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 to 2007 by Siegfried Baboon and Rude Kid. From 2008 to 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 & Review of 2013: 2nd January 2014
[Picture of David Quantick][Picture of DDP trophy]

David Quantick - Champion. Doesn't he look delighted about it?

2013: A Twerk of Fate...

OK so it wasn't the David Quantick that has won the 2013 Derby Dead Pool Death Prediction Championship of the World. Some will be wondering on who the hell David Quantick is anyway! But nevertheless, his name at least has become a little bit of DDP history as David Quantick's Showbiz Pals overcame all the rest and won with a superb new record of 15 hits. That's a 75% hit rate. However there are some last bits of business to get throught first...

There were a couple of deaths over a quiet Xmas period. Marie Fleming was an Irish "right to die" campaigner who suffered from MS. She died on December 20th aged 59, a unique hit for The Newstreet Boys Death Squad. The last death of 2013 was on Boxing Day, that of actress and operetta singer Marta Eggerth, who
died aged 101. Obituaries 'R' Us also get a unique hit. Well they do say that it isn't over 'till the fat lady sings! But it could have been the fat man that would have had the last word on 2013. Unfortunately, 'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air' actor James Avery's death on New Year's Eve wasn't reported until the following day, so no points...

Quantick the record breaker!

Yes, congratulations goes out to David Quantick's Showbiz Pals who win their first title in spectacular fashion, storming to victory with a late run of hits in December (3 hits in 18 days) to overtake Octopus of Odstock, leader for much of the year, with just two weeks remaining. Crossing The Styx's switch from a theme team was an inspired choice, landing them 3rd place with 101 points, first time that three figures were scored by three teams in any one year. Indeed it was a record breaking year once again, with most hits overall (219), 530 scoring teams and a high quality field (80 points and 9 hits only enough to get a team into the top 20). The standard was excellent in what was a close contest, the best since I took over duties in 2010. The winner of the Theme Team League was newcomer The British (D)i(e)sles with an excellent return of 57 points from 8 hits (=60th overall), so well done to them...

Hits of the year

Overall it was quite a year for celebrity deaths, with two massive (in every sense of the word) hits in Margaret Thatcher and Nelson Mandela with a combined total of 531 teams picking them, with Nelson edging Thatch to become the biggest hit ever (267 teams).
Those politically iconic hits dominated 2013, a year that curiously didn't have any big name US hits...
There was a packed List of the Missed, with teams missing out on Nagisa Oshima, Peter Gilmore, Mindy McCready, Elmore Leonard, Seamus Heaney, Tom Clancy, Lou Reed, Sir John Taverner and John Cole amongst others. Some of those we didn't reckon on in the first place included 'Sopranos' star James Gandolfini, football commentator Tony Gubba, Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek, novelist Iain Banks, boxer Ken Norton, actresss Karen Black and right at the end of the year, satirist John Fortune.

Into 2014...

Such is the highly competitive nature of the DDP these days, there has already been a hit and we're just one day into 2014! Suffice to say there will be time (but not too long) before the lists/rosters/whatever will be published to the coming year (as of last year, info on the new candidates will be rolled out) and as we know, some mighty big hits could be around the corner to give the new year a cracking start. See you all soon...

Latest Stiffs: 23rd December 2013

[Picture of David Coleman][Picture of Mikhail Kalashnikov]

The last round's on Mikhail!

Soviet Military engineer Mikhail Kalashnikov, inventor of the AK-47 assault rifle, has died. Kalashnikov came up with the design, with it's distinctive curved magazine, in 1947 and it became the weapon of choice from the Soviet army to Middle East terrorists. Kalashnikov later regretted creating the weapon, as he made no money from it and once said he should have made a lawnmower. Well, it did mow things down, Mikhail, just not grass... Kalashnikov was 94. Of the 26 teams who cashed in, the big winner was David Quantick's Showbiz Pals, who notch up a record 15th hit, now 2 ahead of anyone else in DDP history, which makes the team a shoe-in to win the title for the first time...

[Scorecard] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (26 teams) = 5pts

David's passing is er...quite remarkable!

Another result to show up on Death's vidiprinter is that of sports broadcaster David Coleman. Coleman was a legend for BBC Sport for over 40 years, covering multiple Olympic Games, World Cups, as well as 'Grandstand', 'Sportsnight' and cheesy sports quiz 'A Question of Sport' from 1979-97. His "one-nil" declaration in football will be familiar to many, although a later generation would have fond memories of him as the voice of Britain's "golden age" of athletics in the 1980s, with the likes of Seb Coe and Steve Ovett battling for gold. Coleman was forced into retirement rather shabbily in 2000 and pretty much disappeared off the map. He died aged 87.
Such a withdrawal into obscurity might explain why only a few teams chose him...

