Saturday 2 March 2024

Post 500 - Grambling on and on and on...

 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 (Part 1)...

Well well well, will you take a look at that? Post number 500. Who'd have thought that I'd still be writing this drivel after all this time?

Much has happened since the start of this, the world's greatest ill-informed blog. Wars, loony presidents, loony prime ministers, a pandemic that brought the world to its knees and, most importantly, the sad death of this blog's founder aged just 28. It's the reason the blog still exists; to raise awareness about the horrible disease that is bowel cancer. Please remember to check out the latest information relating to it by clicking on the links highlighted. And please remember to tell friends and family about its importance.

Okay, lecture over. What earth-shattering topic had caught my eye this week?
Well, since the last edition of your favourite ill-informed blog a certain septagenar... septejen... septegen... bloke in his seventies has retired. Yes Woy... sorry... Roy Hodgson has decided, at the age of 76, to hang up his managerial football boots. Quite right. How can a guy of that age run any club, let alone one in the Premier League? What must training sessions have been like?

'Right lads, our next match is on Wednesday'

'Tuesday boss.'

'Is it? Thanks for that... erm... John.'


'Yes, I'm fine. Anyway, as I was saying, our next match is on Tuesday against Liverpool.'

'Luton boss.'

'I'm what?'

'We play Luton boss.'

'Do we? I thought they were in the championship.'

'They got promotion boss'

'They have indeed. And I want that from you. The three Es... Emotion, emotion and I forget the last one.'

'No boss. They got promoted.'


'Luton boss.'

'I don't want to get the bus to Luton.'

'No boss. Luton Town. The team.'

'What about them?'

'We play them on Tuesday.'

'Do we? That's news to me. I'm 76, you know.'

‘Yes, we know, boss.’

‘I’ve got all me own teeth.’

Definitely time to go.

For some, though, the lure of running a football team never seems to go away even after they have retired. Neil Warnock, after managing 16 different clubs in England, retired at the age of 74. Sensible guy. Time to relax a bit and tend to the garden.

What? Our Neil? Retire? As if! Take up gardening? Surely not. Surely yes, he finally decided it was time to go and... oh, hang on a mo, he's back again. He has now taken over the reins at Aberdeen.

Yep, Mr Warnock has returned to footy management at the grand old age of 75.

He must be the oldest manager in the English and Scottish leagues. Bound to be.

But is he the oldest in the world?

No chance. There is one manager who, at the age of 77, is still working. Not only that, but the number of clubs he has managed over the years makes Neil Warnock's tally look like a piddling insignificant amount.

Step forward Edoardo Reja, the current manager of Slovenian side Gorica. The number of clubs managed? 24 and (quite possibly) counting.

Looks like somebody wants to die with his (football) boots on.

Story Time (Part 2)...

You may have heard a certain Mr B. Rodgers being interviewed after last week's Motherwell vs Celtic game. He was very reticent about answering the questions being put to him and was quite condescending to the young lady reporter who was doing her best to interview him. And his finishing statement of 'Good girl' was not only sexist but very patronising. I'd imagine he has form in such dealings with female members of the press. Here is an interview which may or may not have taken place...*

'Mr Rodgers...'

'Well helloooo there. Ding dong!'

'If you'll just let me finish this apple-like piece of fruit, I'd like to ask you about today's game...'

'I was just about to remark on what a lovely pear you’ve got, darling.'

'Can you give me an answer as to why Celtic's performance was so poor in the first half?'

'Well, I'd certainly like to give you one. Know what I mean?'

'Yes, that is as may be, but what is your answer?'

'You're making this very hard for me. Phwoar!'

'I think you're the one making it hard.'

'No, it's definitely you that is making it hard. Woof! Down boy!'

'Mr Rodgers, I think you are being very sexist.'

'Too right, darling. This could be your lucky night.'

'Mr Rodgers, have you ever heard of a misogynist?'

