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 Mrs Grapenut of Old Custard, I would suggest that you use natural yogurt on it.
You may have noticed that there was no edition of your favourite ill-informed blog last week. Oh, you didn't. Well, there wasn't one. And for once, it was a deliberate plan rather than there being some lame excuse for its absence. Why? Pull up a chair and I'll tell ee...
As you regular readers out there in Gramblerland know, Mrs G and I often run fundraising events to throw some money into the Bobby Moore Fund via the Grambler's Kick Cancer's Backside fund. Well, this week, we were at it again and, though I say it myself, it was an absolute belter of an event.
In the past, we have raised funds by having afternoon teas, quizzes and the occasional nostalgia presentation. Last year, we changed direction slightly and ran a bingo night. It went very well and raised quite a bit towards the fund but, somehow, there seemed to be something missing.
The next time we had a bingo night, we added musical bingo to the mix. Sorry pardon excuse me? Musical bingo. That is, instead of numbers, there are song titles on the bingo cards. The songs get played in a random order and the winner is decided as per number bingo... one line, two lines, full house; that sort of thing. Something different we thought. It went down rather well. Indeed, the number game that we played immediately after the musical one seemed a bit flat in comparison.
We noticed something rather nice happening during the musical game; if a really popular tune came on, the players sang along to it. And that gave us the idea for last Friday's fundraiser... Singalongabingo. Yup, you read that correctly... singalongabingo.
It took a lot of planning and vital input from quite a few people. First, we had to consider songs that people would be inclined to sing along to. Not only that, but they had to be suitable for a wide age range. It wouldn't be a good idea to have just songs from the noughties and more recent years (The teenies? Maybe not.) that only young people would know. Equally, we couldn't use just really old songs because young people might not know them. What a dilemma. When we finally had what we considered to be a decent mixture, we had to source some of those that weren't in our collection. Luckily, a music-mad friend came to the rescue.
The next task was to come up with a way of producing bingo tickets that were sufficiently random that no two cards were completely identical. On our previous music bingo night, Mrs G and I had painstakingly taken numbered cards, allocated each number to a song and then handwritten new bingo cards to correspond with the numbered versions. Seventy odd cards with fifteen song titles on each, as you can imagine it was a laborious and time-consuming affair. After writing them, they all had to be checked. It was all just too long-winded and labour intensive. And Friday’s event required over a hundred individual bingo cards. Surely, there had to be an easier way. (Don't call me Shirley.)
Indeed there was. Luckily, we know someone who is a genius when it comes anything computery. He volunteered to write a programme [Ooh, a programme, indeed. There's posh. - Ed.] which could be used to generate as many bingo cards as we needed. Sorted.
No, not sorted. Well, not quite, anyway. Unfortunately, though our computer savvy volunteer was obviously dead clever, he actually had never played or even seen bingo being played and didn't have a clue how it worked. Luckily, he is a quick learner and went online to read up on the rules. After that minor glitch, he came up with the bingo cards in the form of a bread sheet or something. [Spread sheet, you idiot. - Ed.] All I had to do was tart up how they looked and hey bingo! bingo cards.
Well, that was the preparation part taken care of, how would singalongabingo go down with the people coming to the event? Would they join in as we hoped? Or would they just sit there, mute? Would they even understand the concept? We had no idea and, frankly, were pretty nervous that the evening would turn out to be a disaster.
The first song was played and a few folk dutifully sang along to it, but it wasn't quite the lung bursting singalong we were hoping for. Oh dear. Anyway, more songs got played and the singing got a bit louder. Things were improving, we thought. Then, joy of joys, the perfect song came on - (I'm Gonna Be) 500 Miles by the Proclaimers. Who can resist singing along to that one? The place erupted. Everybody was belting it out as loudly as their lungs would let them. We sighed with relief. When folk got up to dance to (Is This The Way to) Amarillo and conga along to The Locomotion (and Love Train), we realised that we had hit gold and had a winning formula.
