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: 3rd May 2014
[Picture of Bob Hoskins]

It was either that or a Super Mario pun...

Bobby's in heaven

Pugnacious actor Bob Hoskins has died of pneumonia. Hoskins first came to prominence in 1978 with his starring role as sheet music seller Arthur Parker in Dennis Potter's classic TV drama 'Pennies from Heaven'.
Via a powerful peformance as a London gangster on the cusp of Thatcherism in 'The Long Good Friday', Hoskins dabbled in Hollywood and was Oscar nominated for 'Mona Lisa' in 1986. Sadly, he retired from acting due to Parkinson's disease last year. He was 71 and a hit for 5 teams with proabably a few teams rueing a missed chance...

[Scorecard] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (5 teams) = 7pts [Joker](1 team) = 14pts

The Pennyworth drops for Efrem

US actor Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. has died. Son of musicians, Zimbalist took up acting and starred in hit TV detective series '77 Sunset Strip' and 'The F.B.I'. In the 1990s, he was the voice of Batman's trusty butler Alfred Pennyworth in the classic cartoon series. Zimbalist was 95. One for the US deadpool purist...

[Scorecard] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (8 teams) = 5pts

April roundup...and another January hit!

April has been the least prolific month so far but a few obits have delivered in recent days...
First we have a hit that retrospectively is actually the first of April. Glyn Jones was a South African actor and writer with the distinction for being the first to write and act on 'Doctor Who'. He died aged 82. The Guardian's 'Other Lives' obituary column saves the day for theme team Is There a Doctor in the House?.
Fred Ho was a maverick Chinese-American jazz musician who mixed radical politics as much as with jazz styles. He drew attention to his cancer battle, hence his appearance in the DDP, but there was an anxious wait for the obit until once again, The Guardian came up with the goods. Ho was 56.
Walter Walsh was the longest-lived Olympian of all time. He competed in London in 1948 in the shooting but didn't medal. He then went on to work for the FBI, where he used his experience as a shooting instructor. He died a week shy of his 107th birthday. With an eye ever on the US market, the Daily Mail conjure up an obit.
DDP's trusty part-time researcher WEP has come up with another obit, this time form the beginning of the year, making it a total of 35 hits in January. American psychologist Julian Rotter died way back on January 6th aged 97. The mainstream press in Britain haven't provided an obit, but the BBC, through it's radio obituary programme, Last Word have, so DDP regulars Inquilinekea/Simfish have a second hit. Funnily enough, Hiroo Onoda, their other hit, also features in the programme. Last Word, make a note of that, folks...

[Scorecard] (Jones) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 9pts
[Scorecard] (Ho) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (2 teams) = 9pts
[Scorecard] (Walsh) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 7pts
[Scorecard] (Rotter) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 8pts
Latest Stiffs: 26th April 2014

Game over for Vilanova

The world of football have been mourning the death of Tito Vilanova, the former coach of FC Barcelona, who has died of cancer. Vilanova replaced the hugely successful Pep Guardiola in 2012, leading Barca to the league title. But he was already at that stage fighting throat cancer, eventually stepping down last summer. He was 45. Along with Sandy Jardine (see below), it's another football-related death, of which there has been a few this year. It's also another "tactical" hit i.e. one picked by teams eyeing the title. Ironically though, the biggest winner has been Death Can Be Funny, whose more old-school selection has closed the gap last years winner David Quantick's Showbiz Pals had to zero and is technically the leader with the most hits (even though it's not reflected in the scoreboard, which is alphabetical). As the 450 year-old William Shakespeare would have it, the game's afoot...

[Scorecard] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (32 teams) = 10pts [Joker](2 team) = 20pts

One Hun dead and eighty (plus hits)

Sandy Jardine was a Scottish international defender who enjoyed legendary status at Glasgow giants Rangers in a era largely dominated by their great rivals Celtic. Nonetheless he won 3 league titles and the European Cup Winners Cup with "the Gers" in a long career before a spell with his home town club Hearts, who came agonisingly close to a league and cup double in 1986. He had been suffering from cancer the last 18 months and thus was in many teams sights. He died aged 65. Jardine made the Drop 40 but was in the relegation zone. There'll be no promotion next season, that's for sure...
Connie Marrero was a Cuban baseball player, who was recognised as the World's oldest. Well, they are going to have to recognise somebody else as he has died aged 102. This obit maybe in Spanish, but if it's from the BBC then it must be legit and so theme team Centenarians will be pleased with this unique hit.
And sport remains the theme, with the demise of the former boxer turned-jailbird-turned-acquitted Rubin Carter, known as "the Hurricane", in the days before Alex Higgins. Carter was a promising middleweight who was close to a shot at the world title before he was wrongfully convicted for the murders of three white people in 1966. With notable supporters including Bob Dylan (who wrote a song about his incarceration), Carter was eventually released with his conviction quashed in 1985. He died in Canada Age 76.
But it's not all sports stars, sometimes dead pools have room for culture too and there will be few more cultural hits than that of Colombian author Gabriel Garcia Marquez who has passed away at the age of 87. Garcia Marquez is considered one of the most important writers of the twentieth century, thanks largely to the release in 1967 of his novel 'One Hundred Years of Solitude'. He is seen as one of the main progenitors of the "magical realism" form of novel, in which the extraordinary and the mundane are intermingled in the narrative. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982.
1999 & 2000 winner Drunkasaskunk has been enjoying something of a revival in recent years and it continues with the recent discovery of an obit for Scottish painter Derek Clarke, who died aged 101. He died in February but the obit (and the fact that he had died) was discovered when finishing off researching the new candidates. On this subject may I give my warm thanks to Octopus of Odstock, WEP 2.0 - World's Eternity Prophet Reloaded and Bibliogryphon for their help in compiling the data and supplying the pictures...

