Saturday 1 April 2023

Post 475 - A musical gramble



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 (

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.

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


Story time...

How do you listen to your music these days? If you are like me, you use Stopify. Hang on, that's not right... it'll do.

You may also, like me, refuse to pay for the service because you are already paying through the nose for your broadband... Don't get me started.

Any road up, by not paying, I have to endure the occasional advertisement. Not a problem. If I listen to the radio, I have to put up with them, so I'm happy to accept them. Actually, it's a lot less annoying than the radio because I don't have to listen to deejays prattling on about whatever takes their fancy between songs... and i can choose whatever music I want.

However, something is bothering me and Stofipy should also be bothered. Why? Because the makers of those adverts on Fostipy are conning the businesses being advertised, that's why. However do you mean, I hear you ask. Let me explain.

Spofity is an app that allows you to play music. Got that? Music. You listen to music. [I think the good readers have worked that out. - Ed.] Yes? Listen. You do not watch music. [Have you taken too much medication, today? - Ed.] No no. Bear with me on this.

If you listen to music, you don't constantly look at the device playing the music, because you don't need to; you are simply listening. So why do most of the adverts on Tofsipy have visuals included? Have they not realised that their app is basically the same as a radio?

Quite often, when my music stops for an advertising break, all I hear is music without any words being spoken because the ad being played is purely visual. Presumably, at some point during the advert something relating to whatever we are being persuaded to buy is showing on the screen. The thing is, I am not looking at the screen. The ad is wasted on me.

Sometimes, there isn't even any music playing; the ad is silent. How ridiculous is that? I am certainly not going to rush to my phone/tablet/whatever computery type thing I am using, to check what is being advertised.

Whoever is paying to advertise on Softipy is not getting their money's worth. What is the point of an advert that doesn't even register with the target audience?

What am I doing?!  I'm actually asking for adverts... maybe I have taken too much medication.





Birthday honours...

Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we?

Were any famous or not so well-known individuals born on the1st of April? Of course there were. Here are some that even I have heard of.

Edgar Wallace 1875 - Writer. Created King Kong.

Cicely Courtneidge 1893 - Actress. Mum in On the Buses (Series 1 only).

Sid Field 1904 - Comedian.


What a performance!

Steve Race 1921 - Composer, musician and broadcaster. He had a chart hit in 1963 with this catchy little toon, The Pied Piper (The Beeje).  Factoid: In the 1970s, that was played at Loftus Road as the QPR players ran onto the park; Race was a season ticket holder.

Walter Carr 1925 - Actor. Dougie in The Vital Spark.

John Scott Martin 1926 - Jobbing actor. Played a Dalek in Doctor Who. 130 credits on IMDb.

Peter Maddocks 1928 - Cartoonist.

George Baker 1931 - Actor. Tiberius in I Clavdivs.

Avril Elgar 1932 - Actress. Ethel in George & Mildred.

Alan Haven 1935 - Musician. Here’s a track from him called Image. It may not surprise you to learn that he was a co-writer of early James Bond film music.

Anne Nightingale 1940 - DJ.

Alan Blakley 1942 - Musician. A Tremelo. Would you like a clip? Here’s Here Comes My Baby. Well, at least it was a live performance,

Carol White 1943 - Actress. Cathy in Cathy Come Home.

Ronnie Lane 1946 - Musician. A Small Face. Here’s a tune he produced after his Small Faces days, The Poacher. I know I’ve given you a link to that song in a previous edition of this blog. I make no apologies for repeating it; It’s a delightful little song.

Robin Scott 1947 - Musician who founded M. They famously had a hit with Pop Muzik, but here is a link to a track which fared less well, Moonlight and Muzak.

Simon Cowe 1948 - Musician. An original member of Lindisfarne. Let’s have a clip. Here’s Meet Me On The Corner.  Simon’s the Catweazle lookalike at the back.

John ‘J. J.’ Williams 1948 - Chwaraewr rygbi.

David Gower 1957 - Crickety bloke.

