Derby Dead Pool 2009: Inane analysis

Putting the 'anal' into analysis...




 - Stats

 - Names

 - Themes


 - General stats

 - Most popular

 - Breakdown by gender

 - Breakdown by profession

 - Breakdown by nationality

 - Breakdown by age

Random observations



There are 480 teams this year, a record number - up 19 from on last year. These teams appear to come from 16 countries: England (including at least 2 teams from the Isle of Man), Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Australia, the United Arab Emirates, New Zealand, Canada and of course the USA. This year there is also an entry for the first time (as far as we know) from Greece! Please let us know if we've missed any.


Again, the list of women playing the game has stayed increasingly steady, both with current & new entrants, and although the DDP still awaits its first female winner, an increasing number of female led teams are scoring well & many new entrants are women. So much for the more caring side....


Finally, once again, Jesus Jones is entering a team & remains the only team to have competed in every year of the competition so far.



As far as team names go, morbid puns & off-beat names continue, with the following new names/teams all worthy of merit: They Laugh In the Face of Death, Time's Up My Son, No Penalties, It's Sudden Death, Tag You're Out, No, Mr Bond, I Expect You To Die!, Not Gone Yet But Still Forgotten, People I Think Might Die in 2009 United (I love the United bit, so unnecessary...)  Putting Fun into Funeral, C. A. Daver, Celeb-rotties, Dead Cert, Wikipedia Entries in Need of Updating, How Clean is your Hearse?, Trojan Hearse (both deserve accolades for the pun-skills), Hackingcacking, Baz & Barry's Burial Bonzana, Dr. Shipman's Waiting Room, Forgotten but not Gone, Heart Attack? Liver Failure? Excellent, Lodsa Points! & Deadn't He Do Well. However, my two personal favourites have to be newcomers Hippoposthumous &.I Kissed a Corpse & I Liked It.


Again, it is good to see that a healthy lack of respect is shown by many teams - with Margaret Thatcher still unpopular as shown by Go Ahead Thatch, Make My DDP! Also Ashes to Ashley Cole (I Hope) is just as uncomplimentary as Nicole Kidman Is A Slag & The Beatles are Dying in The Wrong Order

Meanwhile team names that reflect Dead Pool playing are on the rise, with some of them named above, but worth also mentioning Now That's What I Call SIGNIFICANT 2009, named solely in response to an idiot poster on who insisted that anyone not from the US was not famous & only B-movie US actors were "significant" deaths....



In 2005, a new competitor calling himself John Stalker fielded a team consisting entirely of celebrities whom he had met or seen in person. He only managed one hit - and he had to wait until Xmas Day for that - but his idea of selecting people who all have something in common caught on in 2006, with at least 4 other themed teams joining him. (By a strange coincidence, Mr Stalker (by then known as John Stalkest) went on to collect another Xmas Day hit in the form of James Brown.)

2007 & 2008 saw a massive rise in theme teams & this is repeated in 2009.

The following have all entered teams with a theme: (Apologies if I have missed anybody out here.. entirely my fault)

M Is the Deadliest Letter (all celebs with the surname beginning with M), 6ft under the Baulk Line (all snooker related people), A Lost Art (Artists), Betty White & the 19 Dwarves (Bar the ex-Golden Girl, all midgets/munchkins etc.), D is for Davis & Dead! (All have the surname Davis), One Less Bullet Come The Revolution (Royals or nobility across the world), Y-Shaped Coffin (all females), It's Tyne to Meet Your Maker (A team of Geordies), Nobel Losers (all Nobel Prize winenrs), Literary Cemetery (all authors), Auditioning for Oscar's "In Memoriam" Montage (names from the world of film), Ohio & Goodbye-O (all people from Ohio), 20 From The Turf - Now Under It (horse-racing), No, Mr Bond, I Expect You To Die!  (all names from the world of James Bond), All Sports & The Final Whistle (sport), The Terry Fenwick Select XX (all footballers/managers) and then 3 UK political based teams - House of Stiffs, Dead Commons & Politigone

Continuing their themes once again the already forementioned Johnnie Stalker2009 Voodoo Blend, In Eternum's Wrinkly Dicks (all, with one exception, people who have played detectives or written about them), Pobol Y Fedd (all Welsh celebrities),  Pop Goes the Pop Star (obvious, I hope), and then there's probably others so subtle that I've missed them.




General stats

A total of 2,068 different celebs have been picked this year, which is up by 42 from 2008. This is largely down to there now being 3 points awarded for an unique pick, rather than the previous 1. Considering there are now 1,234 unique picks, 86 more than before, it isn't really surprising most teams have tried to take advantage of the new rules.

