Saturday 17 February 2024

Post 499 - More than my gramble's worth


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...

You may be wondering how I come up with different topics to enlighten you week in, week out. Or you may be wondering why I bother writing such drivel inventive material, in the first place. I get inspiration from the oddest places and this week’s topic was prompted by watching an old situation comedy from the 1990s. Why? Pull up a chair and I’ll tell ee...

The programme’s name isn’t important, but a certain comedy trope is. You see, during this show, our lead female character goes for a job interview. As is standard with sitcom portrayals of such interviews, the interviewee (our heroine) is sat on a chair in the middle of a large office while three severe-looking interviewers ‘interrogate’ her. The comedy comes from the interviewee’s discomfort and her attempts at answers being spectacularly wrong.

It is a comedy scene that has been played out in sitcoms, probably from the birth of sitcoms themselves. A would-be employee goes for an interview under-prepared and the interview panel comprises three or more forbidding-looking people asking questions to trip the applicant up. The applicant is always portrayed as being terrified by the experience and always gives silly or wrong answers to the questions being asked. The meeting can end in two ways. The first is that the applicant leaves the interview almost in tears because of the way they screwed up and failed to get the job. The second is that the applicant knows they have screwed up totally, but, in the old switcheroony comedy technique, is offered the job by an impressed panel of interviewers.

As I said at the start, it is a comedy trope that has been utilised in dozens, if not hundreds, of sitcoms.

It made me think back to some of the interviews I went to when I was of working age. I tended to go for interviews feeling quite nervous, especially if I was applying for a job that I really wanted. Strange that, eh?

Anyway, usually I was interviewed by one person, so there wasn’t that interrogation approach. I generally felt quite relaxed at these. Maybe I didn’t always get offered the job, but I did at least feel that the interview went well.

Sometimes, I knew immediately that I probably wouldn’t get the job. Before a word had been spoken, I knew. This was all to do with the way my hand was shaken as I entered the interview room. Not in the right club. Oh well.

Only on one occasion did I encounter the panel of five people facing me. I should have felt intimidated by this, but I wasn’t. I am an awkward so-and-so by nature and my way of dealing with the situation was this: I told myself that I wasn’t impressed with this company because it wasted far too much time and effort on interviewing people, so I didn’t really want whatever job was on offer. In other words, why the hell were five people using valuable time interviewing me when they should have been doing something more important, like actual work? As it was, I was the one wasting their time. Time for some fun.

I probably did feel a bit nervous, initially, but my attitude soon changed from fear to... bravado seems an appropriate word.

Questions were thrown at me such as ‘What might you change if you came to work with us?’

Answer: ‘I think I’d consider your interviewing setup. I hate overmanning.’

Question: ‘What would you say was your worst feature?’

Answer: ‘You ought to know that is not a question for an interview. Who is going to answer that one honestly?’

Question: ‘Where do you see yourself in five years time?’

Answer: ‘From what I’ve seen so far, working somewhere else.’

And so it went on. I was just winding them up, of course; I really didn’t want to work there. So it came as a bit of a shock that a letter (No such thing as emails back then) arrived after a few days offering me the job.

You’ll be pleased to know that, in true awkward b*gg*r style, I turned it down. Although, I may have twisted things a little by saying that. You see, when I was offered the job, I used it as ammunition to get my boss to offer me more money to stay put.

There was method in my madness... Or should that read madness in my method? Why? Let’s face it, my manager could just as easily have told me where to go.




Birthday honours...

Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we? Were any famous or not so well-known individuals born on the 17th of February? Of course there were. Here are some that even I have heard of.

William Cadbury 1867 - Businessman. He wasn’t the founder of the Cadbury confectioners, that was his grandfather. However, it was he who ‘designed’ the Cadbury logo in 1905 which is still used today and is basically the script he used to write his name.

Marjorie Fielding 1892 - Actress. Mrs Chalk in The Lavendar Hill Mob.

Clifford Evans 1912 - Actor. Caswell Bligh in The Power Game.

Ron Goodwin 1925 - Composer. Shall we have a clip? Yes, let’s. He wrote many scores for films such as Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines (now better known as the introduction music for the Radio 4 comedy quiz I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue) and Monte Carlo or Bust as well as the music behind the Margaret Rutherford as Miss Marple films. He also wrote the music which the Beeb Beeb Ceeb use whenever the London Marathon is televised. Here, however, is arguably his most famous work... and I make no apologies for repeating the link from this week six years back..., 633 Squadron.  Did you spot Angus Lennie aka Hughie McPhee from Crossroads?

