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, and from 2010 The Man in Black...

Latest Stiffs & Review of 2015: 3rd January 2016 by The Man in Black
[Picture of three chairs]

Three chairs for David Quantick's Showbiz Pals

2015: Selfie Destruction

2015 saw a tense standoff for the title between two greats of the game come to a dramatic conclusion...

Let's first round things off. There was on the final day a hit, a miss and a lost pick. The hit was actor Wayne Rogers, best known for his role as Alan Alda's wingman 'Trapper' John McIntyre in the TV classic 'M*A*S*H'. He was later a regular on 'Murder She Wrote' with Angela Lansbury. He died aged 83 and was a hit for the 'M*A*S*H'-themed team Not Fade Away...
That brought a total of 239 hits, 8 shy of last year's record. For a while, it looked as if the record was on, but a relatively barren back-end of the summer saw it's chances diminish. The miss was the troubled daughter of the legendary Nat King Cole, Natalie and she was one of many misses in 2015, as we'll see later. Unfortunately for two teams, the voice of Bobba Fett, Jason Wingreen, who died on Christmas Day, didn't get the required UK obit in time (always a dicey time to get on with time running out, post Xmas) to make it a round 240 for the year. Them's the breaks...

Threepeat for Quantick

...and as a demonstration of the whims of fortune David Quantick's Showbiz Pals won the DDP for an unprecedented third consecutive year in dramatic (and one might say fortunate) circumstances. It was the US team Thomas Jefferson Survives who set the pace in the early months, racking up 11 hits in four months. But the hits dried up and TJR had to settle for bronze. In September, three time champion The Living End took the lead and for a while, it looked as if he was on for a record 4th title. However there was a mounting sense that there would be one more twist, with it being so tight and so it proved - never write off DQSP! Always in touch with the leaders (effectively a three horse race throughout the year), the reigning champion once again timed a late run to perfection, with a little bit of luck (But hey, if you don't pick the numbers, you don't win the lottery!). Bollywood star Sadhana Shivdasani popping off on Xmas Day to give Quantick & Co the bonus needed to wrestle the title out The Living End's grasp with just a week to go. It was the latest change in leadership since's win 2004 and the shortest margin of victory since the present points system was introduced, just the two points...
Red-Flagged bagged the Theme Team League Prize.

Hits and misses...

I mentioned Natalie Cole earlier. She was one of a plethora of notable misses. Not surprising really as with over 3,000 picks every year, there's bound to be a few that slip down the crack when the next year comes along. Other misses include rugby legend Jonah Lomu, BBC presenter Peter Dimmock, wrestler "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, kitcsch composer James Last, art snob Brian Sewell, jazz pioneer Ornette Coleman, footballer Dave Mackay and new romantic Steve Strange amongst many others. Then there were the ones we never thought of in the first place: pools winner Viv Nicholson, Disney actor Dean Jones, former Miss Marple Geraldine McKewan, novelist Jackie Collins, ventriloquist Keith Harris, singer Errol Brown and film director Wes Craven etc, etc. But never mind the misses, what about the hits? Though shy of the record, 2015 was still a pretty solid year but when we get to brass tacks, some teams were left frustrated. The Drop Forty for example only had 4 hits and only 4 teams notched over 10 hits, just the one last year despite there being close to 500 hits in the last two years. Picks of the year include Christopher Lee, Cilla Black, B. B. King, former Chancellors Denis Healy & Geoffrey Howe, Mr Spock himself, Leonard Nimoy, George Cole, "Chatshow Charlie" Kennedy, Nicholas Winton, Peter O'Sullevan, Maureen O'Hara, Warren Mitchell and in the final knockings, Jimmy Hill and Lemmy from Motörhead. That's a rum set of passengers on the plane, then...

Into 2016...

2016 marks the twentieth anniversary of the Derby Dead Pool. Amazing eh? And as a special treat, the one and only Big Iain, the creator of the DDP, has returned to the fold! There's something to keep you all going with until the new set of teams are up. There does remain a slight uncertainty over future of the website as the actual web host Madasafish (which Big Iain subscribed to for nothing back in 2000) will be swallowed up by a bigger fish (Plusnet) in just a few days, leaving the position of the site hanging in the air! This includes the email facility as well, so keep your collective fingers crossed and hopefully nothing awkward will happen...

Latest Stiffs: 29th December 2015 by The Man in Black
[Picture of Lemmy]

Lemmy is finally dealt a dead man's hand...

