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: 19th May 2018 by Spade Cooley

[Picture of Tessa Jowell]

This year's DDP had more Jowells than Richard Nixon...

deadpoolers cash in their tessa

And yes, I appreciate most of you are too young or too American to get that pun. Tessa Jowell credited a family trip to watch “Spartacus” at her local multiplex as sparking her interest in left-wing politics. However, she was never one for sword-swinging revolution, and existed firmly on the pariahed-but-actually-wins-elections centre of the party. Indeed, she was seen by many as the ultimate “Blair Babe”- the spate of middle class, university educated, second-wave feminists who came into government in the late 90s - and once admitted she’d “throw herself in front of a bus” to save Big Tone. Her main achievement was convincing the cabinet to throw their full weight behind a bid for London to host the 2012 Summer Olympics. The less said about super casinos, her London mayoral bid and her husband’s friends in Italy, the better...

In September 2017 she announced she had a brain tumour (which she privately nicknamed “Momentum”, showing a sense of humour rarely displayed in public) and immediately put deadpoolers worldwide on notice. A total of 66 teams cash in on her death at 70, with TJ hooked as our seventh drop 40 casualty of 2018.

The curse of Superman can add another name to its necrolog, in the shape of Margot Kidder. Kidder played Lois Lane to Christopher Reeve’s Man of Steel in four movies, from the original quite good 1978 outing through to Superman 4: The Quest for Peace, in which budget restraints meant a New York street scene was filmed outside Milton Keynes train station. However, to modern audiences she was less famous for her acting roles, or even her private life (she counted Brian De Palma and Pierre Trudeau among her long-time lovers) than her 1996 mental breakdown, which made her a reliable target for late night comedians for a good decade. She has now died 69 and theme team She’s a Goner can tear their hair out in a stranger’s back garden.

In the days before Grindr and Hornet, you had to put the hours in to spread fear throughout the gay community with a string of brutal murders. Dennis Nilsen killed at least 12 men between 1978 and 1983, picking up young, often homeless victims from London’s gay bars and bringing them home, whereupon he would strangle them with a ligature. He would then masturbate over their corpses, but not penetrate them. Some people just can’t top…. His activities flew under the radar of the Met and if it wasn’t for a drainage company spotting what they thought was KFC (it was actually flesh from Stephen Sinclair, who Nilsen had murdered as they watched “Tommy” on TV) in the pipes, he would have racked up an even higher body count. He’s on the other side of the tally chart now though, dying aged 72. The Good, The Bad and Steve Buscemi grab the unique hit.

Widely known as the grand dame of Scottish theatre, Edith MacArthur found fame to a wider audience in the early 1980s by playing Lady Cunningham in mind-numbing daytime soap opera “Take The High Road”. She played every major stage role going for an pensionable woman (Miss Daisy, Jean Brodie) and was also the person who told a teenage David Tennant that he should consider acting as a career. Yeah, cheers for that. She’s taken the permanent high road aged 92 and is a unique hit for And Yet You Had Space for Sinead O'Connor.

me, decayed

The man who revolutionised journalism by wearing a white suit in winter, Tom Wolfe, is dead. Getting his break writing about custom cars for Esquire magazine, Wolfe was a founding father of the so-called “new journalism”, in which writers play with form, narrative and insert themselves into the story at every possible juncture under the delusion they’re interesting. His legacy lives on in the form of every Guardian opinion piece writer. Switching to be a writer rather than a hack in the 70s, his most famous works included The Me Decade and the so-called “book of the 80s”, Bonfire of the Vanities. He dies aged 88 and is a unique hit for theme team Cashier Number 88 Please.

Born into a film family (she was J Arthur Rank’s niece), Anne V Coates was no nepotistic cautionary tale. Joining Pinewood Studios at a young age, she quickly became one of the most respected film editors around, winning the 1963 Oscar for her work on “Lawrence of Arabia”. Her career stretched some 70 years altogether, up until 2015’s “50 Shades of Gray”. She was awarded the Lifetime Achievement award at last year’s Academy ceremony, a sure sign your time is up, and accordingly she’s now died aged 92. 12 Lords A-Leaving, 8 Ladies Dying score a unique hit.

Upon moving to a former fruit farm considered useless for agriculture in 1960, Beth Chatto and her husband (Chatto of “& Windus” fame’s grandson) were told there was little chance of maintaining a garden. Just twenty years later her grounds, now known as “Beth Chatto’s Garden”, were a nationwide tourist attraction, and her reputation as one of the 20th century’s greatest plantsmen was further written as she won ten gold medals at the Chelsea Flower Show. However, she’s now pushing up the daisies rather than planting them at the age of 94, and Lidders Late Lamentables score the unique.

Ermanno Olmi was the last of the Italian neorealist film directors, focussing on post-World War II Italy and often using non-professional actors in leading roles and realistic settings. His masterpiece was the 1978 outing “The Tree of Wooden Clogs”, which looked at the lives of a Lombardian farming community unaware that the seeds of revolution were being planted around them. He’s now popped his wooden clogs aged 86, and Obscura Camera get the unique.

it's a shame about ray

Sports writers looking for an easy introduction paragraph were given one when Ray Wilson, part of the 1966 World Cup-winning England squad, died just as Gareth Southgate was announcing his Three Lions team for this summer’s second-round elimination to Colombia. And at least Ray never had to watch that stage school announcement video. Arguably the most low-key and least famous of the side that triumphed over West Germany, Wilson was also the oldest member of the team and played every minute of the tournament. Upon retirement, he became an undertaker, so hopefully he’d have appreciated the role he plays in this year’s DDP: death at 83 sees seven teams score, and puts Ethnic Cleansing up into second place.

