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. 2016 marks the Twentieth Anniversary!

Latest Stiffs: 29th February 2016 by The Man in Black
[Picture of Father Ted]

Only Dougal remains of the holy trinity...

Oh feck! Jack's had it

Irish actor Frank Kelly has passed away. Kelly starred on Irish television for many years, most notably on satirical comedy show 'Hall's Pictorial Weekly' and enjoyed a Christmas novelty hit single in 1982 (1984 in the UK) with 'Christmas Countdown'. But it's as Father Jack Hackett, the permanently inebriated, foul-mouthed priest in Channel 4's magnificent sitcom 'Father Ted' which ran from 1995 to 1998, for which he'll be best remembered. Kelly died aged 77, 18 years to the day after his co-star Dermot Morgan. Theme team On The Box/In The Box will be raising a "DRINK!" to Father Jack, although that would be an ecumenical matter...

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

Slocome's and goes

Cinematographer Douglas Slocome has shot his final reel. Slocome was one of the first to capture action in the Second World War before being employed by the famous Ealing studios after WWII. He went on to shoot the classics 'The Lavender Hill Mob' and 'Kind Hearts and Coronets' before being employed by the likes of Steven Speilberg and Joseph Losey. He was 103 and a hit for 8 teams, including former TTL winner Gray Panthers. And it would require a Herculean effort for the theme teams to catch Shameless, who has notched up another hit, this time a teenager for another unique hit for the controversial team. Shameless returns to the overall lead, aiming for a remarkable double-league win...

[Scorecard] (Slocombe) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (8 teams) = 4pts
[Scorecard] (E@de5) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 15pts

Eric winkles out

Eric "Winkle" Brown was a test pilot who over 50 years flew over 400 different types of aircraft, took part in the Battle of Britain and thanks to his fluency in German, interrogated Hermann Göring and other Nazis, when WWII ended in 1945. Brown was denied a place in aviation history when the M52 jet project was cancelled in 1946, just as it was close to producing the first plane to break the sound barrier and as Brown was the RAF's leading test pilot, he would have almost certainly got the gig. Brown was 97 and was a hit for three teams. Sonny James was a country & western singer who enjoyed his biggest success in 1956 with 'Young Love' and enjoyed a number successes in the 1960s. He was 87 and a hit for another trio of teams. Samuel Willenberg was interned at the Nazi death camp in Treblinka, Poland before making a daring escape with several others in 1943. He survived, fighting for the Polish resistance and after the war later settled in Israel. He was known to be the last survivor of the death camp. He died aged 93 and is a unique hit for DDP veteran Brown Bananas. Sir Erik Christopher Zeeman was a British mathematician who set up Warwick University's mathematics department in 1964 which is now considered one of the finest in the World. He was 91. Another obit from the Guardian ensures a first hit for theme team Next slide, please.

[Scorecard] (Brown) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (3 teams) = 5pts
[Scorecard] (James) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (3 teams) = 6pts
[Scorecard] (Willenberg) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 8pts
[Scorecard] (Zeeman) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] + [Unlucky Thirteen] = 10pts
Latest Stiffs: 20th February 2016 by The Man in Black
[Picture of Harper Lee]

One last cigarette for Harper

To Kill a Mockingbird's author

The woman who wrote one of the most famous novels of the 20th Century, Harper Lee has died. In 1960, Lee published 'To Kill A Mockingbird', a novel about an upstanding southern American lawyer defendng a black man falsely accused of the rape of a white girl. It became an instant best-seller and almost mandatory reading in high schools across America and beyond. Lee led a reclusive life (not unlike another "one hit wonder" J. D. Salinger) and did not publish again until only last year, when a prequel featuring a somewhat less sympathetic Atticus Finch was released to much surprise. Lee was 89 and a hit for 21 teams including DDP founder Big Iain, who gets his first hit since September 2006!

[Scorecard] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (21 teams) = 6pts [Joker](1 team) = 12pts

Eco-disaster for Umberto

And staying with literature, Umberto Eco was one of Italy's leading philosophers, particuarly in the field of semiotics and postmodernism. He broke through as an author in 1980 with 'The Name of the Rose', a typically postmodern piece which told a medieval mystery using a varety of different literary techniques. It was later made into a film starring Sean Connery. Eco was 84 and was a unique hit for literature theme team Book Em Danno.

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

A Fast exit for Boutros-Boutros Ghali

Bouro-Boutros Ghali became the first arab to be UN Secretary-General in 1992, a period in which the World was still reeling from the end of the Cold War. Before that he was Egypt's Foreign minister, serving under both Anwar Sidat and his successor Hosni Mubarek. But it's his name which catches the eye (and ear), used mercilessly by comedy sketch show The Fast Show as a sign off in their imagined Iberian state television station. Ghali was 93 and a hit for 7 teams. Scorchio!