The evening was a riotous success; everyone had thoroughly enjoyed themselves... and we got three bookings to do the same thing at other people's fundraising events. Wow!
And best of all? We were able to put more than £1250 into the Bobby Moore Fund.
I'm already thinking of the next bingo night... So, more songs from Tony Christie, maybe. And the Proclaimers. I wonder if I can find a few more relating to trains...
Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we?
Were any famous or not so well-known individuals born on the 29th of April? Of course there were. Here are some that even I have heard of.
Alice Keppel 1868 - Edward VII’s bit of fluff. Later joined Wilson and Betty and the rest is history.
Thomas Beecham 1879 - Conductor and maker of the famous pills and powders. [Really? - Ed.] What do you think?
Malcolm Sargent 1895 - Another Conductor.
Rudolf Schwarz 1905 - Yet another conductor.
Jack Bentley 1913 - Musician. Mr Wendy Craig.
Deryck Guyler 1914 - Actor. Norman Potter in Please Sir! I was a desert rat, you know. Ask your dad.
William Squire 1917 - Actor. Hunter in Callan.
Stephen Wilkinson 1919 - Another flaming conductor!
Maxine Audley 1923 - Actress. Miss Haversham in Great Expectations. The 1967 TV adaptation, not the 1946 film. Or the nine, yes nine, other TV versions. It seems to be remade a bit too often. Is it really such a great story?
Leonard Fenton 1926 - Actor. Dr. Legg in Eastenders.
Heinz Wolff 1928 - TV boffin. Not a real wolf.
Jeffery Dench 1928 - Actor. Arthur Gride, Mr Blighty and unnamed landlord in The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickelby. The 1982 TV adaptation. Not to be confused with other five TV versions or two cinema releases. Another case of Dickens overkill. Oh, Jeffery is Dame Judi’s brother. Well, was. He’s dead now.
Maurice Handford 1929 - I don’t believe it! Another conductor!
Jeremy Thorpe 1929 - Disgraced politician.
Lonnie Donegan 1931 - Musician. The most successful British act of the 1950s. Here’s your first clip of the week, Wreck of the Old 97.
George Jamieson 1935 - Who? Better known as April Ashley, a famous ‘transgender’ erm... individual.
Ann Bell 1938 - Actress. Marion Jefferson in Tenko.
Gay Hamilton 1943 - Actress. Jean Morrow/Watt in Softly Softly: Task Force. Doesn’t come from Hamilton; she’s from Uddingston.
Francis Lee 1944 - Footy bloke.
Richard Warwick 1945 - Actor. Phil in A Fine Romance. Doesn’t come from Warwick.
Franc Roddam 1946 - Film director, businessman, screenwriter, television producer and publisher... In fact, a right old smarty boots. Created Quadrophenia, Auf Wiedersehen, Pet and Masterchef (?)
Anita Dobson 1949 - Actress. Angie Watts in Eastenders, you slaaag.
David Icke 1952 - Fruitcake... I mean, he probably likes fruitcake (if any lawyers are reading this).
Bill Drummond 1953 - Musician, artist, writer and record producer. Was co-founder of The KLF. Another clip? Why not. Here’s a jolly little toon, Last Train to Trancentral.
Daniel Day-Lewis 1957 - Actor. Daniel Plainview in There Will Be Blood.
Rosie Rowell 1965 - Actress. Donna Tucker in Soldier Soldier.
Roland Armstrong aka Rollo 1966 - Musician. Founder member of Faithless. Time for another clip. Here’s one called I Won't Stop.
Phil Tufnell 1966 - Crickety bloke.
Chris Bailey 1968 - Tennisy bloke.
Jo O’Meara 1979 - Singer. A bit of S Club 7. Clip time, methinks. Here’s Have You Ever.
Mark Stanley 1988 - Actor. Grenn in Game of Thrones.
Now then, what about the 6th of May?
