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…
I often get my holiday resorts mixed up and confuse Majorca with Menorca, so you can imagine my embarrassment when I was recently telling my friends about my holiday in Menorca and my wife had to point out that we had actually been on holiday in Skegness. She has also suggested that I try drying out for a period.
[Have any other readers been so pissed on holiday that you didn’t know which country you were in? - Ed.]
Firstly, an update on the last (g)ramble concerning my bus pass. It arrived! Praise be to the lord!
Let’s move on to this week’s edition.
I was reading an article recently that bemoaned the modern linguistic phenomenon of txt spk. Sorry pardon excuse me? Yes the annoying habit that mobile phone users (and a few pop artistes when choosing a stage name) have of dropping their vowels. [Dropping their bowels? Yeurgh! - Ed.] Ahem...
The article went as far as to suggest that in years to come, vowels will no longer be used as they will be considered unnecessary.
I don't agree. Or should I say, dnt gr. There you are, it doesn't work; that was meant to say I don't agree. How, for example would you differentiate between sht, sht, sht or indeed sht, not forgetting sht and sht? Those words were shot, shut, shout, sheet and shoot. [Hang on, there's one missing. - Ed.] Indeed there is. And that word is... yes, you at the back? No, that isn't the word I meant, but I would certainly add it to the list if I could be certain there were no children reading this. No, the word I forgot was, of course, ashet.
It would be impossible to put into practice. What about the single-lettered words a and I? You see? Or should that be y s? Although, see wouldn't be such a problem as you could substitute c. What about you though? [What about me? - Ed.] Ahem... U wouldn't exist so you couldn't substitute it. [What do you mean, I wouldn't exist? Of course I exist. - Ed.]
And what about bt as a word? Is that bat, bet, bit, bot, but, bate, bete, bite, beat, boat, beaut, abet, abut, abate or about? Or -bt for u-boat.
Anyway, before long, letters will be totally forgotten about and replaced by pictographs as the Egyptians used thousands of years ago so there is no need for me to get my knckrs n twst. Srry prdn xcs m?
Yep. No need for letters in the future. We'll all be using emojis to convert our thoughts onto paper/computer/tablet/phone.
Smiley face, pencil, picture of book.
Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we? Were any famous or not so well-known individuals born on the 22nd of July? Of course there were. Here are some that even I have heard of.
James Beaumont Neilson 1792 - Inventor whose hot-blast process greatly increased the efficiency of smelting iron.
William Spooner 1844 - Oxford don whose name was given to the habit of getting mords wuddled up. He was something of a shining wit, apparently.
James Whale 1889 - Film director.
Bryan Forbes 1926 - Film director and actor. Played the character of Porthill in The League of Gentlemen (The 1961 film.).
I keep telling you, I’ve never been to Royston Vasey.
Jimmy Hill 1928 - Footy bloke.
Vivien Merchant 1929 - Actress. Mrs Pinter.
Jeremy Lloyd 1929 - Actor and writer. Mr Lumley... but only between May and September 1970.
Harold Rhodes 1936 - Crickety bloke.
Terence Stamp 1938 - Actor. Billy Budd in Billy Budd.
Gary Myers 1941 - Actor. Who? You may remember him as The Milk Tray Man.
Joyce Williams 1944 - Tennisy bloke.
Rick Davies 1944 - Musician. Vocalist and keyboard man in Supertramp. A clip? I should bl**dy think so. Here’s Bl**dy Well Right.
Nick Brimble 1944 - Actor. Jack Chapman in Grantchester.
Cammy Fraser 1957 - Fitba guy.
Adam Godley 1964 - Actor. Archbishop in The Great.
Bonnie Langford 1964 - Showbiz legend. Mel Bush in Doctor Who.
Rhys Ifans 1967 - Actor and musician. Spike in Notting Hill.
Stephen Mangan 1972 - Actor. Nathan Stern in The Split.
Ross Millard 1982 - Musician. Frontman of The Futureheads. A clip? Why not. Here’s Hounds of Love.
Stewart Downing 1984 - Footy bloke.
Chris Opie 1987 - Bike racey bloke.
Matty James 1991 - Footy bloke.
Prince George of Wales 2013 - The well-known royal sprog. Doesn’t actually live in Wales.
Okay, then. Were there any famous/notorious folk born on the 29th of July. Of course there were and here are some that I recognise.
Jo Grimond 1913 - Politician.
Alexander Gauge 1914 - Actor. Friar Tuck in The Adventures of Robin Hood. Here’s a thing; the intro song goes ‘Robin Hood, Robin Hood, riding through the glen...’ When? I never saw him on a horse.
Ivo Peters 1915 - Railway photographer.
Stella Moray 1923 - Actress. Joan in Maisie Raine.
Peter Baldwin 1933 - Actor. Derek Wilton in Coronation Street.