Killed by Death

Rock singer Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister has died just two days after being diagnosed with terminal cancer. Lemmy was a roadie for the Jimi Hendrix Experience before joining space-rockers Hawkwind in 1971. He sang the lead vocal for their 1972 hit 'Silver Machine' before getting sacked in 1975. He then formed the speed-metal band Motörhead and enjoyed notable successes including the 1980 hit 'Ace of Spades' and the classic live album 'No Sleep 'til Hammersmith' in 1981. Lemmy was 70 and died just 47 days after Motörhead's erstwhile drummer "Philthy" Phil Taylor and is a unique hit for The Caulkhead Coffin Kickers.

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

Bollywood or bust for Quantick

Christmas Day produced a dramatic twist in the DDP championship. Sadhana Shivdasani was one of the most popular actresses in Indian cinema in the 1960s and 70s. Her fringe haircut became a style icon. Shivdasani retired from Bollywood in 1978. She died aged 74. Two teams scored party pooper points, Tentoesup and...David Quantick's Showbiz Pals! Had this hit been 24 hours either side of Xmas, then this would have made no difference to his position. But the party pooper bonus of 5 points has catapulted DQSP to 1st place and in prime position to claim an unprecendented hattrick of DDP titles. As Yogi Berra said, it aint over till it's over...

[Scorecard] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Party Pooper] = 12pts

Don knows Howe to die

Don Howe helped coach the England national football team to two major semi-final appearances in the space of five years in the early 1990s. He had a long association with Arsenal FC, playing, coaching and managing over several decades. Howe died aged 80 and was a second hit for Midlands theme team M6 Toll(ed).
Stevie Wright was the Leeds-born singer with Australian pop band The Easybeats, who enjoyed a massive hit single in 1966 with 'Friday on My Mind', which was later covered by David Bowie on his 1973 covers album 'Pin Ups'. Wright died aged 68 and was a hit for two teams.
Ellsworth Kelly was an American artist, a contemporary of Abstract Expressionist Mark Rothko and one that had his own, minimal, bold style of painting. Kelly was 92 and a unique hit for art-based theme team All Death Is Consolation.

[Scorecard] (Howe) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 9pts
[Scorecard] (Wright) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (2 teams) = 8pts
[Scorecard] (Kelly) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 8pts

Ezra pounded

Derek Ezra was chairman of the National Coal Board during a turbulent period in the British coal industry. Ezra joined the NCB in 1971 and there was a national strike the following year, followed by another in 1974 which was curtains for Ted Heath's government. Ezra was accused of lacking objectivity and when talk of pit closures in 1981 threatened to cause another national strike, Margaret Thatcher's government backed down, deciding to the bide their time, as history shows. Ezra got the blame for the climbdown and he was eased out of office in 1982 and later became a Liberal Democrat peer. Ezra was 96 and a hit for 2 teams, Bladerunner and former champion Drunkasaskunk.
As you all might be aware, there will be a few changes to what counts as a legitimate UK obit for the 2016 competition. Think of it like loopholes being closed. One of these is the use of foreign-language versions of the BBC news website, which has provided the points for a few team in recent years. Zhanna Friske was a Russian model and socialte, who died of a brain tumor back in June aged 40. Rather like soon-to-be-illegal tender being spent in the final days, so this Russian-language obit is belatedly conjured up, securing a unique hit for Chemo Sabee. A late consolation hit for a team which have had a disappointing year after a top ten finish in 2014...

[Scorecard] (Ezra) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (2 teams) = 5pts
[Scorecard] (Friske) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 13pts
Latest Stiffs: 21st December 2015 by The Man in Black
[Picture of Jimmy Hill]

Jim takes his demise on the chin

Despatch of the Day

One of the pioneering figures in English football, Jimmy Hill, has died of Alzheimer's disease. Hill played for Fulham FC but was best known for the innovations he introduced into British football from the 1960s to the 80s. He was at the forefront for the removal of the salary cap in 1961, which paved the way for the multi-millionaire footballers of today. As manager (then later chairman) of Coventry City, he introduced all-seater stadia, official club songs and altered the team's kit to sky blue, with nickname to match. In 1967 he quit City to join the fledgling LWT, creating 'The Big Match' for ITV in 1968. In 1970, Hill added punditry to football matches during the World Cup in Mexico. But he's best known as an often controversial and outspoken presenter of BBC's 'Match of the Day' from 1973-1988. He was famously pilloried by the Scots in 1982 for underplaying David Narey's fine opener against Brazil as "a toe poke". Hill's idea for 3 points for a win came in 1981 and has been adopted by most European leagues since. In short, he was a one off. Hill was 87 and a hit 21 teams including your humble host...

