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: 7th September 2016 by The Man in Black

Allo (and goodbye) Vera

Just three months now before DDP 2017 kicks off with it's nominations, but there's still plenty of action going on in 2016... Czech athlete Vera Cáslavská was a star of Olympic gymnastics in the pre-Korbut age, winning seven gold medals in three Olympic games in the 1960s. But the last of her appearances coincided with the aftermath of the 'Prague Spring' in 1968, when the Soviet Union crushed a political uprising in her home country. Cáslavská marked the event with a notable protest when Soviet opposition won gold. This effectively ended her career as the Czech authorities disowned her. She was welcomed back into the fold following the 'Velvet Revolution' of 1989. Cáslavská died aged 74. Six teams picked her, including The Living End and Heading Nowhere, both notching up their 16th hit, with the latter moving ahead of current champion David Quantick's Showbiz Pals into 1st place... ...this was to last three days! Rowena Kincaid was a researcher at BBC Wales who when facing terminal cancer, made two documentaries on how to make the best use of her time left. She was not expected to last past 40 but she did. A baker's dozen of teams had chosen her and it's a record 17th hit for the year for David Quantick's Showbiz Pals, who retains (or is it regains?) the lead, and a whopping total of 155 points! Onto the rest. Phyllis Schlafly was a lawyer and conservative activist. She was a leading figure in preventing the inactment of the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s, acting on the premise that this would have removed certain privileges for women, such as avoiding the draft. She died aged 92 of cancer with theme team Dykes getting a unique hit. Could be an ironic pick, that one... Actor Hugh O'Brian played the title role in the US western TV series 'The Life And Legend of Wyatt Earp' in the 1950s. Considered the first western series aimed at an adult audience, the show made O'Brian a star. O'Brian was 91 and a unique hit for theme team The afterLife of Brian. The Right Rev. David Jenkins was Bishop of Durham from 1984 to 1994 and was one of a number of thorns in Margaret Thatcher's side in the 1980s. He was also famous for casting doubt on the vailidity of the virgin birth and the resurrection. He was 91 and a unique hit for Unusual Suspects.

[Scorecard] (Cáslavská) [Points] (6 teams) = 7pts [Joker](1 team) = 14pts
[Scorecard] (Kincaid) [Points] (13 teams) = 10pts [Joker](1 team) = 20pts
[Scorecard] (Schlafly) [Points] + [Unique] = 8pts
[Scorecard] (O'Brian) [Points] + [Unique] = 8pts
[Scorecard] (Jenkins) [Points] + [Unique] = 8pts
Latest Stiffs: 30th August 2016 by The Man in Black
[Picture of the Gene Wilder Meme]

"So shines a good deed in a weary world..."

The Hearse of Gene Wilder

One of America's best-loved comic actors Gene Wilder has died. Born Jerome Silberman, Wilder first caught the eye in Mel Brooks' 1968 black comedy 'The Producers' as the nervy accountant Leo Bloom and the two would collaborate again on in the hit spoof comedies 'Blazing Saddles' (1974) and 'Young Frankenstien' (1975). He would also enjoy a fruitful comedy partnership with Richard Pryor, their best work being the Sidney Poitier directed 'Stir Crazy' in 1980. But judging by the reaction to his passing both on social and mainstream media, it seems his quirky portrayal as the title character in 'Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory' in 1971 is what he'll be best remembered for. Ironically the film tanked on it's original release before enjoying a new lease of life on TV and video. Wilder was 83 and a hit for ten teams. Wonka bars for all of them!

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

Scheel hit

Walter Scheel was a German liberal politician who was a key figure in the development of the "Ostpolitik" policy of greater relations with the Soviet Union in the 1970s. His FDP party went into coalition with Willy Brandt's SPD to form West Germany's first post-war centre-left government in 1969, an arrangement that lasted into the 1980s. Scheel later became Federal President from 1974 to 1979. He was 97 and a hit for six teams, most of them theme teams.

[Scorecard] [Points] (6 teams) = 5pts

Harry is nothing but flotsam and Jepson

Harry Jepson devoted much of his life to the fortunes of the Rugby League team Leeds Rhinos. Jepson joined the club in the 1960s before rising to become president in 1983. Jepson was also a key figure in the sports move to summer rugby with the arrival of the Super League in 1996. Jepson was 96 and a unique hit for William Hague's Special Friend. Rudy Van Gelder was a jazz audio engineer who helped create the modern jazz sound on recordings such as John Coltrane's masterpeice LP 'A Love Supreme' and Herbie Hancock's 'Maiden Voyage' in 1965 for the famous Blue Note jazz label. Van Gelder died aged 91, earning See You In Heaven a unique hit bonus. Nice! Binyamin Ben-Eliezer was an Iraqi-born Israeli politician and diplomat. Ben-Eliezer enjoyed a good working relationship with Egypt's former dictator Hosni Mubarak in the period following Israel's peace agreement with it's former enemy. He was later Defence minister under Ariel Sharon in the early 2000s Ben-Eliezer died aged 80 just as he was about to be tried for corruption charges, so he dodged a bullet there! Aptly, The Policies Of Benjamin Netanyahu get a unique hit. Actor Steven Hill was a contemporary of Marlon Brando and Montgomery Clift at the Actor's Studio in New York and looked set to join them as stars, landing the lead role in the first series of 'Mission: Impossible' in 1966. But Hill quit acting after that and became a salesman after becoming disillusioned. He later returned to acting and starred in the hit US series 'Law and Order' in 1990, remaining on the show for ten years. Hill was 94 and a unique hit for Obituarynotice.