'No. Is she as good-looking as you. Eh? Is she a goer? Eh? Eh? Does she like a bit of the old rumpy pum...'

'Thank you, Mr Rodgers.'

'Your place or mine, darling?'

'Mr Rodgers, you are a leering, chauvinistic, misogynistic, woman-hating old sleazeball! I demand that you apologise immediately!'

‘Oh. I’m very sorry.’

‘Good boy.’

*It most definitely didn’t.




Birthday honours...

Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we? Were any famous or not so well-known individuals born on the 24th of February? Of course there were. Here are some that even I have heard of.

Lydia Becker 1827 - A leader of the early British Suffrage movement.

John Lewis 1836 - Shopkeeper.

David Langdon 1914 - Cartoonist and illustrator.

Betty Marsden 1919 - Actress and Comedienne. Dame Celia Molestrangler in Round The Horne.

Pat Kirkwood 1921 - Actress. Played Vesta Tilley in The Great Little Tilley and After the Ball. Would you like a bit of juicy gossip? It was rumoured that she had an affair with Prince Philip in the late 1940s.

Richard Hamilton 1922 - Artist. One of the first exponents of pop art.

Jean Alexander 1926 - Actress. Hilda Ogden in Coronation Street.

Brian Close 1931 - Crickety bloke.

Doreen Sloane 1934 - Actress. Annabelle Collins in Brooookside.

Jess Conrad 1936 - Actor and singer. This reached number 39 in 1960, Cherry Pie. Ye gods!

Denis Law 1940 - Fitba guy. He and Kenny Dalglish hold the joint record of scoring the most goals (30) for Scotland. Law scored his in 55 appearances, King Kenny took over 100.

David Gooderson 1941 - Actor. Pathologist in A Touch of Frost.

John Stapleton 1946 - TV presenter.

Rupert Holmes 1947 - Composer, Singer/songwriter, musician, dramatist and author... in fact, a right old smartyboots. Let’s have a clip... other than Escape (The Piña Colada Song)... Here’s Him.

Walter Smith 1948 - Fitba guy.

Dennis Waterman 1948 - Actor and singer. William Brown in William (1962). Shall we have a musical clip? [Must we? - Ed.] Yes.  Here's  For Their Pleasure. [Not for my pleasure. - Ed.]

Richard Digence 1949 - Comedian and singer.

Derek Randall 1951 - Crickety bloke.

Clyde Best 1951 - Footy bloke. Not related to George. Or Pete.

Steve ‘Dobby’ Dawson 1952 - Musician. Founding member of Saxon. Factoid: The character of Derek Smalls in This Is Spinal Tap was based on Dobby. Shall we have a clip? Here’s a live version of Saxon’s biggest hit to date And The Bands Played On.

Crawford Baptie 1959 - Fitba guy. Ex Motherwell, you know.

Robert Hudson 1960 - Actor. Yorkie Smith in The Bill.

Andy Crane 1964 - TV presenter.

Ben Miller 1966 - Comedian, actor and director.

Neil Sullivan 1970 - Footy bloke.

Ryan Fraser 1994 - Fitba guy.

Anthony Gordon 2001 - Footy bloke.

Ramona Marquez 2001 - Actress. Karen Brockman in Outnumbered.

And now let’s have a look at birthdays from the 2nd of March...

Alex Graham 1917 - Cartoonist. He created the hilarious... it says here... Fred Bassett.

Basil Hume 1923 - The well-known cardinal.

Jean Metcalfe 1923 - Broadcaster.

Patrick Nuttgens 1930 - Architect.

John Tusa 1936 - Television executive.

Deddie Davies 1938 - Mrs Little in Chance in a Million.

Hugh Walters 1939 - Mr Little in Chance in a Million. What are the chances of that happening? [One in a million? - Ed.]

Billy McNeill 1940 - Fitba guy.

