Sunday 30 June 2024

Post 508 - A grand gramble x 3

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 have wondered why there was no edition of your favourite ill-informed blog last week. What do you mean, you never noticed? Well, there was a reason for it not being published. [You couldn’t be bothered? - Ed.] No, that’s not the reason. I wanted to wait until this week so that I could tell you what happened at an event. What event is this, I hear you ask. Pull up a chair and Oi’ll tell ee...

Regular readers of this esteemed blog will be aware that, at this time of year, Mrs G hosts an afternoon tea to raise money for the Bobby Moore Fund. The event is held in memory of the founder of the blog, Stewart. Indeed, it is called a Tea for Stewart.

Now, usually, I can relate tales of things that can and do go wrong. Unfortunately, for this writer, there were no spillages, shortages or organisational cockups. Everything went swimmingly. Over 160 people were fed and entertained.

Entertained? At an afternoon tea? Indeed. After the food and drink had been consumed, Mrs G and I asked those gathered to participate in a little game of heads and tails. Sorry pardon excuse me? It’s a simple enough idea. A coin is tossed and everyone tries to predict whether it lands heads up or tails up. If they think heads, they place their hands on their head. For tails, it is hands on bottoms. Anyone who predicts wrongly, is out of the game. The winner, obviously, is the last man/woman standing. Simple.

We thought it a bit too simple, so we came up with our own little twist. You may recall that we ran an event called Singalongabingo. Well, we devised a game which combines elements of that with the heads and tails game. Instead of a die, we played popular tunes. For each tune played, the revellers had to decide whether it was a number one hit or not. So hands on head for number one; hands on bottom for not quite number one.

I mentioned Singalongabingo (I ought to patent that name.) and you may be wondering how that fits into the mix. Well, if anyone fancied singing along to anything being played, they were encouraged to do so. All great fun. We rounded off the game with a few choruses of Sweet Caroline; that always gets everyone singing along.

We had two sittings, 80ish at each and it was strange that those at the earlier sitting all sang along, whereas those at the later one were less inclined to join in. Hmm. Discuss.

As I stated, it all went without a hitch... or did it?

Most of the consumables and raffle prizes for these events are donated by individuals or businesses, and so it was for this year’s tea. Bread is given by a local bakery. A certain well-known maker of chocolate biscuits and the like, gave us a box of their world-famous teacakes. Hmm... Who could that be? Cakes and scones were baked by friends. Sausage rolls and sandwich fillings were Mrs G’s donation... as well as organising the whole event, of course.

However, one donor was unable to give on this occasion. Oh dear. The missing donation was prosecco. Oh dear, oh dear. You see, one of the highlights of Mrs G’s afternoon tea is a glass of prosecco (or pink lemonade for non-drinkers) on arrival. Mrs. G was worried that this part of the event might not happen, so she asked other people if they might donate a bottle or two. She really did begin to panic that we wouldn’t be given any so we bought a few bottles ourselves.

For the event, Mrs G estimated that a dozen bottles would be the minimum quantity needed for the tea. The final amount donated was nowhere near a dozen. No, it was, wait for it, 47. Seriously. Four times the amount required. Luckily, booze doesn’t have a ‘best before’ date, so all the extra bottles have been put away for next year’s event.

And how much did the event make for charity? £3,133. Wowee! I’ll drink to that... oh, I can’t; it’s all away for next year.



Birthday honours...

Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we? Were any famous or not so well-known individuals born on the 22nd of June? Of course there were. Here are some that even I have heard of.

H. Rider Haggard 1856 - Writer of adventure novels. King Solomon’s Mines was one of his. He has been disparagingly described as a ‘genius of racism’.

Arthur Wynne 1862 - Inventor of the angry term conundrum.

James Maxton 1885 - Left-wing politician. The man who put the red in Clydeside.

Julian Huxley 1887 - Biologist. Sadly, also a eugenicist.

Vincent Korda 1897 - Art director. Alec’s bruv.

Naunton Wayne 1901 - Actor. Jim in Going Gay. Stop sniggering at the back.

Joe Loss 1909 - Musician and bandleader. Let’s have a clip. There’s not a lot of original material out there; even his signature tune was someone else’s - Edgar Hayes’ In The Mood. Here’s his take on the early 1960s hit, Sucu Sucu.

Peter Pears 1910 - Opera singer. Very good friend of Benjamin Britten.

Anne Zeigler 1910 - Singer. She and her singer husband, Webster Booth, were known as the ‘Sweethearts in Song’. Let’s have a clip. Here is So Deep is the Night.

Cicely Saunders 1918 - Nurse, social worker, physician and writer. Noteworthy because it was she who founded the hospice movement and emphasised the need for palliative care.

Colin Crompton 1931 - Comedian, it says here.

Colin Crompton: Comb-over king

Prunella Scales 1932 - Actress. Sybil Fawlty in Flowery Tw*ts.

Chris Blackwell 1937 - Record producer and founder of Island Records.

