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: 23rd November 2018 by Spade Cooley

[Picture of Stan Lee]

Flat Stan Lee...


In an amazing departure for the world of comic books, Stan Lee has done something Steve Ditko did six months ago and gets much more attention for it. Stanley Martin Lieber was born in 1922 and climbed through the ranks of what was originally Timely Publications - later known as Marvel Comics - going from an office gopher to the main creative force of the company, and undeniably the most famous man in the history of superheroes. Of course, there’s arguments about how much help he had from elsewhere, and how much he paid those people for their help, but who didn’t love seeing his old-ass face pop up in every single Marvel flick? However, Lee is now an ex-man, aged 95, and 35 teams cash in for the man who came in at 37th on this year’s Drop Forty.

A stage actor who studied at the Old Vic and had a 40-year association with the Stratford Theatre Festival, Douglas Rain’s fame came from the big screen: he was the voice of the sentient, all-present HAL 9000 in “2001: A Space Odyssey”. Stanley Kubrick had spotted Rain’s tones on the Oscar-nominated 1960 documentary “Universe” before opting to cast him. Rain reprised the role in the sequel “2010: The Year We Make Contact”, but I’m afraid he can’t live any longer Dave, and has died aged 90. Two teams get the points.

The Australian politician Ted Mack was the only person in the country’s history to be elected and re-elected to local, state and federal government positions, earning him the nickname “The Father of Independents”. A believer in the power of the public voice, he ruled by referenda and public meetings, and was also the only Australian member of parliament to oppose the first Gulf War. He had been battling a brain tumour in recent years and has now died aged 84, being a hit for two teams.

Journalists with poor research have called Sister Cecylia Roszak the “world’s oldest nun”. However she wasn’t, as France’s Soeur Andre beats her by a clean four years. However, Sister Cecylia wasn’t a total loser and managed to fit quite a lot in to her 11 decades. A Dominican who spent 90 years in the same convent, she helped shelter Jewish children during World War II, one of who grew up to be the writer Abba Kovner. She was awarded the title of Righteous Among the Nations in 1984 and has now died at 110, a unique hit for One Century Is Enough, Madam! - who also have Souer Andre, covering all bases.

devin's been gone since this winter

Yeah, uh. Yeah. You know that? I like the way the DDP players, they pick 90s boyband members. LFO (known as Lyte Funkie Ones in the UK to prevent lawsuits from the Warp electronica act) carved themselves into memory banks of the Gen X/Milennial crossover generation with their 1999 smash hit “Summer Girls”, a paean to peaches, pronouncing “sonnet” as “sore-nit” and, of course, girls that wear Abercrombie and Fitch. The group split in 2010 following the death of 1/3 of their number, Rich Cronin. However, they reformed as a two-piece in 2017 and were certain to reconquer the charts... and then bandmember Devin Lima was diagnosed with stage 4 adrenal cancer. Well, call him Willy Whistle cuz he can’t speak baby, dying at the age of 41. And it looks like DDP faithful were keeping up-to-date with their boyband health updates: Lima was picked by 54 teams, coming in at 24th on the Drop 40 and giving us our 12th hit of the year. Most importantly, however, he was picked by Pity Da Foolz, who now climb to the top of the standings with just six weeks left of the year. Can he steal the DDP like he stole your bike?

Originally a jazz musician, Francis Lai’s career took a different path in the mid-60s when he was hired to provide the score for Claude Lelouch’s Oscar-nominated “A Man and a Woman”. He went on to work on many of Lelouch’s projects and also spread his wings into Hollywood - most notably with the score for Ryan O’Neal gloopfest “Love Story”. That movie won Lai the Oscar for Best Music and the OST charted at #2 in the US. A true renaissance man, he also gave us the theme tunes to BBC’s “Panorama” and some of the “Emanuelle” sequels. Lai’s down at 86, and Dying for Some Points get the unique hit.

Born in Poland, John Bluthal’s family emigrated to Australia in 1938: probably a good time to leave central Europe if you were Jewish to be honest. Training as an actor from a young age, he moved to England in 1960 and began five decades of regular work on British TV: in the now lost Sid James sitcom “Home James”, Spike Milligan’s “Q” and religious odd-couple comedy “Never Mind the Quality, Feel the Width”. In latter years he was most famous as minutes-taker Frank Pickle in your mum’s favourite sitcom, “The Vicar of Dibley”. He’s reunited with Roger Lloyd Pack and the blonde one in the afterlife now, as he’s died at 89. Grim Reaper, we're needed get the unique hit.

