had chances to double the advantage, but they had done enough to secure the win.
Leyton Orient vs AFC Wimbledon - Home win - 5/6
Result - Leyton Orient 1 AFC Wimbledon 0
George Moncur scored the winner as Leyton Orient beat AFC Wimbledon at Brisbane Road.
Moncur struck in the 64th minute when he drilled a shot from the left side of the area across a crowded box and into the bottom right corner.
And that’s all you need to know. What about this week? What has The Graymbler predicted?
Game - Bet - Odds
Fulham vs Nottingham Forest - Home win - 10/11
Burnley vs Preston North End - Home win - 8/15
Charlton vs Fleetwood - Home win - 19/20
Cheltenham vs Accrington - Home win - Evens
Wycombe vs Derby County - Away win - 6/5
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
Not really that whopping, but more whopping than usual.
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 Ashington, Northumberland in 1924. A centre forward, I played 353 games for Newcastle United and scored 177 goals. At that time, I was the Magpies highest scorer a record which stood until 2006 when Alan Shearer overtook it. There are statues in my honour outside St. James’ Park and another in Ashington. There is also a steam locomotive named in my honour.
Answer - Jackie Milburn
2. Which Spaniard has made the most Premier League appearances?
Answer - David de Gea (394 and counting)
3. Which club is managed by Steve Cooper?
Answer - Nottingham Forest
4. What nationality is Everton centre-back Yerri Mina?
Answer - Colombian
5. Which English club has the nickname The Sulphurites?
Answer - Harrogate Town
Would you like five for this week? Of course you would...
1. Who am I?
I was born in Stirling in 1942. I was known as a tenacious and hard-tackling midfielder despite being only 5’ 5” tall. My senior career began at Leeds United in 1960 and I stayed with them until 1976, making 587 appearances. I was captain from 1965 onwards. I was capped for Scotland 54 times.
2. Which Premier League manager was sacked last week?
3. And which former Premier League manager returned?
4. The answer to question one did not play the most games while he was at Leeds United; who holds the record for the most appearances?
5. Alan Shearer holds the record of the most Premier League goals scored, but who has scored the most P.L. goals for a single club?
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 Mr. D. Smith who introduces (and appears in) this week’s finishing item. If you were around in the 1960s, you might remember this; one of the funniest and most outrageous shows radio show ever to grace the airwaves, ladeez and genullum, here’s a complete episode of Round the Horne.
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.