[Scorecard] (Jepson) [Points] + [Unique] = 8pts
[Scorecard] (Van Gelder) [Points] + [Unique] = 8pts
[Scorecard] (Ben-Eliezer) [Points] + [Unique] = 9pts
[Scorecard] (Hill) [Points] + [Unique] = 8pts

Rix left in a fix

Actor and campaigner Brain Rix has died. Rix was a comedy star on stage, notable for his many "Whitehall farces" on the West End - mistaken identity, trousers falling down and so on - before quitting the business in 1977 so he could campaign for the learning disabilities charity Mencap , prompted by the somewhat shoddy treatment afforded to his eldest daughter, who had Down's syndrome. Rix was later made a peer and was latterly campaigning for assisted dying. Rix was 92 and a hit for three teams. Jean-Baptiste "Toots" Thielemans was a Belgian jazz musician specialising in the harmonica. He famously tooted the themes for 'Midnight Cowboy' and cult children's educational series 'Sesame Street' among many others. Thielemans was 94 and a unique hit for low countries theme team Minions Of Xuleneb. Actor Jack Riley earned himself cult status with the voice of Stu Pickles, the hapless toy inventor and father of Tommy and Dil in the children's cartoon series 'Rugrats', which began in 1991 and was later made into several films. Riley was also a regular in 'The Bob Newhart Show' in the 1960s. Riley was 80 and is yet another unique hit, this time for Moldy Oldies...

[Scorecard] (Rix) [Points] (3 teams) = 5pts
[Scorecard] (Thielemans) [Points] + [Unique] = 8pts
[Scorecard] (Riley) [Points] + [Unique] = 9pts
Latest Stiffs: 18th August 2016 by The Man in Black
[Picture of Sepp Blatter and Joao Havelange]

Two fine, upstanding pillars of society...

The Havelange of hits continues...

One of football's leading political figures, Joăo Havelange has died. Havelange was an Olympic swimmer in games either side of World War II. But it was football administration he turned to, becoming President of the Brazilian Sports Confederation before usurping the patrician figure of Sir Stanley Rous to Presidency of FIFA in 1974. Under Havelange's 24-year leadership, the World Cup doubled the number of teams taking part in the finals and there was an increase in commercial and corporate activity, as well as a then controversial award to the USA to host the 1994 World Cup. Havelange was later dogged by allegations of bribery in both his position as FIFA head and as a long-term member of the International Olympic Committee. He died aged 100 and is the 10th hit (one quarter) for the Drop 40.

[Scorecard] [Points] (40 teams) = 4pts [Joker](2 teams) = 8pts

Killer for Hiller

Canadian-born film director Arthur Hiller started in television before moving to Hollywood. Hiller's main specialism was comedies but his biggest hit was the blubfest that was 'Love Story' in 1970, starring Ryan O'Neill and Ali MacGraw, which boosted sales of Kleenex and was nominated for 7 Academy awards. Another notable hit was the 1976 comedy thriller 'Silver Streak' which featured the first team-up of Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor. Hiller was 92 and a hit for three teams including perennial cinema theme team You're Gonna Need a Bigger Coffin. Robert Goff was a Scottish judge who considered the father of restitution law which is...well you can find out about that yourselves! Goff was 89 and a unique hit for The Douglas Bader Dance Troupe 2016. Fyvush Finkel was a US character actor, a star of Yiddish theatre. He has a number of TV and film credits, including 'The Simpsons' and the Coen Brothers' 'A Serious Man'. Finkel was 93 and a hit for three teams.

[Scorecard] (Hiller) [Points] (3 teams) = 5pts
[Scorecard] (Goff) [Points] + [Unique] = 9pts
[Scorecard] (Finkel) [Points] (3 teams) = 5pts

Artoo dead too

Dwarf actor Kenny Baker ensured lasting cult fame with his role as the wily droid R2-D2 in the 'Star Wars' film franchise. He also appeared in another cult classic, as Fidgit in Terry Gilliam's 'Time Bandits' in 1981. Baker was 81 and among the teams scoring, there's a joker bonus for Star Wars theme team Wretched Hive Of Scum and Villainy. Glenn Yarborough was an American singer who was in the folk band the Limeliters before enjoying a solo career, the highlight being his 1965 hit 'Baby the Rain Must Fall'. Yarborough was 86 and a hit for a pair. Now one from July. Bobbie Heine Miller was South Africa's top female tennis player in the 1920s and 30s, winning the French Open doubles title with Irene Peacock in 1927. She died aged 106, a hit for 5 teams.

[Scorecard] (Baker) [Points] + [Unlucky Thirteen] (6 teams) = 8pts [Joker](1 team) = 16pts
[Scorecard] (Yarborough) [Points] (2 teams) = 6pts
[Scorecard] (Heine Miller) [Points] (5 teams) = 4pts

List of the Lost - Latest Entrants

Ray Wilson, Jacqueline Pagnol

List of the Missed - Latest Entrants

Bernardo Provenzano, Hanif Mohammad, Andrew Florent, Gloria DeHaven, Barbara Gibb, Alphons Egli, Sonia Rykiel, Harry Fujiwara (AKA Mr Fuji), Maria Knauder, Islom Karimov, John Polito

Player of the Month - July

And My Name Is Larry! and Dave's Dead, Aye Dead Drunk - 31 points

Latest News

Comedian Bill Cosby has his trial date for sexual assault charges set. He's apparently gone blind so he'll have to feel his way around. Shouldn't be a problem... The Theme Team League is updated for August with Shameless maintaining a healthy 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

Rules & Scoring

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]