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: 4th March 2014

Tomb and Gerry

Gerry Collins, an Irish business man and GAA coach, featured in an Irish health service commerical, warning about the dangers of smoking, as he himself was suffering from lung cancer. That cancer turned out to be terminal and he died aged 57. Inigo, I Hope We Win get off the mark for 2014 with this unique hit.

[Scorecard] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 12pts

Fin for Alain

The first hit for March (is it really March already?) is that of Alain Resnais who was a film director that was sort-of associated with the French new wave but pretty much ploughed his own furrow with his often surreal films. Nonetheless his debut feature, 'Hiroshima mon amour' in 1959, is seen as a crucial influence on the "nouvelle vague", with it's sparse, repititve dialogue, use of flashbacks and part-documentary feel. Curiously this seemingly most French of French filmmakers spent the back end of his career making films based on plays by that most English of English playwrights, Alan Ayckborn. Entente Cordiale! Resnais was 91 and a hit for 3 teams, two of which are film-based theme teams, with The Last Picture Show having the edge with their 3rd hit of the year.

[Scorecard] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (3 teams) = 5 points

Jim's date with death

Game Show host Jim Lange has died aged 81. Lange started off as a radio disc jockey before moving into television. Lange is best known as the host of 'The Dating Game', which of course later translated to the UK as 'Blind Date'. The show introduced us to the likes of Farrah Fawcett, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Steve Martin before they were famous. Lange retired from TV in 2005 and returned to radio. Newcomer Rotting Blood get a unique hit. After January's avalanche, February was more of a trickle but we're still on course for a record haul of hits...

[Scorecard] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 11pts

Franny rocks aroud the coffin

Franny Beecher was the lead guitarist for Bill Haley and his Comets, whose 1955 hit single 'Rock Around the Clock' changed the face of popular music. Beecher joined the group shortly after the legendary track's recording, replacing original guitarist Danny Cedrone and appeared on TV with the band as the single hit big. Beecher was 92 and a hit for 2 teams. See you later, alligator...

[Scorecard] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (2 teams) = 5 points
Latest Stiffs: 24th February 2014

Everybody Herz

Alice Herz-Sommer, the World's oldest Holocaust survivor has died. Herz-Sommer was a piano player whose mother died at Treblinka but narrowly avoided the same fate herself, getting rescued by the Soviet army at Terezin in 1945. She came to Britain in 1986 and remained there until her death at the age of 110.

[Scorecard] [Points] [Points] [Points] (4 teams) = 3pts

Big Daddy cool

In the last few years, the "sport" of wrestling has been providing many picks, mainly for the theme team league. But the actual hit rate has been threadbare, with the wrestlers either not dying or not getting obits. However Nelson Frazier, Jr. has proved a welcome exception. One wonders whether the man labelled "Big Daddy" (there's only one Big Daddy and that is Shirley Crabtree!) could be considered even an athlete, as he seemed to be just a big fat man there for freakish amusement (mind you, the original Big Daddy was hardly svelte either, so maybe the two have got something in common, other than the fact they're both dead! I digress...) Anyway, he died of a heart attack aged 43. Appropriate theme team Ready to Die(t) grab the large booty...

[Scorecard] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 13pts

So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye...

Maria Franziska von Trapp, the last survivor of the von Trapp family of singers, has died. The von Trapps inspired the musical 'The Sound of Music', the film version of which became the biggest hit film of the 1960s. Maria was the second oldest child and it was her sickness which prompted the von Trapps to be looked after by a governess in the first place. Enter Julie Andrews! Von Trapp was 99. 2002 champion JoeRam is one of a trio of teams to profit.

[Scorecard] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (3 teams) = 5pts

Mary's going green acres

Actress Mary Grace Canfield played handywoman Ralph Monroe in the 1960s US sitcom 'Green Acres', although British viewers might recognise her occasionaly turning up as Elizabeth Montogomery's nonplussed neighbour in 'Bewitched'. She was 89, a hit for USTV theme team Turn Off That Telly and Go to Bed!

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

The director in the pit

TV director Christopher Barry has died age 88. Barry worked for the BBC for many years, helming shows such as 'Z-Cars', 'The Onedin Line' and 'The Tripods'. But it's 'Doctor Who' he's best known for, directing stories for the first 4 Doctors, including the debuts for Patrick Troughton and Tom Baker. Sadly (though not for the teams who picked him), Barry's demise came the way of falling down an escalator. Maybe he should have taken some hints from the HAVOC boys?. Two teams benefit from this unexpected bonus...

[Scorecard] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unnatural](2 teams) = 9pts

January Round-up

A couple of old dears get their obits to bump up January's massive hit rate to 33! Dorothy Baldwin was Britain's 2nd oldest woman but died on New Year's Day aged 112. The Sun produced the obit three days later but it's only spotted now, partly because of the paywall and partly because it seems deadpoolers don't really read it. Sorry Rupe! The next obit, for actress Margery Mason comes from the Guardian's Other Lives obituary column, a real rarity that. Mason was 100...