Esther Rantzen 1940 - Journalist and TV presenter.

Lachie Stewart 1943 - Athleticky guy.

Judith Barker 1943 - Actress. Janet Barlow in Coronation Street.

Peter Asher 1944 - Guitarist, singer, producer and (James Taylor’s) manager. Let’s find a clip for you. Here he is with Gordon singing Woman.

Douglas Rae 1947 - Producer and presenter of Magpie.

Sharon Maughan 1950 - Actress. Tricia Williams in Holby City, though better remembered for a coffee advert.

Alastair Stewart 1952 - Newsreader.

Paul Stromeyer aka Green Gartside 1955 - Musician. Scritti Politti frontman. Here’s the original version of The Sweetest Girl.

Ron Haslam 1956 - Motor-bike racery bloke.

Derek Forbes 1956 - Musician. One-time bassist with Simple Minds, he featured on the band’s earlier work. Including this track, Promised You a Miracle.

Danny Baker 1957 - Broadcaster. Here’s a neat coincidence: Baker loathes the sound of Simple Minds’ vocalist Jim Kerr, suggesting that the noise he makes is not singing. He has a point.

Kevin Bond 1957 - Footy bloke.

Ruby Turner 1958 - Singer. Have a clip. Here’s I'm In Love. Factoid: She has appeared on every edition of Jools’ Annual Hootenanny since 2007.

Eddie Kidd 1959 - Stunt rider.

Jimmy Somerville 1961 - Singer, songwriter, producer and actor. Let’s have a clip. Here’s Hurt So Good.

Bobby Gillespie 1962 - Musician. Primal Scream main man. Have a clip. Here’s the band’s best-performing single, Country Girl.

Anne-Marie Ruddock 1963 - Singer. Best-known as the lead vocalist with Amazulu. Have a clip. Here’s Moonlight Romance.

Paterson Joseph 1964 - Actor. Slugworth in Wonka.

Tommy Cunningham 1964 - Musician. Drummer with Wet Wet Wet. Would you like a clip? Of course you would. Here’s Cold Cold Heart.

Gordon Moakes 1976 - Musician. A former member of Bloc Party. Have another clip. Here’s Talons.

Stephen Crainey 1981 - Fitba guy.

Joe Dempsie 1987 - Actor. Gendry in Game of Thrones.

Katie Jarvis 1991 - Actress. Hayley Slater in Eastenders you slaaag!

Harry Reid 1992 - Actor. Ben Mitchell in Eastenders you slaaaaag!


Righty ho, that’s last week dealt with; what about famous folk born on the 29th of June?

Gerald Nabarro 1913 - Politician famous for his moustache and his love of cars or, at least, car number plates. He owned several cars sporting the numberplates ‘NAB 1’ right up to ‘NAB 10’.

Lynne Carol 1914 - Actress. Martha Longhurst in Coronation Street.

Jean Kent 1921 - Actress. Trottie True in Trottie True, a film also known as The Gay Lady. Stop sniggering, you boys. As it was made in 1949, I’m guessing Trottie was quite a jolly person.

Ronnie Ronalde 1923 - Singer and siffleur... That’s whistler to plebs like you and me. Here’s an example of his art, Tritsch Tratsch Polka.

Denys Graham 1926 - Actor. Hoskins in Rumpole of the Bailey.

Maurice Kaufmann 1927 - Jobbing actor. Pierre in A Shot in the Dark.

Tom Fleming 1927 - Actor. Best known as the Beeb Beeb Ceeb’s go to voice for state occasions.

Ian Bannen 1928 - Actor. Dr. Cameron in Doctor Finlay.

Charlotte Bingham 1942 - Novelist and scriptwriter.

Tony Vogel 1942 - Actor. Andrew in Jesus of Nazareth.

Roger Ruskin Spear 1943 - Sculptor, multimedia artist and multi-instrumentalist. He was a member of the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band for which he played tenor sax and various contraptions. Shall we have a clip? Yes, let’s. Here’s By a Waterfall.

Michael Carter 1947 - Actor. Bib Fortuna in Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi. There’s nothing like a catchy title for a film... and that’s nothing like a catchy etc.

Ian Paice 1948 - Drummy bloke with Deep Purple. A clip? Why, soitenly. Here’s Strange Kind of Woman. Factoid: In a career spanning over five decades the band has released over 20 studio albums and a staggering 44 live albums. And let’s not forget their 26 compilation albums.

Mark Radcliffe 1958 - Broadcaster.

Richard Vranch 1959 - Musician and comedian.

Amanda Donahoe 1962 - Actress. Natasha Wylde in Emmerdale. Factoid: She appeared in the Adam and the Ants videos for Antmusic and Stand and Deliver.

Stedman Pearson 1964 - Singer. He was one fifth of Five Star, a singing group comprising five Pearson siblings. Here’s another clip, their first single which didn’t actually trouble the charts, Problematic.