Most popular

This year's top 25 most popular picks are as follows: 


this year


last year



of teams


of jokers

1st 2nd Margaret Thatcher 209 11
2nd New Entry Patrick Swayze 203 39
3rd 6th Sir Bobby Robson 202 33
4th 1st Fidel Castro 200 12
5th= 11th= Sir Norman Wisdom 168 7
5th= 4th Ronnie Biggs 168 13
7th New Entry Wendy Richard 141 36
8th 5th Kirk Douglas 138 2
9th 3rd Ariel Sharon 133 2
10th 9th Rev Billy Graham 112 2
11th= New Entry Edward Kennedy 108 11
11th= 7th Amy Winehouse 108 9
13th 15th Henry Allingham 94 3
14th= New Entry Jade Goody 89 6
14th= 11th= Zsa Zsa Gabor 89 2
16th New Entry Seve Ballesteros 88 5
17th= 16th Patrick Moore 86 1
17th= 8th Muhammad Ali 86 3
19th= 13th Michael Foot 83 3
19th= 14th Elizabeth Taylor 83 3
21st 17th Prince Philip 81 2
22nd New Entry Barack Obama 75 9
23rd New Entry Paul Gascoigne 68 5
24th= 20th Farrah Fawcett 67 7
24th= 22nd Nelson Mandela 67 4
24th= 19th= Betty Ford 67 2


So there's a bit of a change this year - Fidel Castro drops 3 places, with the perennial DDP "bridesmaid" Margaret Thatcher becoming the most popular (or unpopular, depending on your point of view) pick. DDP'rs seem to be more savvy about illnesses, or maybe the media coverage is better as Wendy Richard, Ted Kennedy, Jade Goody & most of all, Patrick Swayze were all picked heavily - so too Sir Bobby Robson, up three places from before.


Going down in popularity is Ariel Sharon (most teams getting fed up of the same comatose state which could yet last for years), Muhammad Ali & Pete Doherty (seems to have, if not cleaned up his act, he's not making it any worse. Russell Watson's recovery from illness & Britney Spears apparent return to normality have seen them drop down the pecking order.


Of last years top 25 only two - Harold Pinter & 10th placed Charlton Heston died, so it's interesting to see that the so-called "big-gun" picks are continuing to stay alive & it's the lesser picks, and unique picks, that are scoring well.


As for the remainder of the top 25, it stays relatively static, with most celebrities either moving up a few, or going down a few places, but it is interesting to note that not one of the top 25 last year is in the same place this year...


Breakdown by gender

This year has seen a very slight rise in the proportion of female celebs chosen: 434 out of 2,068 gives 20.9%, up 0.7% from last year, and up over 1% from 2008 & 2007.


Breakdown by profession
Our loose classification of celebs by "profession" (or at least, the reason why they became famous in the first place) reveals that we DDPers are a conservative lot in terms of where we draw our inspiration from: most of the categories remain the same either in numbers or positions. The one distinct difference is films, which have risen from joint 4th to joint 2nd, whilst sport continues its strong position compared to past years. Perhaps the biggest of the "minor" professions to rise up this particular scoreboard is art - 18th last year, 14th this year - helped, no doubt, by an art theme team. This may also explain science (Nobel Prize winners) & Literature (another theme team) also rising in popularity.



of celebs


Television/radio 403 19.5%
Music 284 13.7%
Films 284 13.7%
Sport 260 12.6%
Politics 248 11.9%
Literature 86 4.1%
Other 69 3.3%
Science/Academia 61 2.9%
Royalty/nobility 51 2.4%
Military 46 2.2%
Celeb family/partner 41 1.9%
Theatre/Stage 38 1.8%
Religion 33 1.5%
Art 31 1.5%
Business 31 1.5%
Crime 29 1.3%
Media 23 1.1%
Exploration 14 0.7%
Fashion 12 0.6%
Terrorism 11 0.6%
Law 8 0.3%
Philanthropy 5 0.2%


Breakdown by nationality
This year's picks come from (or at least were born in) a total of 116 different countries or independent territories, surprisingly down 5 from last year.  Once again, the US and England are predominant, accounting between them for over 65%, but this is down 1% on last year as the game gets more global.

(NB: The modern names/boundaries of countries have been used where these have since changed.)

Interesting risers include Germany (more teams playing from there I guess), Italy, China & rather perversely.. Austria...