[Scorecard] (Baldwin) [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 6pts
[Scorecard](Mason) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (3 teams) = 4pts [Joker] (1 team) = 8pts
Latest Stiffs: 15th February 2014
[Picture of Sir Tom Finney]

Finney will be crossing to Nat Lofthouse in Heaven from now on...

Finney earns his wings

Sir Tom Finney, one of English football's greatest players, had died. Finney was one of British football's first great post-war stars, with 30 goals in 76 matches for the English national team from 1946-58 and played in three World Cups. He was also an absolute legend for Preston North End. He played his entire club career there, scoring over 200 goals and earning the Football Writers Player of the Year on two occasions. He was never booked, let alone sent off and was throughout his playing career and after, a total gentleman. He also has a curious place in DDP history after being wrongly considered dead in the inaugural competition back in 1996. Well, he's dead now at 91, only the 18 years later...

[Scorecard] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (22 teams) = 5 points

Heaven can Waite

Actor Ralph Waite has died. Waite appeared in various films and TV shows, but his best known role was as John Walton, Sr., the patriarch of 'The Waltons', which ran from 1972-1981. He was also actively involved in politics, running unsuccessfully for congress as a Democrat. Waite was 85 and a unique/unlucky 13 hit for Death Can Be Funny, who move up to 2nd...

[Scorecard] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] + [Unlucky Thirteen] = 11pts

The end of 'orrible Ives

It's deja vu as another actor in his 80s dies on the 13th. Ken Jones was a Liverpudlian character actor whose most notable role was that of the sly tea leaf Bernard "Horrible" Ives in the classic 1970s sitcom 'Porridge'. The Man in Black also remembers him from a more obscure comedy from the 1980s called Valentine Park (apt that his death should be announced on that day!). Jones was 83. And it's another unique hit too, for The Re-Stench of British Sitcom...

[Scorecard] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] + [Unlucky Thirteen] = 11pts

Fail, Caesar!

We continue the comedy theme with the death of Sid Caesar. Caesar made his name in the 1950s, with TV shows such as 'Your Show of Shows', which employed the comic writing talents of Mel Brooks amongst others. Caesar's career went into decline in the 1960s as he battled drugs and alcohol, although it revived in 1978 with the role of Coach Calhoun in the hit film 'Grease', after which he settled down into character roles.
Caesar was 91 and was a hit for 13 teams.

[Scorecard] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (13 teams) = 5 points

Temple of doom

Shirley Temple Black, the child star of child stars, has died. Temple shot to fame in the 1930s aged only six, her famous curls and precocious manner made her the biggest film star of the Depression era. It was inevitable though that as she grew up, her fame would fade as the public couldn't adjust to the passing years. However, rather than take the Miley Cyrus route or that of some of the more unfortunate child stars of later generations, Temple gracefully departed Hollywood only to re-emerge into the world of politics. After unsucecssfully running for Congress as a Republican (another coincidence in this update - see Ralph Waite!), Temple Black became an ambassador, in Ghana and later Czechoslovakia, just as the country was turned upside down by the "Velvet Revolution". Temple was 85 and a bit of a sleeper hit for 10 teams...

[Scorecard] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (10 teams) = 6 points

Babette's feast of death

Danish film director Gabriel Axel has died. Axel won the Best Foreign Film Oscar in 1988 for the film 'Babette's Feast', a project which took 14 years to come to fruition. Axel was 95 and another unique hit for film theme team The Last Picture Show..

[Scorecard] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 8pts

Brough clapped out

Tennis player Louise Brough Clapp has died. As Louise Brough, she won the Wimbledon Ladies Singles title on 4 occasions and 35 grand slam titles in singles, doubles and mixed altogether. Brough was an exponent of the then common, now sadly rare art of serve and volley. She retired in 1958. Brough Clapp was 90 and a hit for 2 teams...

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

List of the Lost - Latest Entrants

Alice Babs, Ronnie Masterson, Loni Nest, Barry Rubin

List of the Missed - Latest Entrants

Vasily Petrov, Robert Dahl

Player of the Month - January

David Quantick's Showbiz Pals - 44 points

Latest News

Tensions rise in Ukraine as Vladimir Putin puts his foot down and sends troops to the Crimea. The trial of Oscar Pistorius begins as the paralympian legend denies charges of murder. Has he a leg to stand on? Hollywood legend/eccentric Liza Minnelli has a "wardrobe malfunction" at the Oscars. She made her reputation by dancing in fishnets and a bowler hat, so let's cut her some slack, huh? The Theme Team League is updated for February.

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 2014]