Jon Finch 1942 - Actor. Voltigern in Merlin of The Crystal Cave. What do you mean, you’ve never heard of it? Neither have I, come to that. Factoid: He turned down the chance to be James Bond in Live and Let Die.

Adrian Metcalfe 1942 - Athleticky bloke.

George Layton 1942 - Actor. Paul Collier in Doctor in the House and its sequels.


I’m 82, you know. I’ve got all me own teeth.

Tony Meehan 1943 - Musician. He was the original drummer with The Shadows. He and bass player Jet Harris later left the band to work as a duo. Here is their second hit, Scarlett O'Hara.  I don't recall that in Gone With The Wind.

Stuart McGugan 1944 - Actor. Bomba MacAteer in Tutti Frutti.

Harry Redknapp 1947 - Footy geezer.

J.P.R. Williams 1949 - Chwaraewr rygbi.

John Altman 1952 - Actor. Nick Cotton in Eastenders.

Michael Troughton 1955 - Actor. Piers Fletcher-Dervish in The New Statesman.

Ian Woosnam 1958 - Golfy bloke.

Howard Bernstein aka Howie B 1963 - Musician, producer and DJ. Shall we have a clip? Why not. Here’s Angels Go Bald Too.

Lembit Opik 1965 - Politician.

Martin Gilks 1965 - Musician. Founder member of The Wonder Stuff. Factoid: He was voted the best drummer on the planet in a 1989 NME poll. Shall we have another clip? Indeed we shall. Here’s Don't Let Me Down.

Neil Oliver 1967 - TV presenter and author.

Dennis Seaton 1967 - Singer and record producer. Frontman with Musical Youth. Here’s a blast from the past, Never Gonna Give You Up.

Daniel Craig 1968 - Actor who did take up the offer of playing James Band.

Neil Bell 1970 - Actor. Harry Fenton in Peaky Blinders.

Alexander Armstrong 1970 - Actor, comedian, Radio and TV presenter and singer. In fact, a right old smarty boots.

Dave Gorman 1971 - Comedian, presenter and writer.

Trevor Sinclair 1973 - Footy bloke.

Helen Latham 1976 - Actress. Lucy Milligan in Footballers Wives.

Andrew Strauss 1977 - Crickety bloke.

Chris Martin 1977 - Musician. Frontman for Coldplay. Let’s have a clip. [I hope it’s got a clever video; they always do a good video. - Ed.] Here’s Speed of Sound.

Mark Kerr 1982 - Fitba guy.

Elizabeth Jagger 1982 - Model and actress, it says here.





I’ve received a letter...

Dear Gramblin Gilks,

It was wonderful to hear a song from your wonderful band The Wonder Stuff. I wonder if you could answer a question for me. I was wondering if you ever had a number one record. I have a memory that you collaborated with somebody on a song which may have reached the top spot. Am I correct?

Yours in wonderment,

D. Zee.




Gramble time...

How did our last bet with Borkdales fare? We won... and lost. We only lost a few pees, this time, though. £2.10 back from our £2.20 stake. What happened? Read on.

Newcastle vs Burnley - Home win

Result - Newcastle 2 Did I say Burnley? Bournemouth, I meant. 2

Ooh! ’It the post!

Second-half substitute Matt Ritchie converted from close range after the visitors failed to adequately deal with Bruno Guimaraes' inswinging delivery.

Bournemouth will be deeply frustrated not to have claimed all three points at St James' Park after twice taking the lead in an entertaining and, at times, chaotic second period.

Dominic Solanke capitalised on a Martin Dubravka slip to break the deadlock, only for Newcastle to equalise seven minutes later through Anthony Gordon's contentious penalty.

Antoine Semenyo appeared to have earned Bournemouth the victory with a thunderous finish from the corner of the penalty area, but veteran winger Ritchie had the final say.

[Burnley, indeed. You’re as bad as Roy Hodgson. - Ed.]