Hildegarde Neil 1939 - Actress. Cleopatra in Antony and Cleopatra. Here’s a thing: Why is Marc Antony, a Roman, called Marc Antony? Every other male in Roman history has a name ending in ‘us’. Surely, he should be Marcus Antonius. Discuss.
Allan McGraw 1939 - Fitba guy.
Jeremy Paul 1939 - Screenwriter who also co-wrote this famous little tune. Wrong time of year, admittedly.
David Warner 1941 - Actor. Morgan in Morgan: A Suitable Case for Treatment. 227 credits on IMDb.
David Taylor aka The Silver Fox 1943 - Snookery bloke.
Bill Forsyth 1946 - Film director.
Diane Keen 1946 - Actress. Fliss Hawthorne in The Cuckoo Waltz.
Geoffrey Durham 1949 - Magician. Used to bill himself as The Great Nobendo... sorry, that should read, Soprendo.
Joe Johnson 1952 - Snookery bloke.
Viv Anderson 1956 - Footy bloke.
Marcus Gilbert 1958 - Actor. Rupert Campbell-Black in Riders.
Martin McCarrick 1962 - Musician. A Banshee from 1987 to 1995. Have a clip. Here’s Kiss Them For Me.
Graham Poll 1963 - Footy reffy bloke.
Miles Hunt 1966 - Musician. Frontman with The Wonder Stuff. Let’s have another clip. Here’s Size of a Cow.
Sally Gunnell 1966 - Athleticky bloke.
Giles Coren 1969 - TV presenter.
Andi Peters 1970 - Producer? Actor? I only know him as the bloke that does the big quiz thing on morning TV.
David Walliams 1971 - Comedian, actor and currently Britain’s new Roald Dahl... Not sure that we needed one, but we’ve got one, nevertheless.
Simon Jones 1972 - Musician. He was the bassist with The Verve. Shall we have another clip? Why not. Here’s History.
Jamie Hamill 1986 - Fitba guy.
Jay Rodriguez 1989 - Footy bloke.
Rosie Bentham 2001 - Actress. Gabby Thomas in Emmerdale.
I’ve received another letter...
Dear Gramblin McCarrick,
It was wonderful to hear a track from Siouxie and the Banshees. It seems absolutely ages since the band had a hit. Can you tell me what their last top 20 single was called?
How did our last bet with Bradkoles fare? We won... in a way. We got a return of £1.78 from our £2.20 stake. 42 pees down. Not so good. Never mind. Let’s have another try.
What games are available this weekend? Well, the Women’s World Cup Qualifiers are taking place right now, so let’s have some more games from the preliminary stage of the Scottish League Cup? Yeah, why not. All games kick off at 3pm, Saturday, the 29th of July.
Game - Result - Odds
Bonnyrigg Rose vs Airdrieonians - Away win - 8/13
Ayr vs Alloa - Home win - 8/15
Hamilton vs Cove Rangers - Home win - 4/5
Arbroath vs Montrose - Home win - 20/23
Queens Park vs Queen of the South - Home win - 4/7
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
Obviously, this is a different meaning for the word ‘whopping’. Blame those ridiculously short odds.
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 Kingston, Jamaica in 1963. I moved to England aged 12. A left back, I played for Watford before moving to Liverpool. My playing career ended with short spells at Newcastle United and Charlton Athletic. I was capped for England 79 times. I tried my hand at management, but things didn’t work out too well... I should have stuck to rapping.
Answer - John Barnes
2. Which player has won the most England caps while he was at Liverpool?
Answer - Steven Gerard (114)
3. Another car-related one, which car company is associated with Manchester United?
Answer - Chevrolet
4. Which Argentinian scored the most Premier League goals last season?
Answer - Alexis MacAllister (10)
5. Which club has the nickname, The Chairboys?
Answer - Wycombe Wanderers
Shall we have five for this week? Of course we shall.
1. Who am I?
I was born in 1957 in Chester-le-Street, County Durham. A midfielder, I began my senior career at West Bromwich Albion before signing for Manchester United in 1981 for a record-breaking £1.5 million (a record that stood for six years). I ended my playing career at Middlesbrough as player/manager. I was capped 90 times for England. Though I have managed various clubs, my current involvement in football is as a global ambassador for Manchester United.
2. Which player scored the most goals for Wales?
3. Which non-English player has scored the most Premier League penalties?
4. Which club plays its home games at Prenton Park?
5. Here’s something different, unscramble these letters to reveal the name of a famous player past or present...
RIPE PIRATE RINK
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. C. Murray who provides us with our finishing item. C. Murray? Chic Murray to you and me. He appeared in one of Bill Forsyth’s early films, Gregory’s Girl, playing the laid-back headmaster. It is one of my favourite films and I particularly like this little snippet. And, if I’ve used it before, I make no apologies, it always makes me smile.
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.