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: 7th April 2014
[Picture of Mickey Rooney]

Rooney does his best for US-Japanese relations

Death takes the Mickey

Not long after Shirley Temple, another child starlet of Hollywood's golden age has died. Mickey Rooney starred as Andy Hardy in a series of hit films for MGM in the 1930s. He also teamed up with Judy Garland, his rumbustious style chiming with the renewed condfidence in the US following the depression years. By 1939, he was the biggest star in the World. However, like Temple and to an extent Garland, his stardom waned until he was declared bankrupt in the early 1960s. However, never one to let disappointment get in the way, Rooney settled into a late career of character parts (Mike Hodges' cult black comedy 'Pulp' (1972)) stage musicals and voice work, rifling through 8 marriages along the way. Rooney was 93 and a hit for 68 teams, making him only the second of the Drop Forty to er...drop.

[Scorecard] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (68 teams) = 5pts [Joker](2 team) = 10pts

March roundup II: The good deaths

Yes it's another roundup rather than the usual batch of puns as I (with some help) try to finish off the biogs and pics outstanding as we head towards Easter...
First up we have sitcom writer Bob Larbey who has died. Larbey, along with his writing partner John Esmonde (who died in 2008), created popular sitcoms 'Please Sir!', 'The Good Life' and 'Ever Decreasing Circles', the last two starring the incomparable Richard Briers. Larbey also had solo hits 'A Fine Romance' and 'As Time Goes By' both starring Judi Dench. Larbey was 79 and a unique hit for Deadies. There's quite a few uniques this week.
Fred Stansfield was a defender for Cardiff City and captained the Bluebirds to the 3rd division title in 1947. He won one cap for Wales and was their oldest living international until his death at 96. Kicking Buckets Instead Of Balls moves into 2nd place with their fourth hit of the year. Lorenzo Semple, Jr. was a Hollywood screenwriter, co-writing such 70s hits as 'Three Days of the Condor' and 'The Parallax View', but he's best known as the creator of the 1960s version of 'Batman', starring Adam West. He died one day after his 91st birthday. BAM! It's a hit for Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel.
James Schlesinger was a hawkish American Secretary of Defense for Presidents Nixon and Ford before getting sacked by the latter in 1975. Previous to that he had an ill-fated time as Director of the CIA. He later served under Jimmy Carter and had to deal with the almost-literal fall out of the Three Mile Island incident in 1979.
He was 85. Vietnam War theme team Lt. Colonel Kilgore's Ultimate Surf Party get their first hit of the year.
Theatre and TV director Derek Martinus has died. Martinus directed pivotal stories for 'Doctor Who' in the 1960s, including William Hartnell's last story 'The Tenth Planet' and Jon Pertwee's first, 'Spearhead from Space', which was also the venerable show's first colour episodes. He later directed for ITV including the childrens series 'Dodger, Bonzo and the Rest' Martinus was 82 and a hit for Shuffled Off.
Because of the hush-hush nature of Britain's code-breaking activities at Bletchley Park during World War II, it was a while before the work of Jerry Roberts would be appreciated. Roberts was brought in as a German linguist to crack top level Nazi cyphers. His and the efforts of the others at Bletchley Park was reckoned to have shortened the war by up to two years. Roberts was 93 and a hit for a pair of teams. Lawrence E, Walsh was an attorney who was brought in to investigate the controversial Iran-Contra affair in 1986. Seen as a "safe pair of hands", Walsh proceeded to delve ever deeper into the political shenanigans, bringing about 11 minor convictions, which caused much embarrassment for President Reagan and his successor, George H. W. Bush Walsh died aged 102.

[Scorecard] (Larbey) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 10pts
[Scorecard] (Stansfield) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 8pts
[Scorecard] (Semple, Jr.) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 8pts
[Scorecard] (Schlesinger) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 9pts
[Scorecard] (Martinus) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 9pts
[Scorecard] (Roberts) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (2 teams) = 5pts
[Scorecard] (Walsh) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (2 teams) = 4pts
Latest Stiffs: 26th March 2014

March roundup: God hates fags and he hates fag haters...