Doug Ford is dead. Not the brother of DDP alum Rob Ford who is currently running for political office in Canada, but the PGA Hall of Famer who was, until he dropped dead at 95, the oldest living Major winner. Douglas Michael Fortunato, as he was christened, triumphed in the 1955 PGA Championship and the 1957 Masters. He was still playing when the 1997 Masters (Tiger Woods’ first Major) came around, shooting a tidy 35 over par. Theme team In The Hole! get the unique.

Peter Byrne was an Italia Conti-trained actor who gained his place in the British TV firmament by playing Andy Crawford in “Dixon of Dock Green” – originally Dixon’s sidekick, he later became the series’ main character as the show tried to throw off its cuddy, Auntie Beeb reputation and keep up with the edgier cop shows of the 1970s. He also played Derek in the nadir of situation comedies, “Bread”. It’s from this show that he finds a place in theme team Where’s Me Coffin, upon his death at 90.

There’s a changing of the guard for the title of America’s Oldest Person. The former trophy holder, Delphine Gibson, has died aged 114. Born three months before the invention of the windscreen wiper, Gibson was a brickyard worker who spent the last 20 years of her life registered blind. The title is now passed on to Cleveland, Ohio’s very own Lessie Brown.

Latest Stiffs: 5th May 2018 by Spade Cooley

[Picture of Michael Martin]

Gorbals Mick with some of his favourite things...

speaker blown out

Michael Martin began and ended his time as Speaker of the House of Commons in record-breaking ways. On appointment he became the first Catholic to hold the post since the Reformation. And nine years later he was the first Speaker to be forced out of the role for 300 years, making him the most high-profile casualty of the 2009 expenses scandal. “Gorbals Mick” even called for a full police investigation into the newspapers reporting on MPs spending taxpayers’ money on bird baths. He never looked like he’d make an old age, and April's team of the month Apricot Crumble get the unique hit from his death at 72.

Time for two names that were never going to make the front pages, but could both have a big say in where the title ends up on December 31. Jacqui Forster was a life-long Altrincham fan who, in 2003, joined Supporters Direct at the urging of the late great Brian Lomax. Forster was involved in the setting up or maintenance of supporters’ trusts at nearly 200 different football clubs, and even while battling terminal cancer was able to set up the “Women at the Game” movement, which aimed to make the matchday experience a safer experience for the fairer sex. However, that terminal cancer has now taken her life aged 55 and she’s a unique hit for Day in the Death, who climb atop the standings for the first time as the seasons enters its half-way point.

An obituary vault entry comes from a bucket lister who has died aged 25. She was a unique pick for A Good Innings who are now sitting pretty at #3.

94’s the magic number for Bob

The man who made cool jazz an integral part of the US education system, Bob Dorough, has died. Dorough’s first gig in music was as a back-up musician for Sugar Ray Robinson’s ill-fated attempt to switch boxing for a singing career. After Robinson picked the gloves back up, Dorough floated around the jazz scene for a decade or so with - become a favourite of Miles Davis and writing “Coming Home Now” for Mel Torme - before he found lasting fame as the man behind “Schoolhouse Rock”. The animated series, which ran on-and-off for nearly 40 years, taught American schoolkids all they needed to know - other than how to run away from mass shooters - to a smooth jazz backing. He’s died aged 94 (not divisible by 3) and is a unique hit for Corpse, Like The Marines, Except Spelt Differently.

But for seven or eight really bad choices, Michael Anderson could have been remembered as one of the greatest film directors of all-time. The man behind the camera for “The Dam Busters” (1955) and “Logan’s Run” (1976) had range, but those successes sandwiched a string of over-reaches (“Shake Hands with the Devil”, starring Jimmy Cagney as an IRA leader) and simply bad ideas (“1984” rewritten to have a happy ending). He ended up directing fare such as “Orca: The Killer Whale” (released two years after “Jaws”) and “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” with Patrick Dempsey. He’s died aged 98, as the oldest living Best Director nominee, and three teams score.

Mike’s not the only nonagenarian director to call a martini shot this fortnight. Lester James Peries was the king of Sri Lankan cinema, the man who took it from the song-and-dance Bollywood pastiches it had been famed for in the Ceylon era to movies that focused on Sinhalese life. However, clashes with Sri Lanka’s arts ministries meant he struggled to gain funding for most of his life, and in a 50-year career he directed only 20 movies. His death at 99 makes him a unique hit for Obituarynotice.

The clock has struck midnight for the man who gave us “Cinderella Rockefella”. Abi Ofarim, along with then wife Esther, had a global number one single with their weird swinging London/Israeli music hall/12-bar blues medley. It was even the last song to be played on Radio Caroline before the station’s boats were seized by the Dutch government. Abi split from Esther soon after the song’s success, and while she went on to have a long and lasting career in Israeli pop, he struggled with drug and alcohol addiction (and, if his DDP profile pic is anything to go by, bad plastic surgery). He died aged 80 and is a unique charter for #1 Hits.

List of the Lost - Latest Entrants

Lara Saint Paul, Derek Yancik, Larissa Podermanski

List of the Missed - Latest Entrants

Bernard Lewis, Philip Roth, Luis Posada Carriles

Player of the Month - April

Apricot Crumble - 26 points

Latest News

Nichelle Nichols's son files for power of attorney as his mother is apparently so riddled with Alzheimer's she doesn't remember playing Columbo ... Bessie Camm may or may not be dead, DDP operatives are looking into the matter for clarification...

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