Billy Cotton 1899 - Bandleader. He got the plum Saturday night spot on the Beeb back in the sixties. Watch this and, Like me, you’ll wonder why. Here's a bit of The Billy Cotton Band Show. Ye gods and little fishes! Folk must have been easily amused back then.
Stewart Granger 1913 - Actor. Allan Quatermain in King Solomon’s Mines.
John Barrie 1917 - Actor. Sergeant Cork in... Sergeant Cork.
Elizabeth Sellars 1921 - Actress. Jerry in The Barefoot Contessa.
Joanna Dunham 1936 - Actress. Arlette in Van der Valk.
Susan Brown 1946 - Actress. Liz Roper in Broadchurch.
Robbie McIntosh 1950 - Original drummer with Average White Band. He was involved in this early piece by the band, though he died soon after its release from a drugs overdose. Here’s Pick Up The Pieces. Funkeh!
Tony Blair 1953 - Politician,
Graeme Souness 1953 - Fitba guy.
Nicholas Crane 1954 - TV presenter.
George Irving 1954 - Actor. D.I. Ken Jackson in Dangerfield.
Pippa Heywood 1961 - Actress. Joanna Clore in Green Wing.
Tom Hunter 1961 - Businessman and philanthropist.
Annie Wallace 1965 - Actress. Sally St. Claire in Hollyoaks.
Dominic Holland 1967 - Comedian and broadcaster.
Tony Wright 1968 - Musician. Frontman of Terrorvision and Laika Dog. Here’s a track by the former, Tequila. Sean Hughes makes an appearance in the video.
Rosie Marcel 1977 - Actress. Jac Naylor in Holby City.
Archis Tiku 1977 - Musician. Founding member of Maximo Park. A clip? Why not. Here they apply some pressure.
Sean Batty 1982 - Weatherman.
Archie 2019 - The well-known prince. Granpa’s getting crowned on your birthday. Isn’t that nice?
I’ve received a letter...
Dear Archis Gramblu,
Nice to hear an early song from Maximo Park, of which you used to be a member. I believe you had a few top ten hits, but what was your first record to enter the top ten?
Your obedient slave,
How did our last bet with Drablokes fare? We won. Yay! Not five out of five but not bad. £3.42 back from our £2.20 stake. Better than a poke in the teeth with... hang on, that’s not right. Never mind. What happened? Read on.
Portsmouth vs Accrington - Home win
Result - Portsmouth 1 Accrington 0
Joe Pigott came off the bench to score the only goal of the game as Portsmouth beat Accrington Stanley.
It was Accrington who took the game to the hosts, forcing three corners in the opening five minutes.
They had three long-distance efforts from Ethan Hamilton, all of which ended up in keeper Matt Macey's midriff, whilst Pompey could manage nothing on target against a back five.
The second half followed the same nervy pattern as the first until Michael Jacobs crossed for substitute Pigott to head home at the back post with quarter of an hour left.
Plymouth vs Cambridge - Home win
Result - Plymouth 3 Cambridge 1
Argyle took a 15th-minute lead through Callum Wright, who was able to choose his spot after being teed up by strike partner Ryan Hardie.
Wright, inside the box, curled the ball past Dimitar Mitov as Argyle got off to a flying start.
Cambridge levelled when Sam Smith headed back across goal and past Callum Burton from Steve Seddon's 31st-minute cross from the left, helped on by Michael Morris' deft flick-on.
Dominant Argyle regained the lead in the 56th minute thanks to the determined drive of skipper Joe Edwards, who managed to stay on his feet despite a trip, to poke the ball past Mitov from close range to make it 2-1.
The Greens surged further ahead in the 73th minute following a superb one-two between Bali Mumba and substitute striker Niall Ennis.
Mumba cut the ball back from the left and Ennis hammered home from close range.
Cheltenham vs Forest Green - Home win
Result - Cheltenham 3 Forest Green 1
Alfie May's double fired Cheltenham to a 3-1 derby win over Forest Green.
May opened the scoring in the 14th minute after Aidan Keena's pass, finishing with a low shot in off the left post.