Patricia Routledge 1929 - Actress. Hyacinth Bucket in Keeping Up Appearances. She sings, as well. Here’s And I Was Beautiful.

Philip Latham 1929 - Actor. Arthur Bourne in The Cedar Tree.

Ruth Rendell 1930 - Authoress. She created Inspector Wexford and wrote 24 novels featuring the character. ITV later dramatised the books and made 48 episodes of The Ruth Rendell Mysteries.

Alan Bates 1934 - Actor. Michael Henchard in The Mayor of Casterbridge.

John Leyton 1936 - Actor and singer. William Dickes, ‘Tunnel King’ in The Great Escape. Also, he had a number one record. Here’s that song, Johnny, Remember Me.

Benjamin Whitrow 1937 - Actor. Robert Douglas in Chancer.

Julia McKenzie 1941 - Actress. Mrs Forrester in Cranford.

Nick Hewer 1944 - TV presenter.

Bernie Grant 1944 - Politician.

Karl Jenkins 1944 - Musician. One time member of Soft Machine. Here’s a track he wrote and played on, Nettle Bed.

Lynn Dalby 1947 - Actress. Hazel Fletcher in Budgie.

Malcolm Rennie 1947 - Fraser in Mr Selfridge.

Prunella Gee 1950 - Actress. Patricia in Never Say Never Again. Factoid: She was the first person to be seen fully naked on British television when she appeared in Shabby Tiger in 1973.


I don’t even like tigers

Michael Marra 1952 - Musician. Here’s a song about a Sunday practice in certain parts of Scotland. Chain Up The Swings.

Norman Pace 1953 - Comedian. Half of 1980s’ popular duo, Hale and Pace.

Malcolm Wilson 1956 - Rally drivery bloke.

Angela and Maria Eagle 1961 - Political twins.

Jeremy Edwards 1971 - Actor. Kurt Benson in Hollyoaks.

Lucy Davis 1973 - Dianne in Shaun of the Dead.

Rory Kinnear 1978 - Actor. Michael Baker in Count Arthur Strong.

Rebecca Adlington 1989 - Swimmy bloke.

Bonnie Wright 1991 - Actress. Ginny Weasley in the Harry Potter series of films.

Ed Sheeran 1991 - Rather successful singer/songwriter. Shall we have a clip? Why not. Here’s an apt song for this blog, A Beautiful Game.






I’ve received a letter...

Dear (the late) Ron Gramblewin,

I believe I am not alone in saying it was so nice to hear one of your, I believe, stirring tunes in this week’s blog. I believe you also wrote the score for the 1969 film Battle of Britain which I believe was called Luftwaffe March but was later given a less warlike name which I believe was more acceptable to the Royal Airforce Band who, I believe, enjoy playing it. Do you know what its new title was?

Yours believably,

A. Sess-High.




Gramble time...

How did our last bet with Blorkdaes fare? We won... and lost. Yet again. Could it be worse than last time? Yes it could. 70 pees back from our £2.20 stake. Jeezo! What happened? Read on.


Luton vs Sheffield - Home win

Result - Luton Town 1 Sheffield United 3


Cameron Archer beat Gabriel Osho for pace on the right flank and slotted into the bottom corner before James McAtee converted from the penalty spot as the Blades led by two league goals for the first time this season.

Carlton Morris got one back for Luton, scoring a spot-kick shortly after the break.

Vini Souza restored United's two-goal cushion with a well-struck finish 18 minutes from time.


Spurs vs Brighton - Home win

Result - Tottenham Hotspur 2 Brighton and Hove Albion 1


Brennan Johnson scored deep into additional time to deliver a come-from-behind Premier League victory for Tottenham against Brighton.

Brighton's Pascal Gross opened the scoring from the penalty spot after Danny Welbeck had been fouled by Micky van de Ven, sending goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario the wrong way.

Tottenham responded well to falling behind, creating a raft of chances, but Jason Steele made several good saves to deny the in-form Richarlison and Dejan Kulusevski, while James Maddison curled narrowly wide.

The momentum remained firmly in Spurs' favour when the second half got under way with Rodrigo Bentancur, Maddison and Timo Werner attempting efforts at goal as the majority of the action took place deep in Brighton territory.

They continued to probe and that pressure eventually told when Pape Matar Sarr latched on to a lovely through ball from Kulusevski before finishing at the second attempt after his initial shot was deflected on to the post.

Captain Son Heung-min was introduced after the equaliser and the forward had a major hand in the winning goal as he laid the ball across goal for Johnson to convert.


Wolves vs Brentford - Home win

Result - Wolverhampton Wanderers 0 Brentford 2

I don’t believe it!