A typically mixed bag as we head into spring...
First up we have American Football owner Ralph Wilson who has passed away. He founded and owned the Buffalo Bills, who reached four Super Bowl finals in the 1990s and lost them all. He was 95. UK Eurosport, under the refined obit rules clinches the points for three teams.
Adolfo Suárez was Spain's first Prime Minister of the post-Franco era in 1975. He'd been ill for a while and the patience of 9 teams have been rewarded with his death at 81. Boxing promoter Mickey Duff came to Britain from Poland and went on to manage the likes of Frank Bruno and John Conteh. He was eventually usurped by Frank Warren & co. Duff was 84.
Hilderado Bellini was Brazil's first World Cup-winning captain in 1958 and oddly, the first captain to lift the Jules Rimet Trophy above his head, which is de riguer these days. Sadly he is one of many members of o seleção from the 1958 & 1962 to have passed away in recent years. He was 83. World Cup theme team Manaus Madness claim the points.
One of the more popular passings of recent times is that of the controversial US pastor Fred Waldron Phelps. Phelps came to prominence in 2007, when the wry TV presenter Louis Theroux confronted his Westboro Baptist Church's somewhat uncompromising attitude to homosexuality. And when I say uncompromising, I mean his church picketing funerals of dead US soldiers with goading placards. So it's goodbye and good riddance for Phelps at the age of 84. Ironic really, as the very next hit I'm announcing is of gay activist Vernita Gray who has died of cancer aged 65. DDP veteran Drunkasaskunk has a gay day with all the points.
Amongst all the hoopla over the Ukraine recently, the death of Chechen rebel leader Doku Umarov aged 49 has somewhat slipped under the radar. There's debate over whether is is really dead or not as rumours of his demise has been exaggerated more times than Mark Twain! However, I think it might be safe to take this report as read. Curiously, for Abdelbaset's Liquorice All-Sorts he becomes the first joker hit in the DDP since the end of January!
There's still more to come. Cinematographer Oswald Morris has died. Morris enjoyed a fruitful partnership with the late John Huston on films such as 'Moulin Rouge' and 'The Man Who Would Be King' and with Sidney Lumet. He won an Oscar in 1971 for 'Fiddler on the Roof', directed by Norman Jewison. Morris was 98 and a unique hit for oldest oscar nominees team Kentucky Fried genocide. Finally, almost two weeks ago, the former President of Sierra Leone, Ahmad Tejan Kabbah died. He was elected in 1996 and was in charge during the country's civil war. He left office in 2007. He was 82. Theme team Afrika Korpses get their first hit of the year...

[Scorecard] (Wilson) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (3 teams) = 5pts
[Scorecard] (Suárez) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (9 teams) = 6pts
[Scorecard] (Duff) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (10 teams) = 6pts [Joker](1 team) = 12pts
[Scorecard] (Bellini) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 9pts
[Scorecard] (Phelps) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (2 teams) = 6pts
[Scorecard] (Gray) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 11pts
[Scorecard] (Umarov) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (4 teams) = 10pts [Joker](1 team) = 20pts
[Scorecard] (Morris) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 8pts
[Scorecard] (Kabbah) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 9pts
Latest Stiffs: 18th March 2014
[Picture of Tony Benn]

His ideas were always seen as a bit of a pipe dream...

The Benn dieries

Former Labour cabinet minister Tony Benn has died. Anthony Wedgwood Benn came to prominence in the early 1960s with his fight to renounce his peerage, bestowed on him when his father (who was also an MP in his time) Viscount Stansgate, died making Benn the hereditary heir. Remaining an MP, Benn served in two Labour governments. Although despised by the right (he was once dubbed "the most dangerous man in Britain") he became the darling of the left in the 1970s, with his opponents within the party blaming him in part for Labour's many years in the opposition wilderness, when he radicalised a generation of grass root activists. For a good many though, he was an inspirational figure. He famously retired from the Commons in 2001 to "devote more time to politics" and in later years he became something of a folk hero. Benn was 88.
26 teams made sure they wont be losing their deposit this year...

