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…
A song to begin...
Here’s an oldie from The Drifters... Let’s get straight into the chorus...
Saturday night at the movies,
Who cares what picture you see...
At 15 quid a pop, I do.
Christmas is coming,
The goose is getting fat,
Please put a penny in the old man's hat.
If you haven't got a penny,
he will accept payments by card or bank transfer.
Yes, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere I see, hence the slightly updated nursery rhyme that begins this week's story time. Anyway, Christmas, time for me to join the crowds thronging the three, or is it four, shops still trading in our local shopping centre. Aye, sure, that will be right.
This year Santa Amzoan will be delivering any pressies I shall be purchasing, thank you very much.
Indeed, I've already started my shopping. Two parcels were due to arrive this very afternoon/evening... Well, any time between 2.45 and 5.45.
Now, anyone who shops online will be aware that it is possible to track your parcel before its arrival. This, I did. After about 4 o'clock, I was wondering if my delivery was imminent, so I went online to have a wee look.
Sure enough, there were my parcel details together with the information that delivery was imminent and that I was eighth in the queue. There was even a map showing the exact location of the delivery van. It was, apparently, only three streets away. It wouldn't be long, now, I thought.
Three quarters of an hour later, I was still waiting. Had something gone wrong?
I checked the tracking information again. It hadn't altered since I'd last looked. The van was still three streets away. I began to think it had broken down.
Minutes later, there was a knock at the door and my parcels were delivered safe and sound. Great.
Hang on a mo... wasn't the van three streets away? How could the driver have got that far so quickly?
I'll let you into a secret. This was one very smart delivery driver. His van was, indeed, still three streets away. How do I know? Because, after dropping my parcels off, he got on a bike and rode off.
Smart, huh? He'd obviously worked out that the easiest way to negotiate the narrower streets was to park his bulky van at a central point and then ride his bike (presumably kept in the van amongst the parcels) quickly to make any deliveries round about.
The thing is, was this his idea, or was it now company policy? Sorry pardon excuse me what? Perhaps, Anazom were now expecting even more deliveries to be made by their drivers. Perhaps, it was they who had instigated the bike runs between houses. If not, and I do hope it's not, please don't let on that I have told you about this driver with the brains to work out an easier method of making deliveries, because, you know what would happen; it wouldn't be long until all drivers were issued with bikes to increase 'efficiency'.
Azamon would be hoping for delivery drivers to get about more quickly with ever-greater m.p.h. from its already overworked staff. That is, maildrops per hour.
Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we? Were any famous or not so well-known individuals born on the 2nd of December? Of course there were. Here are some that even I have heard of.
Mary Slessor 1848 - Missionary.
John Barbirolli 1899 - Conductor and cellist.
John Cobb 1899 - Speed demon. Between 1938 and 1947, Cobb held the world landspeed record on three occasions.
John Bentley 1916 - Actor. Hugh Mortimer in Crossroads.
Cyril Ornadel 1924 - Composer, conductor and songwriter. He wrote the music for this song for the singing bus driver, Matt Monro, Portrait of My Love.
Eileen McCallum 1936 - Actress. Isabel Blair in Take the High Road.
Susan Stranks 1938 - Actress and TV presenter. Best remembered as a presenter of children’s show Magpie from 1968 to 1974.
Mike England 1941 - Pêl-droediwr.
John D. Collins 1942 - Actor. Flying Officer Fairfax in Allo Allo.
Andy Rouse 1947 - Racey drivery bloke.
Gwyneth Strong 1959 - Actress. Cassandra in Only Fools and Horses.
Nigel Spackman 1960 - Footy bloke.
Rick Savage 1960 - Musician. Bassist with Def Leppard. I suppose a clip’s out of the question. Not at all. Here’s the band’s first single to chart, Wasted.
Brendan Coyle 1963 - Actor. Mr Bates in Downton Abbey.
David Batty 1968 - Footy bloke.
Donna Matthews 1971 - Musician. Lead guitarist with Elastica. A clip? Why not? Here’s Waking Up.
Chris Wolstenholme 1978 - Musician. One third of Muse. Another clip? Most definitely. Here’s Supermassive Black Hole. That is one seriously weird video.
Chris Burke 1983 - Fitba guy.
Seann Walsh 1986 - Comedian.
Alfred Enoch 1988 - Actor. Dean Thomas in the Harry Potter films.
Stephen McGinn 1988 - Fitba guy. Brother of Paul and John.