Ivan Toney scored his third goal in four Premier League games as Brentford clinched a deserved victory over misfiring Wolves at Molineux.

Christian Norgaard put the Bees ahead just after the half hour with a close-range header from a corner.

Craig Dawson thought he had equalised with a glancing header only for the Video Assistant Referee to determine he was in an offside position.

Toney secured the three points 13 minutes before the final whistle with a crisp finish from Vitaly Janelt's low cross.


Lincoln vs Fleetwood - Home win

Result - Lincoln City 2 Fleetwood Town 1

That’s more like it!

Promise Omochere (Cracking name of the week, for sure.) fired the Cod Army in front, but the game was turned on its head when Bosun Lawal was sent off for a second bookable offence in first-half stoppage time at Sincil Bank.

The game sprung into live when Omochere nipped between the defence and Lukas Jensen to poke the visitors ahead.

Lawal was booked twice in seven minutes to be shown a red card. First he felled Ed Bishop and was then sent off for his part in a melee.

Lincoln took full advantage as Ben House rose highest to head home Reeco Hackett-Fairchild's cross.

And four minutes later Hackett-Fairchild stood up another cross which fell kindly for Lasse Sorensen to smash home.

Conor McGrandles could have put the game to bed but was denied by a super Jay Lynch save.


Blackpool vs Oxford - Home win

Result - Blackpool 1 Oxford United 1

Ooh! ’It the woodwork!

The Tangerines led through a goal from Matt Pennington in the first half, but Mark Harris got the visitors back level three minutes later.

A header from Pennington opened the scoring in the 18th minute after Blackpool captain Ollie Norburn found the centre-back from an Albie Morgan corner.

Oxford were quickly level when Elliot Moore set up Harris to finish from close range following a scramble in the Blackpool box.

The U's continued their pressure and Harris was denied a second after his goal-bound shot was impressively blocked by defender Marvin Ekpiteta.

Oxford went within inches of an 87th-minute winner but Billy Bodin's header struck the woodwork (See? Told you.).

Two out of five seems to be the best The Grambler can muster these days. Come on, Grambler, pull your computery equivalent of socks up. What has he/she/it randomly predicted this week.

Game - Result - Odds

Newcastle vs Burnley - Home win - 10/11

Norwich vs Cardiff - Home win - 5/6

Swansea vs Ipswich - Away win - 10/11

Bristol vs QPR - Home win - 20/21

Derby vs Stevenage - Home win - 20/23

Well, the bets look okay on paper [On a computer screen, surely. - Ed.] but I can see a few upsets; probably a draw or two. No matter, 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 whole 4 pees whoppinger than last week.  Whoop de doo.




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 Redbridge, England in 1999. I am a right back and have been at Chelsea throughout my senior career, apart from a loan spell at Wigan Athletic. I have been capped for England 16 times. A big clue to my identity is that I am currently Chelsea’s captain.

Answer - Reece James

2. Which current Premier League club beat the cup holders Arsenal in the League Cup Final of 1988?

Answer - Luton Town

3. Which Scot was named Middlesbrough player of the year in 2010 and 2012?

Answer - Barry Robson (Gissa job)

4. Which Nigerian has made the most Premier League appearances?

Answer - Shola Ameobi

5. Which club plays it’s home games at Sixfields Stadium?

Answer - Northampton Town

Shall we have five for this week? Aye, go on, then.

1. Who am I?

I was born in Essen, Germany in 1996. A winger, I began my senior career at Schalke 04 before moving to Manchester City for a reported £37 million fee. In 2020, I signed for my present club, Bayern Munich for 60 million euros. I have been capped for Germany 59 times.

2. Which South African player has made the most Premier League appearances?

3. How many current Premier League clubs do not have animals on their crest?

4. Which was the last club outside the top flight to reach an F.A. Cup Final?

5. At what stadium did Derby County play their home games before moving to Pride Park?

There you have it. Have fun trying to work that lot out. 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 quoted is miles out of date. The total raised for the Bobby Moore Fund now stands at...





And Finally...

And finally, Cyril? And finally, Esther, I am grateful to a Miss P. Routledge who finishes off this week’s edition. Yes, I know you’ve already had an item from her as a singer, but I always enjoyed her as the character Kitty from Victoria Wood: As Seen on TV. So, here is a little clip from that mid 1980s show. The sketch was written by Victoria Wood and Dame Patricia plays her to perfection, but I wonder if Roy Clarke, the creator of Keeping Up Appearances saw the makings of Hyacinth Bucket in Kitty. Do you agree?


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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