[Scorecard] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (26 teams) = 6pts

Death's a garden of roses for Rachel

Another aristocratic figure, this time of American public life, Rachel Lambert Mellon has passed away.
"Bunny" Mellon was a close friend of the Kennedys, a patron of the arts (with an outstanding collection, including a Rothko) and a keen amateur horticulturalist. She died aged 103. Gray Panthers land a unique hit.

[Scorecard] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 7pts

Vera's pushing up Daisies

Vera Chytilová was a Czech film director, who incurred the wrath of the Soviet-leaning Czechoslovakian government in the 1960s with offbeat films such as 'Daisies' (1966). She was once banned by the Czech authorities for 8 years. She was 85. Zsa-Zsa-ah-ah-ah! Zsa-Zsa-Ooh-la-la! bag the points.

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

No more porridge for Morris

Convicted child murderer Raymond Morris has died in prison. Morris was jailed for the murder of seven-year-old Christine Darby in 1969. She was one of three children killed in the Cannock Chase area in the late 1960s, but no-one was charged for the murders of the other two, but one could assume that Morris was the killer. Hell awaits for Morris at 84. Midlands-based theme team M6 Toll(ed) will be heading through the spaghetti junction with a smile...

[Scorecard] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 9pts
Latest Stiffs: 12th March 2014

Bob downs his tools

Trade Union leader Bob Crow has died unexpectedly. Crow was an unashamed left-wing trade unionist of the old school and General Secretary of the RMT, the union best known for tube train drivers. His uncompromising style made him a blessing for "the workers", but less so for bosses and at the time of his death, was engaged in a simmering battle with London Mayor Boris Johnson (who for all the tributes, must be thanking his lucky stars). Crow harked back to the era of the presumed union dominance of the 1970s and was a household name, a rarity in these post-Thatcherite times. Crow was just 52. Anti-left theme team Die, Commie, Die! will be rejoicing...

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

My goodness, McGinniss

American journalist/author Joe McGinniss has died of cancer. McGinniss first came to prominence with 'The Selling of the President' in 1968, which looked at the machinations and image manipulation behind Richard M. Nixon's presidential victory that year. McGinnis also wrote 'Fatal Vision', which looked at the remarkable case of Jeffrey MacDonald, who was convicted of the murder of his wife and children in spite of his claim that they were murdered by a Charles Manonesque cult. That book was later turned into a TV series starring Gary Cole and Karl Malden. He was 71 and a welcome hit for several would-be contenders who have had something of a slow start by recent standards.

[Scorecard] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (6 teams) = 7pts

Guarnere to eternity

William Guarnere was a member of the famous Easy Company group of Second World War soldiers, immortalised in the 2001 mini-series 'Band of Brothers'. He died aged 90. Now not all of the assembled members of Easy Company have had the requisite obit when they have died but this chap has.
Szaboss!! (a veteran team that have had several name changes) get a unique hit.

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

Gerard, mort

Gerard Mortier was an opera director who as director at Teatro Rea in Spain, produced an operatic version of Brokeback Mountain (no sniggering at the back, there). He was 70. DDP legend The Living End get a unique hit. The three times champion has already written off his chances for this year. We'll see...

[Scorecard] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 10pts

Honeymoon is over for Sheila

Actress Sheila MacRae has died age 92. McRae starred in the 1960s revival of the sitcom 'The Honeymooners' opposite Jackie Gleason. She was born in London and was married to 'Oklahoma!' star Gordon MacRae before their divorce in 1967. The Daily Mail continue their quest for stateside dominiation with this convenient obit. From Here To Eternity get a unique hit

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

List of the Lost - Latest Entrants

René Llense, Joe Lala, Mae Keane, Barbro Kollberg, Michael Petrosino, Asta Vender

List of the Missed - Latest Entrants

Maurice Faure, James Ellis, Melba Hernandez, Marga Spiegel, Clarissa Dickson Wright, Margo MacDonald

Player of the Month - February

NoSoup4U! - 16 points

Latest News

Oscar Pistorius takes the stand at his murder trial Another alleged murderer heading for South Africa is Shrien Dewani as his extradition is imminent. The honeymoon is over. Former DDP host and champion Octopus of Odstock announces his retirement from the DDP. We salute you, Oc! The Theme Team League is updated for March.

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]