[Scorecard] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (21 teams) = 6pts

Greville's grave verdict

Former Labour MP Greville Janner has died. Janner represented Leicester North West (later Leicester West) from 1970-1997, succeeding his father Barnett Janner. Janner was dogged for many years with rumours, then later outright allegations over child abuse for many years. Only last week, the DPP (not the DDP!) decided that he was not sufficiently fit for trial. And it seems that decision was borne out with his death from Alzheimer's disease aged 87. Janner was a hit fro 4 teams and it would have been more had he hung on into 2016...
Louisa Colpeyn was a Belgian actress and mother of the 2014 Nobel Prize winner for Literature Patrick Modiano. Colpeyn died back in January aged 97 but mentions of her death in UK media were hard to find. That was until this mention in the Guardian in October is just enough to secure the points for theme team Death is (a) Relative. Might be some sort of record that - 301 days from death to points!

[Scorecard] (Janner) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (4 teams) = 6pts
[Scorecard] (Colpeyn) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 8pts
Latest Stiffs: 12th December 2015 by The Man in Black
[Picture of Holly Woodlawn]

Holly's 15 minutes are up...

Holly came from Miami DOA

Trangender "Superstar" Holly Woodlawn has died. Born as Haroldo Santiago Franceschi Rodriguez Danhakl in Puerto Rico, Woodlawn having changed genders (although refusing surgery), fell in with Andy Warhol's coterie of superstars at The Factory in New York in the late 1960s. She starred in the films 'Trash' and 'Women in Revolt' and was famously name-checked by Lou Reed in his 1973 hit single 'Walk on the Wild Side'. An appropriate death in a year where transgenderism has become a hot topic in these "fluid" times. Woodlawn died of brain cancer aged 69 and just in the nick of time for theme team Death Sings Our Name, who get a unique hit just as other teams were eyeing her up for 2016...

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

Store closed for Mr. Rumbold...

Nicholas Smith was a British character actor who found fame in the 1970s as the ever-harrassed store manager of Grace Bros. department store Cuthbert Rumbold in the hit sitcom 'Are You Being Served?', which became something of a cult hit in the USA as well as lasting over a decade on British TV. It leaves the main cast of the show down to the bare bones. Smith was 81 and a hit for four teams.

[Scorecard] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (4 teams) = 6pts

Chuck, Marg and Elsie Tu

Hands up who's heard of Chuck Williams? No, I haven't either. Williams made his fortune on providing high-quality kitchen utensils and cookware for chefs and would-be culinary geniuses. His Williams-Sonoma retail still making a cool $4bn although Williams sold the chain in 1979. Williams was 100 and a unique hit for DDP veteran The Vyrdolak. If he isn't cremated then there's no justice...
Now a late hit from November. Marjorie Lord was a veteran American actress who starred in the 1950s sitcom 'Make Room for Daddy' about two widowed parents with the actor Danny Thomas. Lord's daughter Anne Archer also became an actress, later nominated for a Best Suporting Actress Oscar. Lord died aged 97 and was a hit for two theme teams.
Elsie Tu was a Newcastle-born political activist who moved to Hong Kong in the 1950s, becoming an outspoken critic of colonialism and child labour exploitation. When the time came for Hong Kong's ending of offical ties to Britian in 1997, she was accused of having a pro-China stance. Tu died aged 102. This obit is likely to the last of it's kind to win points (as it does for two theme teams) as from next year, the rules of qualification are being refined so that only english language obits count...

[Scorecard] (Williams) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 7pts
[Scorecard] (Lord) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (2 teams) = 5pts
[Scorecard] (Tu) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (2 teams) = 4pts

List of the Lost - Latest Entrants

Buddy Moreno, Alexander Vraciu, Rolf Bossi, M0niqu3 Atkin5, Jason Wingreen, Vernon Jenkins

List of the Missed - Latest Entrants

Akiyuki Nosaka, Ingeborg Sjöqvist, Kurt Masur, Topazia Alliata, Haskell Wexler, Meadowlark Lemon, Natalie Cole, Haskell Wexler

Player of the Month - November

Last Gasp Saloonand The Funky Faz's Crypt Of Chortles - 15 points

Latest News

Pop star Justin Bieber has the Xmas number 1 snatched from his fingers by a choir. The Living End have just had the same sinking feeling! See you next year... The Theme Team League is updated for November with Red-Flagged still in the lead.

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, The Grey Horde, Thomas Jefferson Survives, Bibliogryphon, David Quantick's Showbiz Pals, Dickie's Gone the Way of the Dinosaurs & The End Of The World As We Know It

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[DDP 2015]