Norwich vs Cardiff - Home win

Result - Norwich 4 Cardiff 1


Josh Sargent scored twice to help Norwich come from behind to thrash Cardiff City.

Norwich dominated throughout and created numerous chances but trailed against the run of play as Jamilu Collins headed Cardiff in front in the first half.

Sargent equalised for the Canaries with a close-range strike, before Gabriel Sara gave the hosts a thoroughly deserved lead with a superb curling free-kick from 25 yards just before half-time.

Sargent volleyed in his second after the break, following up his own initial shot which hit the post, and substitute Christian Fassnacht finished confidently to add a fourth.

Swansea vs Ipswich - Away win

Result - Swansea 1 Ipswich 2


Nathan Broadhead raced on to Ben Cabango's underhit pass before coolly lifting a shot into the net to give Ipswich a deserved early lead.

Swansea struggled for a while before finding an equaliser, Jerry Yates touching the ball in from close range from Cabango's knockdown.

But Ipswich quickly scored what proved to be the decisive second goal before half-time, Conor Chaplin finishing smartly from Leif Davis' low cross.


Bristol vs QPR - Home win

Result - Bristol 0 QPR 1


Ilias Chair's first-half goal sealed an important win for Queens Park Rangers at Bristol City.

The Moroccan international slotted in Lucas Andersen's pull-back.

Robins substitute Tommy Conway shot narrowly wide from a tight angle as the home side searched for the equaliser but the visitors held on to claim all three points.


Derby vs Stevenage - Home win

Result - Derby 1 Stevenage 0


Joe Wildsmith missed a corner and Sonny Bradley had to clear off the line in the 31st minute, and Wildsmith then rescued Derby soon after when the hosts failed to deal with a long throw and the goalkeeper stopped Jordan Roberts' shot on the turn.

Derby did not register a shot on goal in the first half and they continued to struggle until Kane Wilson surged forward in the 68th minute and played in Nathaniel Mendez-Laing, but he fired wide.

Max Bird was denied by a superb Taye Ashby-Hammond save in the 77th minute, but Derby struck late on.

Mendez-Laing cut in from the right and set up Louie Sibley who finished first time from 12 yards.

Game - Result - Odds

Huddersfield vs Leeds - Away win - 3/5

Birmingham vs Southampton - Away win - 17/20

Plymouth vs Ipswich - Away win - 7/10

Shrewsbury vs Blackpool - Away win - 19/20

Colchester vs Stockport - Away win - 10/11

Away, away, away, away... as the old footy chant goes. Something like that, anway. Five aways? Not sure about that. 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


Naw. Not whopping at all.




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 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.

Answer - Leroy Sané

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

Answer - Steven Pienaar

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

Answer - Seven (Arsenal, Everton, Fulham, Manchester City, Nottingham Forest, Sheffield United and West Ham United)

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

Answer - Cardiff City (Lost to Portsmouth in 2008)

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

Answer - The Baseball Ground

They were easy, weren’t they? Would you like another five for this week? Of course you would...

1. Who am I?

I was born in Aachen, Germany in 1999. An attacking midfielder, I began my senior career at Bayer Leverkusen before moving to Chelsea for a fee of around £62 million. I moved to my current club, Arsenal, for £65 million. I have been capped for Germany 42 times.

2. Which Brazilian has scored four goals in a Premier League match?

3. Which Premier League side has drawn the most games so far this season?

4. Which Mexican player has made the most Premier League appearances?

5. Which Scottish football stadium can accommodate the most spectators?

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 indebted to a Mr. R. Digance who provides us with this week’s finishing item. Essex-born Richard Digance followed the likes of Billy Connolly, Jasper Carrott, Mike Harding and Max Boyce as a story-telling folk singer. He was particularly successful in the 1980s when he fronted his own hour-long specials on TV. I thought you might enjoy this early example of his work; here’s Beaver the Believer. Wasn’t that nice?


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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