Derby Dead Pool

The online competition to guess which famous people won't make it to the end of the current year. If they're elderly, ill, or just live a high-risk lifestyle, stick 'em in your team, and for each one whose death you correctly predict, you'll score points. DDP was dreamt up in Derby, England (hence the name...) by Big Iain back in 1996, then was run from 2003-2007 by Siegfried Baboon and Rude Kid. From 2008-2009, it was run by Octopus of Odstock, but from 2010 onwards it's the turn of The Man in Black to run the DDP.

Latest Stiffs: 25th August 2012
[Picture of Neil Armstrong]

One last step for Neil...

The first man to step on the moon's surface, Neil Armstrong, has taken a giant leap into the unknown. Armstrong was the commander of Apollo 11, which in 1969, made the historic manned spaceflight to the moon, alongside Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin and Michael Collins. Armstrong and Aldrin spent nearly three hours on the lunar surface, but on their return, Armstrong spurned the inevitable attention that would insue when he became one of the most famous people on the planet. He left NASA in 1971, becoming a professor in engineering. He largely refused interviews, although curiously he did grant an audience to an Australian accountancy firm earlier this year. This though only added to his mystique. Armstrong died aged 82 after complications from heart surgery. Five teams gain 6 points each.
The Theme Team League has been updated...

Latest Stiffs: 22nd August 2012

Right to die?

I think it's fair to say that the Grim Reaper has come back from his summer holidays. The latest stiff is one of the most dramatic of the year so far. Tony Nicklinson had a condition known as "locked-in" syndrome following a stroke when he was 51. Barely able to move, yet retaining his mental faculties, he fought the highest courts in England to enable the right for his doctor to end his life legitimately. This bid failed only a few days before he died, apparently of pnuemonia aged 58. No doubt a few eyebrows will be raised. However, the police declared his death be "natural causes" and so therefore only the 9 points will be awarded to the three teams that picked him...

Zenawi and the art of lifecycle maintenance

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has died in Belgium aged 57. Zenawi seized power in 1991, serving first as President before becoming PM in 1995. I'm pretty sure I've written this before in that he started off as a progressive leader before heading down the usual tyrant route and the inevitable confusion about his whereabouts/state of health. African leaders must come in packs of ten or something...
Anyhow, two teams win 9 points, with Sporting A Solemn Look getting their first hit. So congratulations to Big Dave!

Guess who's coming for Diller

Pioneering comedienne Phyllis Diller has made her last wisecrack. Diller, whose career in comedy started aged 37, paved the way for other female comics, such as Roseanne Barr and Joan Rivers to follow thanks to her acerbic one-liners. Diller was 95 (a common age to go this year). 19 teams each get 5 points. Not much of a punchline, but there you have it...

The Maltese fal-gone

Former Prime Minister of Malta, Dom Mintoff has died. Leader of the Maltese Labour Party from 1949-1984, Mintoff had two stints as PM, overseeing Malta's transformation into a republic in 1974. His government forged close links with Libya under Gaddafi as well as the Chinese. Mintoff was 96 and a hit for 14 teams, including our former host and champion, Octopus of Odstock, who sneaks into the top ten. 5 points for all concerned...

I've decided to withhold the pun for this particular hit, due to the rather sensitive nature of it. Winnie Johnson died without ever finding the remains of her son, Keith Bennett, who went missing in 1964. Bennett was allegedly murdered by Ian Brady (although strictly speaking, Bennett's disappearance remains an unsolved case). Johnson was 78. 13 teams, including some of the big guns, each get 7 points. The Living End therefore still leads 'arry-Kiri by 10 points.

Latest Stiffs: 17th August 2012

Svetozar fails to pick up the pieces

The post-Olympics harvest continues with the death of Serbian chess grandmaster Svetozar Gligoric. Gligoric was among the best grandmasters of his era, the finest to come out of the former Yugolavia and pitted his wits against the likes of Vasily Smyslov and Bobby Fischer. Gligoric was 89 and a 6th hit of the year for Grobler's Stiff Ones. 9 points head his way...

Sex, death and the single girl...

Former editor-in-chief of US Cosmopolitan magazine, Helen Gurley Brown has died. Gurley Brown wrote the influential self-help manual for women, 'Sex and the Single Girl' in 1962, which promoted sexual freedom and financial independence. Gurley Brown then turned her hand at reviving the fortumes of Cosmopolitan magazine in 1965, which she managed successfully for 32 years. Gurley Brown was 90 and died on the 13th, meaning an extra bonus for theme team The Bedsnoring 20's, who get 10 points.