Paul Collins aka Paul Zenon 1964 - Magician.

Marcus Wareing 1970 - TV chef.

Anthony Hamilton 1971 - Snookery bloke.

Jack Deam 1972 - Actor. Inspector Mallory in Father Brown.

Daisy Beaumont 1973 - Actress. Nina in The World Is Not Enough.

Karen Taylor 1976 - Comedienne. Star of Touch Me, I’m Karen Taylor. [Well, that was a fortuitous coincidence. - Ed.]

Kelli Hollis 1976 - Actress. Yvonne in Shameless.

Sam Bailey 1977 - Singer. Winner of The X Factor. Here is her obigatory follow-up number one single - Skyscraper.

Katherine Jenkins 1980 - Singer. Have a clip. Here’s Bring Me to Life.

Troy Deeney 1988 - Footy bloke.

Kim Little 1990 - Fitba guy-ess.

Jude Bellingham 2003 - Footy bloke.






I’ve received a letter...

Dear Jimmy Gramblerville,

I enjoyed your solo song, Hurt So Good but I recall that prior to going solo you were in a couple of groups, Bronski Beat and The Communards. I always enjoyed your work with the Reverand Cole and wondered if you could answer a question for me. What was the first Communards single to chart?

Yours earnestly,

Hugh R. Mye-Wurled.

*Yes, I know I’ve used that clip before, but it is such a brilliant performance, I thought it deserved a second airing.




Gramble time...

How did our last bet with Kordleabs fare? We won... yet again. This can’t last, surely. Don’t call me Shirley. Four out of five of The Grambler’s predictions came trumps...  Ever had a feeling of deja vu? [I never touched her, your honour. - Ed.] Any road up, from our £2.20 stake we won £4.34. Wow! Two pees more than last time.

What has The Grambler come up with this week? Oh no, not the Swedish leagues again...

Game - Result - Odds

Onsala vs Trollhattan - Away win - 19/20

Olympic vs Oskarhamns - Home win - Evens

Tvaakers vs Falkenbergs - Away win - 3/5

Degerfors vs Sandvikens - Home win - 10/11

Jonkopings Sodra vs Ariana - Away win - 21/20

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


Even more whopping than last time.


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 M√Ęcon, France in 1991. An attacking midfielder, I began my senior career at Real Sociedad before moving to Athletico Madrid. I then moved to Barcelona before returning to Athletico Madrid. I have been capped 129 times for France and I was the top scorer at Euro 2016 as well as being named player of the tournament.

Answer - Antoine Griezmann

2. Scotland have played in three tournaments over the years but have never progressed from the group stage. Which is the only country to have progressed from the group on every occasion it has played in the tournament?

Answer - Portugal

3. Who is the only English player to have been the highest goalscorer of a tournament?

Answer - Alan Shearer

4. Which country has failed to qualify for the tournament despite making 16 attempts?

Answer - Luxembourg

5. Of the countries that have made only one appearance in the tournament, which was the most successful, reaching the quarterfinal?

Answer - Iceland

Do you fancy five this week? Of course you do.

1. Who am I?

I was born in Essen, Germany in 1969. A goalkeeper, I was part of Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’ team that won the Premier League title unbeaten in 2003-04, playing every game. I was capped for Germany 61 times. I hold the record for being the oldest player to appear in a UEFA European Championship final (against Spain in 2008).

2. Speaking of oldies; who holds the record for being the oldest player to appear in the UEFA European Championships?

3. Sticking with the Euros; which player has scored the most goals in a single tournament?

4. How about a question regarding discipline? The 2024 tournament has featured one match which saw more players cautioned than in any previous game. Which teams were playing and how many cards were shown?

5. Which country has qualified for the most tournaments without ever winning the title?

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, a saddish one this week. An anniversary.  On the 29th of June 2020 Carl Reiner shuffled off this mortal coil. [What? - Ed.] He died. [Probably from too much shuffling. - Ed.] What? Any road up, Mr Reiner was an actor, comedian, director, screenwriter and author... A right old smarty boots. He was responsible for making stars out of Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore. How so, I hear you ask. In the late 1950s Reiner wrote 13 episodes of a show called ‘Head of the Family’. Never heard of it? That’s because it never aired. Or did it? Reiner had written the series as a starring vehicle for himself, however, the network bosses didn’t like the idea of him in the title role. Unmiffed, (I think I have just made that word up) he allowed the recasting of Dick Van Dyke and the renaming of the show to The Dick Van Dyke Show. The rest, as they say, is history. [So it’s his fault we have to suffer that annoying Irish/Cockney/Aussie chimney sweep in Mary Poppins. - Ed.]

Although he was a comedian, Reiner first came to prominance as the ‘straight man’ to comedians Sid Caesar and Mel Brooks. One of the most famous routines he performed with Mel Brooks was called ‘The 2000 Year Old Man’ and, hopefully, it is available online for use as our finishing clip. Yep, here it is.







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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