Michael Praed 1960 - Actor. Frank Clayton in Emmerdale.

Susan Boyle 1961 - Singer. Here’s her biggest UK hit, Wild Horses.

Mark White 1961 - Musician. Founder member of ABC. Have a clip. Here’s When Smokey Sings.

Phillip Schofield 1962 - TV presenter.

Chris Evans 1966 - Another TV presenter.

Dean Windass 1969 - Footy blurk (in my best Hull accent).

Karen Dunbar 1971 - Comedienne and actress.

Kris Marshall 1973 - Actor. Humphrey Goodman in Death in Paradise.

David Oyelowo 1976 - Actor. Danny Hunter in Spooks.

Kevin Christie 1976 - Fitba guy. Ex-Motherwell, you know.

Hannah Spearritt 1981 - Actress and singer. An original member of S Club 7, so I think a clip is in order. Here’s Have You Ever.

Craig Samson 1984 - Fitba guy. Ex-Motherwell, you know.

Jenn Murray 1986 - Actress. Dolores in Brooklyn.

Andrew Considine 1987 - Fitba guy.

Asa Butterfield 1997 - Actor. Bruno in The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.







Gramble time...

How did our last bet with Radblokes fare? After winning on the previous two bets, could The Grambler make it three in a row? In a word... no. £1.32 back from our £2.20 stake. Oh dear. What happened? Read on...

Exeter vs Accrington - Home win

Result - Exeter 5 Accrington 0


The deadlock was broken in fine fashion after 36 minutes when Demetri Mitchell cut in from the left and curled a wonderful shot beyond goalkeeper Lukas Jensen and into the far corner with his right foot from 20 yards.

It took Exeter four minutes after the restart to double their lead as Josh Key superbly took down Will Aimson's long pass, beat his man and smashed his shot past Jensen.

Two quickly became three as Alex Hartridge's effort was tipped on to the bar by Jensen, but Sam Nombe was on hand to tap in on the line with 55 minutes on the clock.

Substitute James Scott made it 4-0 after 76 minutes.

He played a nice one-two with the outstanding Jay Stansfield (son of Exeter favourite Adam Stansfield who died aged just 31 from bowel cancer) before placing the ball beautifully into the corner from 20 yards.

However, the biggest cheer of the afternoon came when Stansfield cut in from the left and drilled the ball past Jensen for Exeter's fifth goal in the 82nd minute.

Accrington failed to register a shot on target all afternoon as they were outclassed by the impressive Grecians.


Shrewsbury vs Bristol Rovers - Home win

Result - Void

Sorry? Void? Wh'appen?

MK Dons vs Morecambe - Home win

Result - MK Dons 1 Morecambe 0


A smart second-half finish from Jonathan Leko proved the difference between the teams. The hosts enjoyed much the better of the first half, but could not find a breakthrough.

Leko saw an early effort saved by Connor Ripley and Mohamed Eisa was then thwarted by Ripley after he had found space in the Morecambe box.

Dan Crowley went close for the visitors, but the Dons were unlucky again when Leko's strike took a deflection before being comfortably saved by Ripley.

A minute after the restart Eisa rose to meet Dan Harvie's cross, but he headed off target.

The Dons finally struck just before the hour mark when Leko coolly converted Harvie's low cross.

Two minutes later it was almost level again as Pape Souare saw a shot thump a post.

Eisa fired a rebound wide after Ripley had parried Leko's thunderbolt strike, but the Dons hung on for the points.


Portsmouth vs Port Vale - Home win

Result - Portsmouth 2 Port Vale 2

Ooh! ’It the bar!

Colby Bishop missed one penalty and scored another as Portsmouth fought back from 2-0 down to earn a draw at home to Port Vale.

Vale were gifted the lead with only eight minutes played as Pompey defender Connor Ogilvie made a mess of clearing Mal Benning's low cross, allowing Matty Taylor to fire home from close range.

Matt Macey was at fault as Funso Ojo doubled the visitors' advantage from 20 yards out seven minutes before half-time after Taylor had charged down the goalkeeper's miscued clearance.