Richard Tait 1989 - Fitba guy. Ex-Motherwell, you know.
Kalvin Phillips 1985 - Footy bloke.
Okeydokey, what about the 9th of December?
John Milton 1608 - Poet. Paradise Lost, that was one of his.
George Grossmith 1847 - Actor, writer, composer, singer and comedian... in fact, a right old smarty boots. With brother Weedon [Weed on? Ooh yuch! - Ed.], he wrote Diary of a Nobody.
Harry ‘Breaker’ Morant 1864 - Military officer and writer. Australian folk hero.
Percy Kahn 1880 - Composer. Here he is accompanying Enrico Caruso and violinist Mischa Elman in a 1913 recording of his composition, Ave Maria.Not bad for a 110 year-old recording.
Hermione Gingold 1897 - Actress. Madame Alvarez in Gigi.
Rab Butler 1902 - Politician.
Ernest Marples 1907 - Politician.
Elisabeth Schwarzkopf 1915 - Chanter. Have a clip. Here’s An die Musik. [Andy Music? Who’s he, then? - Ed.]
Benny Green 1927 - Saxophonist, writer and lover of cricket.
Judi Dench 1934 - Actress. Mary in Allelujah... and she’s done some other stuff.
Billy Bremner 1942 - Fitba guy.
Joanna Trollope 1943 - Orferess.
Neil Innes 1944 - Musician. He wrote a few amusing tunes, but here’s his big hit, Urban Spaceman. A brief intro from Professor Stanley Unwin.
Allan Jones 1947 - Crickety bloke.
Joan Armatrading 1950 - Musician. Here’s a fairly recent song, Loving What You Hate.
Steve Askew 1957 - Musician. One-time guitarist with Kajagoogoo (Remember them?) Shall we have a wee clip? Here’s Too Shy.
Dave Harold 1966 - Snookery bloke.
Geoff Barrow 1971 - Musician. He formed Portishead in 1991, so let’s have a track from them. Here’s Chase the Tear.
Luisa Bradshaw-White 1975 - Actress. Tina Carter in Eastenders. You slaaag!
Imogen Heap 1977 - Musician, singer-songwriter, record producer and audio engineer. [Perhaps she could fix my stereo. - Ed.] I don’t think that’s what it means. Have a clip. Here’s Goodnight and Go.
Lee Mair 1980 - Fitba guy.
Gemma Fay 1981 - Fitba guy.
I’ve received a letter...
Dear Steve Grambleskew,
I did enjoy the clip provided here, but I am troubled by something. The singer in the video is Limahl, am I right in thinking that he was sacked from the band? Did the group have any top ten hits after he was kicked out?
[Ignore the scary man at the beginning. - Ed.]
How did our last bet with Blodkares fare? We lost. Not a penny back. Rubbish, or what? What happened? Read on.
Burnley vs West Ham - Away win
Result - Burnley 1 West Ham 2
The home side looked to be on course for a crucial victory thanks to Jay Rodriguez's penalty at the start of the second half.
But they were unable to double their advantage and West Ham made them pay in the closing stages.
Substitute Divin Mubama pressured Dara O'Shea into turning the ball into his own net in the 86th minute, before Tomas Soucek scored from Mohammed Kudus' deep cross in stoppage time to complete the turnaround.
Luton vs Crystal Palace - Away win
Result - Luton 2 Crystal Palace 1
It took until the second half for the game to spark into life, with one of the few moments of note in the first period when Odsonne Edouard's goal was ruled out because the ball ricocheted off Luton defender Tom Lockyer and on to the Palace striker's hand.
That escape energised Luton and Teden Mengi poked home a loose ball in the box after a flick-on from a corner to break the deadlock.
But Palace winger Michael Olise produced a brilliant piece of individual skill to chop inside and curl past Thomas Kaminski from a tight angle to level within two minutes.
Striker Jacob Brown put the Hatters back in front again when he turned home a pinpoint Chiedozie Ogbene pass from close range in the 81st minute.
The Eagles lost Eberechi Eze, who injured his ankle, and Cheick Doucoure, who were forced off in the second half - the latter being carried off on a stretcher.
Luton boss Rob Edwards doesn't want his players ‘having a party’ after that dramatic late winner. ‘I don’t want the players having a party,’ he said.
Plymouth vs Sunderland - Away win
Result - Plymouth 2 Sunderland 0
Morgan Whittaker's excellent strike gave the hosts the lead having held out after a number of early chances for Sunderland before Finn Azaz finished well to double the lead.