[Scorecard] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (7 teams) = 5pts

More Gaynes and losses

George Gaynes was a Finland-born US actor who starred in all SEVEN of the 'Police Academy' series of comedy films featuring incompetent coppers straight off the street as Commandant Eric Lassard. Best recognised for his tremulous speaking voice brought sharp relief in an infamous scene when the Commandant is accidentially-on-purpose given a BJ. He was also known as the veteran soap actor John Van Horn in 'Tootsie', trying (and failing) to get into Dustin Hoffman's pants. Gaynes was 98 and a hit for 13 teams who all did verrry, verrry weell... Eric Lubbock wrote himself into modern Liberal Democrat history when he won an against-the-odds by-election victory at Orpington in 1962, a moment which arguably kicked-started modern British liberal politics. He served as an MP until 1970. Lubbock was later made a peer and continued to be involved in a host of liberal causes. His death at 87 ironically comes at a time when once again British liberal politics is at a low ebb after their cataclysmic election defeat last year. 16 teams don't care about all that... I suppose this is the appropriate moment to tuck away this person's unfortunate demise at the age of 22, suffice to say it propels Heading Nowhere into the top 3.

[Scorecard] (Gaynes) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (13 teams) = 5pts
[Scorecard] (Lubbock) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (16 teams) = 6pts [Joker](1 team) = 12pts
[Scorecard] (P@t3m@n) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 15pts

The Dead Raiola*

Angela Raiola was born into the Mob. She was the neice of Salvatore "Sally Dogs" Lombardi and was involved in all sorts of nefarious activities, including narcotics, for which she was arrested in 2001. That didn't stop her becoming a reality TV star, courtesy of the 'Mob Wives' TV show, which later gave her her own spin off, 'Big Ang' (not sure why she's called that, maybe she had big eyes?). Anyway, Big Ang died from cancer aged 55 and was a hit for 3 teams. Ali Brownlee was a local radio football commentator for BBC Tees, thus following the up and down fortunes of Middlesborough FC from 1982 to 2015. Hasn't he suffered enough? The "Voice of the Boro" died aged 56 with a brace of teams scoring. This one missed out of the last update (as Samuel Willenberg has of this one!). Tom Pugh played both county cricket (for Gloucestershire) and "rackets" (a sort of squash-like sport) and was reputedly up for the role of James Bond, losing out to Sean Connery (I've mentioned him twice in this update, an omen?). Pugh was 78 and an appropriate single for cricket theme team A Good Captain's Innings... * - one for the hipsters!

[Scorecard] (Raiola) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (3 teams) = 9pts
[Scorecard] (Brownlee) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (2 teams) = 9pts
[Scorecard] (Pugh) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 10pts
Latest Stiffs: 11th February 2016 by The Man in Black

Green Gartside

Phil Gartside became chairman of Bolton Wanderers FC in 1999 and the steered the club to a successful but ultimately costly period in the Noughties, culminating in a couple of appearances in European competition. His passing aged 63 of cancer however, has come at an awkward time for the Trotters as they are currently mired in debt run up during Gartside's tenure and near the bottom of the Championship. Gartside ws a hit for 11 teams, including last year's runner-up and third place teams... Sushil Koirala was a veteran Nepali politician who rose to the highest office late in his career, becoming President of the Nepali Congress in 2010 and then Prime MInister in 2014, serving for 20 months before standing down. Koirala was 76 and a unique hit for theme team Hell To The Chief. Now another one of those picks. 50nny Lang was a young gymnast who suffered from the genetic condition cystic fibrosis. She was said to have the heart and lungs of an eighty year old, so the inevitable happened at the age of only 23. Cancerous Hatred get a unique/joker hit. One wonders why this game hasn't gone mainstream...

[Scorecard] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (11 teams) = 8pts [Joker](2 teams) = 16pts
[Scorecard] (Koirala) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 10pts
[Scorecard] (Lang) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] + [Joker] = 30pts

Early adjournment for Harpham

Harry Harpham was a formere coal miner who took part in the divisive miner's strike of 1984. In May 2015 he was elected the member for Sheffield Brightside & Hillsborough but has died of cancer aged 61 after serving for only 273 days, the shortest duration for a Labour MP for 26 years. Theme Team Dead Commons get a unique/joker hit. Now for a couple of Edgars. Edgar Whitcomb was a US politician who escaped from a Japanese POW camp in World War II. He was Governor of Indiana from 1969-73 before changing track completely and set about sailing around the World. He was 98 and a hit for 2 teams. I think we can safely say that Edgar Mitchell trumped Whitcomb in the travel stakes. Sailing around the World, pah! What about geting to the moon and back? Mitchell was a member of the Apollo 14 crew who touched down on the lunar surface in January 1971 alongside the legendary Alan Shepard, the very first American in space. The effect of the trip certainly affected Mitchell, who went on the claim the existence of UFOs and indulged in the paranormal. Mitchell was 85 and a unique hit for Lidder's Late Lamentables Chr1sty O'D0nn3ll campagined for a right-do-die law in her home state of California after being diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. She died aged 47 with Shovelful of Dirt getting a unique hit.

[Scorecard] (Harpham) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] + [Joker] = 22pts
[Scorecard] (Whitcomb) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (2 teams) = 5pts
[Scorecard] (Mitchell) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 9pts
[Scorecard] (O'Donnell) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 13pts

List of the Lost - Latest Entrants

Andre Timb3rl@ke-Ev@ns, Majestik Magnificent

List of the Missed - Latest Entrants

Artur Fischer, Óscar Humberto Mejía Victores, Norman Hudis, Zdravko Tolimir, John McCafferty, Antonin Scalia, Ronnie Blackman, Jack Lindquist

Player of the Month - January

David Quantick's Showbiz Pals - 53 points (a record?)

Latest News

The BBC sack veteran DJ Tony Blackburn after a near-50 year association. A sacrificial lamb? 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, 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

[DDP 2016]