Pompey wasted the chance to halve the deficit in the 44th minute as top scorer Bishop saw his tame penalty saved by Aidan Stone after captain Sean Raggett had been fouled by Nathan Smith.

But Bishop made amends midway through the second half by converting from the spot after Ellis Harrison had clumsily brought down Ogilvie.

Pompey drew level just three minutes later when substitute Michael Jacobs found the bottom corner from 12 yards after Reeco Hackett's initial effort had been blocked.


Hartlepool vs Leyton Orient - Away win

Result - Hartlepool 1 Leyton Orient 1

Ooh! ’It the bar again!

A late Connor Jennings strike earned Hartlepool a 1-1 draw with Leyton Orient.

That cancelled out Paul Smyth's brilliant opener for Orient in the 48th minute.

Pools hit the woodwork twice after that but Orient held on for a point.

Neither goalkeeper was tested in the first half but the visitors looked full of intent straight after the restart and it didn't take long for Smyth to open the scoring. He was afforded too much space and he cut in before curling left-footed inside the far post from around 18 yards.

Hartlepool responded well and fans thought Josh Umerah had scored when he hit the side-netting from a tight angle and Wes McDonald forced Lawrence Vigouroux into a good save.

After Jennings finished well following Umerah's determination and pass to level things, Pools went close to winning when McDonald hit the post and Dan Kemp struck the bar.


So close and yet so far. Can The Grambler improve on that showing this week? Let’s see...

Game - Result - Odds

Bristol City vs Reading - Home win - 4/5

Hull vs Rotherham - Home win - 19/20

West Brom vs Millwall - Home win - 17/20

Peterborough vs Oxford - Home win - 4/5

Port Vale vs Cambridge - Home win - 4/5


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


A teensy bit more whopping than last time.




Teaser time...

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 Glasgow in 1928. I joined Celtic in 1947, playing only nine games during my two years with the club. I then moved to Preston North End, playing 324 games for them before moving to Arsenal and, finally, Chelsea. I was capped 25 times. I am remembered more for my managerial career; in a 27 year career I managed (deep breath) Chelsea, Rotherham, QPR, Aston Villa, Porto, Scotland, Manchester United, Derby County, QPR (again), Sydney Olympic, Preston North End, South Melbourne, Sydney Olympic (again), Wolves and Altrincham.

Answer - Tommy Docherty

2. Who is Arsenal’s all-time top scorer?

Answer - Tierry Henry (228)

3. Who is Forest Green Rovers’ manager?

Answer - Duncan Ferguson

4. Gianluigi Buffon has won the most Italian caps with 176, but which Italian outfield player has the most caps to his name?

Answer - Fabio Cannavaro (136)

5. Which club plays home games at Broadhall Way?

Answer - Stevenage

What about five for this week?

1. Who am I?

I was born in Newry, Northern Ireland in 1945. A goalkeeper, I began my senior career at Watford, but played the bulk of my career at Tottenham Hotspur (13 years) and Arsenal (8 years). In an international career lasting 22 years I was capped 119 times.

2. Who is Manchester City’s all-time highest goalscorer?

3. Which player made 700 appearances for Bayern Munich?

4. Who is the oldest outfield player to have made Premier League appearances for Chelsea?

5. Which club plays its home games at The Suit Direct Stadium (formerly known as Victoria 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: The amount raised is a little out of date; it is now sitting at...





And Finally...

And finally, Cyril? And finally, Esther, I am indebted to a Miss K. Dunbar who provides this week’s finisher. You may have watched her in Chewin’ The Fat and laughed. You may have watched her in the opening ceremony for the 2014 Commonwealth Games and cringed. Hopefully, you’ll enjoy this creation of hers, a cabaret singer who sings songs not necessarily suited to her style. Ladeez and genullum, I give you (as I did six years ago) Almost Angelic with (a different song, though) Who Let The Dogs Out.



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 where you can also catch up on any previous editions you may have missed.


Happy grambling.


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