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 to 2017 by The Man In Black. From 2018, Spade Cooley is host...


Latest Stiffs: 26th December 2018 by Spade Cooley

[Picture of Penny Marshall]

Aaga, Kicks, The Interrogated, Seize the Indifels, Chance...

the penny drops

As preparations for the 2019 DDP continue apace, we present the last update in the old DDP format. Accordingly, as I plough through the hundreds of entries you have sent in, this will be a slightly abridged update of stiffs.

Penny Marshall made her TV debut in an advert for Head and Shoulders, playing the “Homely Girl” in contrast to Farah Fawcett’s “Pretty Girl”. She rose to fame as Laverne DeFazio in “Happy Days”, with her character (along with Cindy Williams’ Shirley Feeney) earning themselves a hit spin-off show in the shape of “Laverne and Shirley”. She later became a director, was the first woman to direct a $100m at the US box office (“Big”) and also gave us quintessentially early 90s flicks like “Awakenings”, “A League of their Own” and “The Preacher’s Wife”. Surviving a battle with lung cancer in the early 2010s, she’s now succumbed to diabetes complications aged 75 and is a hit for four teams.

UK born-actor Donald Moffat moved to the US in the mid-1960s, blaming “class issues” for his decision, and had a 40-year career stateside. He was perhaps most famous for playing the US president in both “Clear and Present Danger” and “The Right Stuff”. He can catch up with Sam Shepard for the latter’s reunion now, dying aged 87.

The oldest-surviving FWA Footballer of the Year, Bill Slater, has now abdicated that title. The last ever amateur to play in the FA Cup final (for Blackpool in 1951), Slater joined Wolves as a part-time professional in 1952. He went on to make 339 appearances, win three league titles as Wolverhampton briefly became the home of tactical innovations and represented England at the 1958 World Cup. He died aged 91 from Alzheimer’s-related complications.

Girma Wolde-Giorgis served as the second-ever president of Ethiopia, holding the post from 2001 to 2013. He died, aged 93, just 13 days before his birthday.

A very popular DDP pick in previous years, Sean Garland has finally died as a unique pick in 2018. A devoted Marxist, he was a controversial figure both inside and out of the Irish republican movement – indeed, he survived an INLA assassination attempt in 1975. In later years he was accused of ferrying counterfeit US dollars out of North Korea to help fund Workers' Party of Ireland operations. Having claimed numerous health issues in the early 2010s, he’s now died aged 84.

One of the last remaining Soviet dissidents, Lyudmila Alexeyeva has now died aged 91. Expelled from the Communist Party in 1968, she worked for the underground bulletin “The Chronicle of Current Events” before fleeing the USSR in 1977 for the US.

And finally, last time out we spoke of author Vanessa Lafaye getting a qualifying obit after eight months. That possible record has been smashed already: Nigel Sims died on January 6th, but didn’t get a QO until December 20th, when the BBC included him in its round-up of 2018’s sporting deaths. Sims played 264 games for Aston Villa between 1956 and 1964, winning the 1957 FA Cup and the first-ever League Cup in 1961. He died at the age of 86.

Latest Stiffs: 9th December 2018 by Spade Cooley

[Picture of George HW Bush]

Apologies to Bob Guccione, but that's twice this year we've got rid of Bush...

read my blue lips - no more bush sr

The biggest hit of the year in terms of raw numbers has come in the shape of George HW Bush. Born in Massachusetts but making his political career in Texas, Bush first came to national attention when he was made the head of the Republican National Committee just prior to the Watergate scandal. In 1980 he became vice president under Ronald Reagan, and was particularly associated with the Reagan administration’s Just Say No campaign. In 1988 he came the first sitting vice president to win a general election in 152 years, and promptly set about a four-year reign best remembered for the Gulf War, a recession and him throwing up over the prime minister of Japan. His post-presidency years saw him unexpectedly become a respected elder statesman of American politics, despite his son’s bumbling eight years in the same role and allegations of him being handsy with carers. Bush Sr’s wife passed on in February of this year, and he’s now followed her to the pearly gates aged 94. A gigantic 145 teams get the points, and the Drop 40 claims its 13th name of the year. Too late to break 2017’s record?

Crack out the Lurpak, Bernardo Bertolucci is dead. The son of an Italian poet, Bertolucci struck up an early friendship with the Italian director and philosopher Pier Paolo Pasolini. His first film was an adaptation of Pasolini’s script “The Grim Reaper”. However, his most famous works were 1987’s multi-Oscar winning “The Last Emperor” – which was the first western film made in Communist China – and 1972’s “Last Tango In Paris” – where Marlon Brando butters up his cock. Some of his latter works may have veered on the side of pretentious drivel – “Little Budha” in particular – and his methods of treating actors remained controversial, but he was still regarded as the key Italian director of the 1980s. He died aged 77 and was a unique hit for theme outfit 16 Is The Number.