Country Number of celebs Percentage
USA 725 35.1%
England 621 30.0%
Scotland 57 2.8%
Wales 46 2.2%
Germany 40 1.9%
Italy 38 1.8%
Australia, Canada 35 1.7%
France 28 1.4%
Republic of Ireland 26 1.3%
India 22 1.1%
Northern Ireland 17 0.8%
China 15 0.7%
Japan, Russia 14 0.7%
South Africa 13 0.6%
Austria 12 0.6%
Sweden 11 0.6%
Egypt, Spain, The Netherlands, Ukraine 10 0.5%
Hungary, New Zealand 9 0.4%
Poland, Switzerland  8 0.4%
Pakistan 7 0.3%
Argentina, Belgium, Iran, Iraq, Portugal 6 0.3%
Brazil, Croatia, Czech Republic, Israel, Malaysia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Trinidad, Venezuela 5 0.2%
Jamaica, Palestine, Syria 4 0.2%
Cambodia, Denmark, Kenya, Lebanon, Nepal, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Romania, Vietnam 3 0.1%
Belarus, Bosnia, Burma, Chechnya, Costa Rica, Malta, Montenegro, North Korea, Norway, Sudan, Taiwan, Thailand, Zambia, Zimbabwe 2 0.1%
Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Bermuda, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Chad, Colombia, Congo, Cuba, Cyprus, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, Georgia, Ghana, Grenada, Guernsey, Haiti, Hong Kong, Isle of Man, Liberia, Libya, Luxembourg, Malawi, Morocco, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, St. Lucia, Senegal, Singapore, Slovakia, Somalia, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, U.A.E, Uganda, Uruguay, US Virgin Isles, Uzbekistan, Wallis & Futuna,  1 0.1%
Unknown 25 1.2%


Breakdown by age
The breakdown by age (as at 1st January 2009) looks as follows.

Age bracket Points value Number of celebs Percentage
18-29 12 52 2.5%
30-49 10 221 10.7%
50-59 9 167 8.1%
60-69 8 311 15.0%
70-79 7 434 21.0%
80-89 6 496 24.0%
90-99 5 221 10.7%
100-109 4 38 1.8%
110+ 3 25 1.2%
Uncertain (n/a) 103 5.0%

Generally, there is an increasing shift towards younger candidates, and indeed the average age is again down. The age bracket scoring seems to have worked, with a big rise of picks in their 30's, 40's, 60's & 70's. Interestingly & perversely, the other age group to rise is the one that scores the least... 110 year olds - although this may be down to a few notables turning 110 in the last year, plus themed teams.


For the first time, the most popular birthday is now the 2nd February, shared by 14 people. It was the 6th July for three successive years, but was way down the order this year.


The most common year of birth is 1928, with 60 of the chosen celebs hoping they're still drawing enough breath to blow out their 81 candles in 2009.

No-one, however, has the most 'typical' date of birth of 2nd February 1928; the closest, who was born on the 4th Fenruary 1928, is Maya Angelou.

Random observations

I'm Still Standing

There were at the start of 2009, 11 known remaining World War I veterans, as against just 1 Titanic survivor (Eliza Gladys Milvina Dean)  For a long time it remained to be seen whether sheer numbers will win out against (relative) youth: the latter was a baby when the Titanic sank, , whereas the youngest of the certified WWI vets is 108. In the end, in May, Dean died... and there were just a dwindling amount of WWI veterans left.


What is also a recent trend in relatively limited survivors is living holders of the Victoria Cross - almost all of the living holders have been chosen - at the start of 2009, there were just 12 holders.


My Name Is...

The name game. John & all its variants still leads in forenames, with James, Michael, Robert, Richard, William & David all scoring highly. As for the ladies, the most popular name is still Elizabeth, whilst Anne is the next most popular female name.

In terms of surnames, there is a new leader - no doubt, helped by a theme team - Davis now has the most on 18.

However, there's been a big shift in the surname ranks as Jones, top last year, is now joined by Taylor & Williams on 10 each. Smith, Johnson, Brown, Wilson, Baker, Hill & King follow after that.


Oops... Did I really pick them??

Last year, I decided not to name & shame those teams that had picked already dead celebrities. But this year, although I'm not naming them individually, there were a whopping 21 teams who picked dead celebrities, with 3 of them picking 2 dead celebrities! Those that are already deceased but were still named are; (in order of when they died, from the longest time ago to the most recent...) Let's hope the number isn't as high next time!!!


1985(!!!): Ray Ellington


1993: Bobby Moore (2 teams!)


1997: Wally Whyton


1999: Hoyt Axton


2002: Myra Hindley


2003: Victor Gerald Coventry


2005: Edward Heath, Sir John Mills, Saul Bellow


2008: Jock Wilson, Preacher Roe (2 teams), Astrid Zachrison (2 teams), Mel Galley, Don Wittman, Francis Pym, Alexsandr Solzhenitsyn, Eddy Arnold, Eddie Thompson, Paul Newman, John Cushley, Phyllis A. Witney, Nuala O'Faolain



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