[Scorecard] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (5 teams) = 5pts

Eisenhower and the ill-itary bite-dustial complex

John Eisenhower, the son of the 34th President of the USA, Dwight Eisenhower, has died aged 91. Eisenhower like his father had a military career, before serving under President Nixon as Ambassador to Belgium (well, someone had to do it!). He later became a military historian. Bxboy422 will be enjoying his Christmas turkey on Wednesday with a unique hit...

[Scorecard] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 8pts
Latest Stiffs: 18th December 2013

[Picture of Ronnie Biggs]

No One is Innocent

Ronnie Biggs, one of Britain's most imfamous criminals, has died aged 84. Biggs played a minor part in the Great Train Robbery of 1963, masterminded by another DDP 2013 graduate Bruce Reynolds. Jailed for 30 years, Biggs escaped prison in 1965, going on the run to Australia and then famously Brazil, when he was pursued by the fabulously-named Jack Slipper "of the Yard". For over 30 years he evaded capture but caught the public imagination with his exploits (he even made a punk rock record!). Biggs finally returned to Blighty in 2001, pleading sickness and poverty and returned to stir, only to be released on compassionate grounds in 2009. Since then he's been a deadpool favourite although it's still a bit of a shock that he's gone. Still, 182 teams wont be complaining. Along with Ray Price's passing (see below), Biggs has typically shaken things up a bit, as this remarkable year continues to rain in hit after hit. Crossing The Styx, previously a theme team, now has a chance for the biggest prize of all and becomes a record third team to knock up a century of points. Alistair Cook, take note...

[Scorecard] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (182 teams) = 6pts, [Joker] (13 teams) = 12pts

Ray Price shuffles off

A potentially decisive hit in the DDP 2013 saga has come with the passing of Country singer Ray Price at the age of 87. Price's innovative "shuffle", 4/4 beat in Country music became the Nashville sound de rigueur with its soft, polished sound. Price recorded an earlier version of the standard 'Release Me', years before Engelbert Humperdinck made it his own. Price was erroneously declared dead before finally exiting on Monday. Price's death means that David Quantick's Showbiz Pals has taken the lead with just two weeks left of the competition. It is the latest change of lead since's dramatic win in 2004 with Artie Shaw. But such is the quality of competition this year and with other nominations on the brink, there may yet be another twist in this tremendous competition. Price was also DQSP's 14th hit of the year - an all-time record. And all this without the use of the joker too...

[Scorecard] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (17 teams) = 6pts, [Joker] (1 team) = 12pts

Carry on Camping?

Failed end of days predictor Harold Camping had died. In 2011, the christian preacher and radio broadcaster predicted that the end of the world would occur in May of that year. As we are all still here, except Harold that is, it seems his prediction was a little wayward. He certainly didn't forsee his demise from a fall aged 92. That's the third "fall" to qualify for the unnatural points bonus inside a month. That's why old people have zimmer frames boys and girls...

[Scorecard] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (6 teams) = 5pts + [Unnatural], [Joker] (1 team) = 16pts
Latest Stiffs: 16th December 2013

[Picture of Peter O'Toole]

Peter's a dyin' in Winter

Legendary actor/hellraiser Peter O'Toole has died after a long illness. The Irish-born actor with the piercing blue eyes shot to fame in 1962 with his his titular performance in 'Lawrence of Arabia', the first of 8 Best Actor Oscar nominations over 5 decades, none of which bagged the famous statuette. His stage career was somewhat more patchy, hit performances such as 'Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell', offset with critical duds such as 'Macbeth' at the Old Vic in 1980. O'Toole was just as famous for his off-screen exploits, with tales of revelry and debauchery manifest, although he actually quit heavy drinking after stomach cancer surgery in the 1970s. Many though have been surprised he lasted so long, with the passionate cricket fan finally entering the pavilion at 81.
A baker's dozen of teams will be raising a glass tonight...

[Scorecard] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (13 teams) = 6pts

The Olden Girls

At the risk of repeating myself, I've decided to group together the trio of 'Golden Age' Hollywood starlet deaths. The biggest of which is Joan Fontaine who has died aged 96. Fontaine, unlike O'Toole, did win an Oscar, for her role in 'Suspicion' in 1942. But she is principally known for one of the longest running feuds in Hollywood history, with her own sister, Olivia de Havilland. I guess Olivia's had the last laugh...
Next up we have Audrey Totter, who played altogether more foxy parts than Fontaine, in hard-boiled films such as 'The Lady in the Lake' and 'The Postman Always Rings Twice'. She died just shy of her 96th birthday, a unique hit for theme team You're Not Acting Like Yourself Today - Are You Dead?
Finally we have Eleanor Parker, who emerged to fame a little later than the other two, garnering an Oscar nomination for her role in 'Caged' in 1950. Parker is best known for her role in the hit musical 'The Sound of Music'. She was 91.