Starting off as a tea boy at Marylebone Studios in London, over the next 50 years Nicolas Roeg climbed the greasy pole until he was widely seen as the best British director of his generation. Unafraid to play around with narrative or timelines, as both a cinematographer and director Roeg was associated with a refusal to adhere to a chronological timeline. His work was a clear influence on the likes of Christopher Nolan, Danny Boyle and both Scott brothers. Also, with “Walkabout”, he began that great movie tradition of Jenny Agutter getting her baps out. He died aged 90 and was a unique hit for Unusual Suspects.

boom goes the dynamite

One of the most influential in-ring workers of all time, “Dynamite Kid” Tom Billington somehow managed to stand out as a particularly loathsome individual even in the crowded field of professional wrestling assholes. Debuting for Max Crabtree in the mid-1970s, his career really took off when he moved to Canada and started teaming with his cousin Davey Boy Smith as The British Bulldogs in Stampede Wrestling. Over the following 20 years he would redefine what it meant to be a light-heavyweight wrestler, influence most of the great workers of the next two decades and fall out with 99% of the people he came into contact with. From having his teeth knocked out by the Rougeau Brothers to waking his wife up by poking a shotgun in her mouth, it was never a quiet time with our Tommy. Multiple in-ring injuries piled up, leaving him crippled, bankrupt and living off government handouts back in Lancashire. As a final rib, he died on his 60th birthday, giving points to three teams and sending Warning: Dying Can Be Hazardous To Your Health into the top 10 late on in the game.

Few Tory grandees will receive a positive a send-off as Barroness Trumpington earned. Born into the upper echelons of society, she was a socialite and promising tennis player in her younger years. However, she entered politics in the early 60s, progressing from councillor to mayor to an eventual role as minister of state for agriculture under both Thatcher and Major. In her later years she was a regular face on television, a campaigner for sex worker rights and even managed viral fame when a photo of her giving the “V” sign in the House of Lords swept the internet. She was 95 at death and a hit for four teams.

Historical author Vanessa Lafaye was born in Florida but made the UK her home, settling in Marlborough. Diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009, she didn’t allow it to slow her down and her debut novel, “Summertime”, was a best-seller and selected for the Richard and Judy Book Club. Praise from Caesar. Lafaye died in February of this year, and it looked like she was set to joint the massed List of the Lost ranks when no word of her passing made the papers. However, a solitary use of “the late Vanessa Lafaye” in this piece from The I gives her the distinction of getting what is almost certainly the latest QO in DDP history. She was 55 on her passing and six teams get points they had given up on eight months prior. Among those outfits are Ethnic Cleansing and The Blight House, who move into 5th and 6th place respectively.

who lives in a pine coffin under the soil?

Stephen Hillenburg!Except he doesn’t because he was cremated and had his ashes spread at sea. Hillenburg was a marine biologist who, in his late 20s, decided to go for a career change. Studying animation, he was offered a job on cult Nickelodeon series “Rocko’s Modern Life”. Having learned his chops with Rocko, Filburt, Heffer and the lads, he set about creating his masterpiece. “Spongebob Squarepants” debuted in 1999 and became a defining TV show for millennials, spawning countless memes, two movies and is still running to this day. Hillenburg was diagnosed with ALS in 2017, and while most DDPers reacted by saying “HiLlEnBuRg WaS dIaGnOsEd WiTh AlS iN 2017”, his death a year later at 57 scores a unique hit for Corpse, Like The Marines, Except Spelt Differently.

Character actor George A Cooper enjoyed a 50-year career on screen and film in the UK. He was crooked businessman Willie Piggott in “Coronation Street”, Billy Liar’s father in both the stage and small-screen adaptation and Mr Fitzpatrick in the classic Albert Finney version of “Tom Jones”. However, he’ll probably be best remembered as the janitor Mr Griffiths on “Grange Hill”, who cleaned up students’ shit for seven years in the 80s and 90s. He’s now put his broom down for good aged 93. Two teams get the points.

No interesting Belgians? Let’s see if we can disprove that throughout the course of this next obit. Albert Frere was Belgium’s wealthiest man, having a worth of $5.2m at the time of his death. Frere left education at 17, taking control of his late father’s nail merchant business. Expanding into the wider steel industry, by the age of 50 he had a near-monopoly over Charleroi’s steel factories. Selling his enterprises to the state just ahead of the late 70s steel crash, he used the Swiss holding company Pargesa to buy and sell some of Belgium’s biggest companies, including Petrofina and Tractabel. Nope, still dull. He died aged 92 and was a unique for Most Unique Picks 2018. Who don’t have the most unique picks in 2018.

List of the Lost - Latest Entrants

Scott Matzka, Tulsi Giri, Peter Overton

List of the Missed - Latest Entrants

Harry Leslie Smith, Riccardo Giacconi

Player(s) of the Month - November

Falling Off The Perch ,Mortem Omnibus ,Open the Pearly Gates ,Well, it was a decent innings… - 34 points

Latest News

The coupon-buster of 2018Marieke Vervoort , is hospitalised again. You can't drop her for 2019 now can you.... Rumours at press time that Sister Wendy Beckett has gone to that great art gallery in the sky ...

Further Information

Rules & Scoring

E-mail Spade Cooley with any questions/comments about the DDP:


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 2018]

Current Year

Who's dead so far?
List of the Lost
List of the Missed
A to Z list of teams
A to Z list of celebrities
Drop Forty
Theme Team League
The Obituary Vault
Last Year
Golden Slumbers
(168 points, 16 hits)


A brief history of dead pools
DDP stats & facts

Previous winners

David Quantick's Showbiz Pals (4)
David Quantick's Showbiz Pals (3)
David Quantick's Showbiz Pals (2)
David Quantick's Showbiz Pals
The Living End (3)
The Living End (2)
Octopus of Odstock
 Tonight, Matthew, I'm Going To Be Badly-Torn Boy
The Living End
Meet Your Maker (2)
Meet Your Maker
Fallen Sparrow
Otis, You Want A Treat?
Whittaker's Choice
MT Graves
Drunkasaskunk (2)
Nick J (2)
Nick J