No tears for this "Onion"

Cop killer Gregory Powell has died in prison aged 79. Powell along with Jimmy Lee Smith, were convicted in 1963 for the adbuction of policemen Ian Campbell and Karl Hettinger, with Campbell getting murdered in what became known as the Onion Field killing, the story of which was later a novel and film, made in 1979 starring James Woods as Powell. Reuters provide the obit, ensuring that 5 teams win 7 points each..

Mikey's not so okey-dokesy

Former heavyweight boxer Michael Dokes has died. Dokes won the WBA heavyweight championship in 1982 inside a round against Mike Weaver before losing to Gerry Coetzee nine months later. Dokes battled cocaine addiction and later spent time in jail for attacking his girlfriend. Dokes died of liver cancer aged 54. Four teams pick up 9 points each, including David Quantick's Showbiz Pals who move into third. Curiously both Dokes and Sid Waddell shared the same birthday, 10th August and both died one day after their birthday on the 11th, thus robbing the teams who picked them birthday bonus points. Selfish sods....

Latest Stiffs: 13th August 2012

Final checkout for Sid

The man who made the "sport" of Darts compulsive viewing, Sid Waddell has wiped the board for the last time. Waddell, whose distinctive north east tones belied his Cambridge arts education, brought the arrows to the wider public in the 1970s, forming a memorable partnership with Tony Green on the BBC before switching to Sky in 1994. He commentated on all the greats and all the great lumps of the game such as Phil "The Power" Taylor, Eric Bristow (who he famously compared to Alexander the Great) and the late Jocky Wilson. Waddell was also a writer and producer, most notably of the 1980s kids classic 'Jossy's Giants', about a useless football team. Waddell was 72 and a hit for 26 teams, with The Obnoxious Twenty appropriately doubling up with 14 points (no trebles in this game).

Fetch a shovel for Lovell

Pioneering astronomer Bernard Lovell has died aged 98. Lovell worked on developing radar systems in World War Two before founding the Jodrell Bank observatory in 1956. He was knighted in 1961. Lovell was a hit for 7 teams, with Moribold Krakatoa’s Playhour picking up ten points for the joker.

Vidal organs failure

Writer and political commentator Gore Vidal has died. Vidal wrote over twenty novels as well as screenplays such as 'Ben Hur'. Vidal tackled sexual politics as well as of the mainsream variety; he twice ran for congress. Vidal's waspish turn of phrase was not to everybody's taste and he had legendary feuds with the likes of Norman Mailer and William Buckley. He was considered one of America's finest wits. Vidal died aged 86 with five teams getting six points each.

Curtis makes the podium for the individual deadly

Olympic champion swimmer Ann Curtis died on June 26th aged 86. But with the timely appearance of the London 2012 Olympic Games, Curtis - who won gold in the last London games in 1948 - landed an obit which at any other time of year would probably not have been forthcoming. So a handy stroke of luck for theme team Going For Gold - The Class Of 1948, who get their first hit of the year and 9 points. Alberto Juantorena will soon present the bouquet...

List of the Lost - Latest Entrants

Jacqueline Piatigorsky, Ellen Riley, Georg Leber, Cardinal Paul Shan Kuo Hsi, Jean-Luc Delarue, Rebecca Lanier

List of the Missed - Latest Entrants

Reverend Christopher Evans, Scott McKenzie, Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini

Player(s) of the Month - July

Girlfriend in a Coma and Jill Dando's Cat - 21 points

Latest News

Businessman Asil Nadir is convicted of company theft. Prince Philip is discharged from hospital. Again. This could go on and on. Meanwhile, his grandson Prince Harry finds himself in hot water as pictures of him naked are published online. Luckily, he isn't holding his mace! The ailing trainer Henry Cecil witnesses another win for his invincible horse Frankel. Incumbant US President Barack Obama comes under attack from historian Niall "just a short hop from David Irving-style Holocaust denial" Ferguson.

Message to all current competitors: If you haven't been receiving the notification mails that we send out whenever a celeb carks it, please check that we have your current email address (re-send it to us if unsure), your inbox is not full, and our address is not blocked by your mail system. The following teams are currently uncontactable; Jesus Jones, Juicy Janny, Mad Maureen, .

Further Information

Who's dead so far | Celebrity picks | Team selections | DDP main page | DDP Archive

[DDP 2012]