[Scorecard] (Jardine) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (44 teams) = 8pts [Joker](2 teams) = 16pts
[Scorecard] (Marrero) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 7pts
[Scorecard] (Carter) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (3 teams) = 7pts
[Scorecard] (Garcia Marquez) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (4 teams) = 6pts
[Scorecard] (Clarke) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 7pts
Latest Stiffs: 17th April 2014

Edna the inanimate woman

Easter is here so what eggs have been laid for us?
Veteran actress Edna Doré had a long career on stage, TV and film but only really emerged when she was in her dotage, winning praise and awards for her performce in Mike Leigh's 1988 film 'High Hopes'. For all that she's best known for playing Frank Butcher's mother, Mo in 'EastEnders' from 1988-90. She was 92.
Sociologist Richard Hoggart was a key witness in the 'Lady Chatterley's Lover' obscenity trial of 1960, when he was called on to verify the book's cultural importance. Hoggart specialised on culture in society and warned against excessive consumerism reducing entertainment to the lowest common denominator. He died aged 95. His son, Simon, a missed DDP pick, predeceased him in January.
Author Sue Townsend emerged from a modest Leicester upbringing to become the biggest-selling female novelist of the 1980s with her comic creation Adrian Mole, the neurotic teenager par excellance. She was also a prolific playwright. She died after a short illness aged 68, although she had been generally ill for some time. Former Trinidad & Tobago president A.N.R. Robinson made a small but significant contribution to justice when in 1989 he proposed that there should be an international court, ostensibly to deal with worldwide drug traffickers. This in turn led to the establishment of the International Criminal Court, which has dealt with more African dictators than you can shake a stick at. Robinson was 87.
Now for some more updates from March and yet another from January! Marc Platt was a ballet dancer, a member of the Russian ex-pat troupe Ballets Russes who nonetheless ended up with a part in the all-American musical 'Oklahoma!' in 1955. He was considered one of the last survivors and died aged 100.
Jeremiah Denton spent nearly 8 years as a POW during the Vietnam War. In 1966 when he was interviewed as part of a piece of North Vietnamese propaganda he blinked the word "torture" in morse code. After the war, he was later elected as Senator from Alabama. Denton blinked his last at 89.
As you know, the research for all the new picks for 2014 is slowly winding to a close. My esteemed predecessor Octopus of Odstock has helped pitch in and raised a query about one of the picks for the team Reading Out The Will, William Jones. It turns out that "William" is actually better known as Christopher Jones, the actor. A wee bit of research has found that not only did Jones die back on January 31st aged 72, he also got an obit from The Mirror!. That makes it the 34th hit in that month, increasing the record. March was no slouch either and is second on the all-time list of deadly months with 29. We're still well on course for another hits record come the years end and yet you could argue that the competiton at the top end has somehow yet to come to life...

[Scorecard] (Doré) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (2 teams) = 5pts
[Scorecard] (Hoggart) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 8pts
[Scorecard] (Townsend) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (4 teams) = 8pts
[Scorecard] (Robinson) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 9pts
[Scorecard] (Platt) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (2 teams) = 4pts
[Scorecard] (Denton) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 9pts
[Scorecard] (Jones) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (4 teams) = 10pts [Joker](1 team) = 20pts

List of the Lost - Latest Entrants

Frits Thors, James R. Young, Arturo Licata

List of the Missed - Latest Entrants

Alan Davie, Peaches Geldof, James Hellwig AKA Ultimate Warrior, Dorothy Mitchum, Dylan Tombides, Julian Wilson

Player of the Month - March

Abdelbaset's Liquorice All-Sorts - 20 points

Latest News

Popular DDP pick Wilko Johnson has surgery to remove a tumour in his pancreas. Meanwhile arch-spinner Max Clifford is jailed for 8 years for sexual assault. Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams is arrested for murder. Establishment stitch-up? Or is Gerry's murky past finally catching up with him?
The Theme Team League is updated for April.

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]