Jobe Bellingham struck a Plymouth post shortly before half-time and Trai Hume also headed against the woodwork just after the restart as Sunderland started the second period well.
Bali Mumba had two good chances to add to Argyle's tally as the Pilgrims claimed the win.
Portsmouth vs Blackpool - Home win
Result - Portsmouth 0 Blackpool 4
Owen Dale, Jack Beesley , CJ Hamilton and Albie Morgan scored the goals as 10-man Pompey were routed by Bolton.
The Seasiders took the lead in the ninth minute as Hamilton crossed for the unmarked Dale to find the net.
The home side should have equalised midway through the first half but new signing Josh Martin could not beat goalkeeper Dan Grimshaw in a one-on-one situation.
Grimshaw then produced a stunning push out from Marvin Ekpiteta's sliced attempted clearance a few minutes later.
Blackpool made it two 11 minutes into the second half as Karamoko Dembele's shot was deflected in by Jake Beesley.
Things got worse for Pompey when skipper Joe Morrell received a second yellow card and was sent off in the 64th minute.
Hamilton got a third 16 minutes from time and substitute Morgan sealed the rout with three minutes remaining.
Swindon vs Mansfield - Away win
Result - Swindon 2 Mansfield 1
Swindon carved out the first big chance as Dan Kemp clipped a cross to Remeao Hutton on the edge of the area. He looked to volley the ball first time but Christy Pym got across his line to make the save.
Town then took the lead after 37 minutes when Kemp clipped a free-kick into the path of Jake Young, whose volley spun away from Pym and into the back of the net.
The Stags almost levelled up before the break as Rhys Oates broke into space down the left and picked out Aaron Lewis, but his first-time effort was well saved by Murphy Mahoney.
Mansfield were then level four minutes after the break as half-time substitute Lucas Akins raced in behind Swindon and finished low into the corner.
Deep into stoppage time, Young won it for Swindon as he tapped home from close range after Charlie Austin's header had come back off the crossbar.
Oh dear. Shall we give The Grambler a chance to make amends? Of course we shall...
Game - Result - Odds
Norwich vs Preston - Home win - 19/20
Stoke vs Sheffield Wed - Home win - Evens
Orient vs Derby - Away win - 19/20
Peterborough vs Oxford - Home win - 20/23
Wycombe vs Shrewsbury - Home win - 10/11
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’s better... not too whopping, but whopping enough.
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 Santo Domingo, Equador in 2001. A defensive midfielder, I began my senior career at Independiente del Valle, before moving to Brighton. I recently moved to Chelsea for the highest ever transfer fee between British clubs.
Answer - Moisés Caicedo
2. Which country has qualified for the UEFA European Championships in 2024 for the first time in its history?
Answer - Albania
3. Who is the last man to have won the FA Cup as both a player and a manager?
Answer - Mikel Arteta
4. Aston Villa has plans to upgrade Villa Park. Its current capacity is 42,530; what is the planned capacity for the stadium after redevelopment.
Answer - 50,000
5. Another anagram? Why not. Here’s an English footballer...
Answer - Phil Foden
Let’s have five for this week...
1. Who am I?
I was born in Barcelona in 1995. A goalkeeper, I began my career at Blackburn Rovers before moving to Brentford. I am currently on loan to another Premier League club. I have been capped for Spain three times.
2. Which club plays its home games at Portman Road?
3. Who is the only man to have won the Scottish Premiership, Scottish Cup and Scottish League as a player and as a manager?
4. Which is the last club to have joined the (English) Football League for the first time?
5. Another anagram; this time a Scottish player...
SENSE OUR GAMES
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 quoted is miles out of date. The total raised for the Bobby Moore Fund now stands at...
You may have spotted that the figure has been boosted significantly from the last edition of your favourite ill-informed blog. The reason is that last week we ran another Singalongabingo which raised nearly £1,400 for the fund. Thanks to everybody who came along to enjoy a terrific, fun-filled night.
And finally, Cyril? And finally, Esther, I am grateful to a Mr N. Innes who prompted this week’s finishing piece, Eric Idle’s brilliant parody of the story of The Beatles, or in this case, The Rutles. Neil Innes wrote all the songs that you hear and every one could have been an actual Beatles tune, so perfect is his mimicry. I make no apologies for using this on more than one occasion, but it precedes any spoof rock documentaries such as This is Spinal Tap or The Bad News Bears and, in my view, is better than either of them. Ladeez and genullum, please enjoy All You Need is Cash.
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.