[Scorecard] (Fontaine) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (20 teams) = 5pts
[Scorecard] (Totter) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 8pts
[Scorecard] (Parker) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (3 teams) = 5pts

Ed's left for the birds

French film director Édouard Molinaro, has died aged 85. Molinaro started off directing crime thrillers, but it was when he turned to the lighter fare of 'La Cage aux Folles' (1978) which brought him international attention. The film was a cult hit and was one of the first to offer a sympathetic portrayal of single-sex relationships. It was later remade as 'The Birdcage' by Hollywood in 1996. The Deadest of the Dead bag the points...

[Scorecard] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 9pts

Bailey makes the tape

Former sprinter Emmanuel McDonald Bailey has died. Bailey was born in Trinidad, but represented Great Britain in the London Olympics of 1948, coming 6th in the 100m final. He later followed that up with bronze in Helsinki four years later. He was one of the first black athletes to represent Britain in athletics. He later coached his home country in the Rome Olympics of 1960. Bailey was 92, a unique hit for Weed 'Em And Reap.

[Scorecard] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (2 teams) = 5 points
Latest Stiffs: 7th December 2013

[Picture of Nelson Mandela]

Mandela's dearly departeid

Nelson Mandela, one of the most significant figures of the twentieth century, has died. As a leading member of the African National Congress, Mandela challenged the South African "Apartheid" policy of white domination, where the large majority blacks were treated like second class citizens. Jailed for sabotage in 1964, Mandela spent most of his time at Robben Island, in a small cell, with little contact with the outside world. In the meantime, Mandela's reputation grew during his 27-year imprisonment as he came to symbolise opposition to the apartheid regime. Mandela was released in 1990, by then, he had become an iconic figure of political struggle. But Mandela was also a shrewd political operator, negotiating the transfer of power in South Africa to majority black rule, culminating with his election as the Rainbow Nation's first fully democratic president in 1994. When in power, he sought to unite the country, famously donning a rugby jersey when South Africa hosted the Rugby World Cup in 1995, as the sport was white dominated. He retired in 1999, serving one term and becoming a sort of secular saint, much adored and occasionally sought out by public figures, pop stars and sporting icons for a bit of humanitarian reflected glory.
Mandela died at the grand old age of 95. Madiba was at the very top of the DDP Drop Forty, with 267 teams, an all-time record, cashing in. One of those teams is David Quantick's Showbiz Pals, who now sit just 2 points behind leader Octopus of Odstock, with just weeks of 2013 remaining...

[Scorecard] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (267 teams) = 5pts [Joker] (25 team) = 10pts

Stan's under lid of wood

Jazz pianist Stan Tracey has died. A regular a Ronnie Scott's during the 1960s, Tracey was best known for his jazz suite inspired by Dylan Thomas, 'Under Milk Wood', released in 1965. Though celebrated, his career was not without it's low points, he almost became a postman in the early 70s, before forming his own record label and dabbling in the avant garde. He died aged 86, with 2 teams cleaning up.

[Scorecard] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (2 teams) = 6 points

Mills & doom for Ida

Novelist Ida Pollock, has died. Pollock was a prolific author of romantic fiction, mainly for the famous Mills & Boon imprint. She wrote over 120 novels under 11 aliases and was co-founder of the Romantic Novelists' Association in 1960. She died at the ripe age of 105. There'll be no tears before bedtime for theme team One Century Is Enough, Madam! who grab the glory with a unique joker hit.

[Scorecard] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] x [Joker] = 14pts

Do the Bartolucci, man

When Cardinal Domenico Bartolucci, former director of the Sistine Chapel Choir in Rome died on 11th November aged 96, tt looked as if theme team The Pope would have yet another pick stranded in the List of the Lost. But help was at hand, with the Telegraph swooping in with a much needed obit. Both The Pope and its senior regular team Mercarte gain points. Five non-scoring deaths must be some kind of (unenviable) record and I for one will be surprised if that theme team will return in 2014...

[Scorecard] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (2 teams) = 5 points

List of the Lost - Latest Entrants

Chick Willis, Jozef Kowalski, John Cornforth, James Avery

List of the Missed - Latest Entrants

Heinrich Boere, Jacob Matlala, Tom Laughlin

Player of the Month - November

Hide & Go Die - 23 points

Latest News

2013 ends on a cliffhanger as Formula 1 great Michael Schumacher is in a critical condition after a skiing accident. News comes through that former Israel PM Ariel Sharon could be in his final days after 8 years in a coma. Just like Jackie Wilson. Moors Murderer Ian Brady has dementia. Most would say he was demented anyway...
The Theme Team League page has been updated for December...

Message to all current competitors: There will be no more regular emails except in certain circumstances, such as rules and invitation to next year's competition.

Further Information
Derby Dead Pool is hosted by The Man In Black with contributions from Big-Iain, Rude Kid, Siegfried Baboon, Octopus of Odstock, WEP 2.0 - World's Eternity Prophet Reloaded and The Grey Horde

[DDP 2013]