Keena added the second with another finish into the bottom left corner after seizing on a misplaced pass in the 31st minute.
Cheltenham were rampant and May reached Will Ferry's cross from the left to steer the ball inside the far post with goalkeeper Ross Doohan taken out of the game in the 38th minute.
Doohan fell on a shot from Keena at the end of a half dominated by the home side.
Rovers pulled one back three minutes into the second half when Corey O'Keeffe's corner from the right was not cleared and Dom Bernard's shot was touched in by Jordon Garrick.
Wycombe vs Lincoln - Home win
Result - Wycombe 0 Lincoln 2
In a stop-start first half Dylan Duffy gave the visitors the lead inside 10 minutes after Regan Poole floated a delivery into the box for him to glance home a header.
Sam Vokes headed Nick Freeman's cross past the post on the half-hour mark, before Lincoln's Harry Boyes curled wide to end a sluggish first half.
Wycombe started the second half brightly and Garath McCleary thought he had equalised at the back post but Carl Rushworth did enough to keep his effort out on the line.
But it was Lincoln who doubled their advantage as Lasse Sorensen controlled Max Stryjek's miscued free-kick and hit an incredible effort from distance past the scrambling keeper.
Barnsley vs Oxford - Home win
Result - Barnsley 2 Oxford 0
The visitors forced Harry Isted into action in the 28th minute when Cameron Brannagan struck a free-kick from the edge of the box goal bound, but the Barnsley keeper tipped the ball round the post.
Barnsley broke the deadlock a minute into first-half stoppage time as Adam Phillips whipped a ball into the box and SlobodanTedic got the touch at the near post to guide it home.
The Tykes doubled their lead six minutes after the break. After Simon Eastwood's initial save, the ball was crossed back into the box by Phillips for Tedic to nod in for his second.
Oxford almost pulled one back five minutes into added time when Yanic Wildschut headed goalwards, but Isted clawed it away.
So, Not bad Grambler. Can he/she/it go one better this week?
Game - Result - Odds
Motherwell vs Kilmarnock - Home win - 21/20
Hibs vs St. Mirren - Home win - 20/21
Clyde vs Montrose - Away win - Evens
Edinburgh City vs Airdrie - Away win - 20/23
Albion vs Stirling - Away 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
That is pretty whopping. A bit too whopping, if you ask me. So long £2.20, it was nice knowing you.
Yay! How did you get on with the five teasers set last time? Here are the answers.
1. Who am I?
Here’s an easy one. I was born in Ealing in 2001. I began my senior career at my current club, Arsenal, in 2018. So far, I have made 128 appearances and have scored 29 goals. I have been capped for England 26 times and have scored eight times.
Answer - Bukayo Saka
2. Talking of Arsenal, who made the most appearances (all time) for the Gunners?
Answer - David O’Leary (722)
3. Who is Northern Ireland’s most capped player?
Answer - Steven Davis (140)
4. Who succeeded Brian Clough as Derby County’s manager?
Answer - Dave Mackay
5. Which club plays its home games at Galabank?
Answer - Annan Athletic
Righty ho, let’s have five for this week.
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.
2. Talking of Spurs, who is the only Colombian player in Tottenham Hotspur’s current squad of players?
3. How many Welsh sides will be playing in the English Football League system next season?
4. Cristiano Ronaldo is, unsurprisingly, Real Madrid’s highest goalscorer, but who is their next highest scorer?
5. Which club plays its home games at The Peninsula Stadium?
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, a sad ending. This will strike a chord with the male readers out there in Gramblerland. Gentlemen, in your teenage years, did you fall in love with various actresses, singers or sportswomen. I know I did. One of my ‘fantasy’ girls was Olivia Newton John. Something about the eyes. Sadly, she left this life in 2022. Then there was beautiful Babs from Pan's People... wonder what her name is. (Fans of Porridge will appreciate that sexist gag.) Another of my dream girls, sadly, passed away this week. Ladeez and genullum, please enjoy the rather lovely Linda Lewis.
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.