In 1954, Richard Baker became the first person to introduce a news broadcast on BBC television - up until that point the BBC had just shown newsreels. From an acting background rather than a journalistic one - like fellow anchorman Kenneth Kendall - Baker served as a newsreader until the early 1980s, when he switched to radio work: Radio 2, Radio 3 and Classic FM all got his RP tones. The news is that he has now died aged 93, and Blueberry Crumble get a unique hit.

the marathon man runs his race

His name is William Goldman. He has colon cancer. Prepare to die. One of the most-feted screenwriters in Hollywood history, William Goldman was the man who penned “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”, “All The Presidents Men”, “The Princess Bride” and “Marathon Man” - the last two works being based on his own novels. An unashamed populist who never talked down to the audience, his works tend to feature good, honest men going through hard times and then dying. Katharine Ross may have said “I ain’t gonna watch you die” in “Butch Cassidy”, but theme team And Yet You Had Space for Sinead O'Connor followed the money and got the unique hit for his death at 87.

The Mexican writer Fernando del Paso put out work you are not intelligent enough to understand. His baroque novels often twirled around themselves with endless footnotes and self-references, to the extent one of his works was described as “Ulysses with no plot”. However those who could break through the jargon enjoyed it, and he won the Miguel de Cervantes Prize - the highest honour for a Spanish-language writer - in 2015. He has died aged 83 and was a unique hit for theme outfit American As Apple Pie.

As the petty, gossipping shopkeeper Harriet Oleson, Katherine MacGregor was a globally infamous TV baddy in the late 1970s and early 1980s thanks to “Little House on the Prairie”. Indeed, her fame allowed her to travel the world and in particular France, where the show - and her character - had a huge cult following. Outlasting Michael Landon by nearly three decades, she’s finally left us - after some time at the Motion Picture and Television Fund retirement community - aged 93. Three teams get the points.

Reaction to Shawn Michaels coming out of retirement was mixed: some thought it was one of the most embarrassing moments in professional wrestling history to see a bald 50-year-old hobble about the ring with three other middle-aged men for the entertainment of a murderous Saudi regime. On the other hand, Michaels’ trainer, Jose Lothario, just dropped dead. An undercard worker for a number of NWA territories, Lothario’s notability was forever linked with that of his most famous student, who he even accompanied to the ring as a manager for Michaels’ first WWF title win in 1996. However, he’s now gone through the barbershop window aged 83 and was a unique hit for Robbinsdale High School Memorial Deathsquad.

Latest Stiffs: 5th November 2018 by Spade Cooley

[Picture of Whitey Bulger]

Whitey's off to Valhalla...

death takes a holiday

Long time, no see. Yes, the Reaper has seemingly taken October off, with just seven names being added to the DDP necrolog in the past four weeks. Will this derail what looked like a record-breaking year for deadpoolers everywhere? Does this indicate a flurry of stiffs to start the 2019 competition (details coming soon)? And how the fuck is Dilip Kumar still clinging on to life? All these questions, and more, will be answered in the following update.

Snitches get stitches - or at least they do if Whitey Bulger is to have an open casket funeral. The head of Boston’s Irish-American Winter Hill Gang, for nearly 20 years Bulger had a tasty little side gig as an FBI informant, stooling on the rival Patriarca mafia family. Boston law enforcement effectively gave Bulger carte blanche to do whatever he wanted in return, until the media started to connect the dots and forced Bulger to go on the run in the mid-90s (for further information read the excellent book “Black Mass” on the topic, and avoid the awful film “Black Mass” on the topic). Bulger was the world’s #2 most wanted man - behind Osama Bin Laden - for most of the 00s, eventually being caught in 2011 where he was fingered for 19 counts of murder. He met his end in Hazelton prison after some friendly mafioso gave him a makeover courtesy of a sock-wrapped padlock and a shiv, aged 89. There's A Shiva In The Park get the unique hit.

It’s a cold, old lonesome night in Georgia as we bid farewell to Tony Joe White. Arguably the man who put swamp rock - that mix of country, blues and Cajun influences - on the map, White’s biggest hits were as a songwriter rather than a performer. His breakthrough tune, “Polk Salad Annie”, found its way into many of Elvis Presley’s latter-year setlists, while he showed tremendous versatility by putting together Tina Turner’s “Private Dancers” in the 1980s. However, a heart attack has taken him out of the game aged 75, and he’s a unique hit for team of the month Szaboss!

Regarded as the best voice coach of her generation, Cicely Berry instruced actors at the Royal Shakespeare Company how to bring the Bard of Avon’s words to life for 45 years, between 1969 and 2014. Known for her unorthodox training exercises - including reciting lines while sketching or repeatedly kicking chairs - she also brought her talents to the screen, working with actors from Anthony Hopkins to Samuel L. Jackson. She has now cleared her throat for the final time, aged 92, and is a unique hit for Unusual Suspects - who get their second Royal Shakespeare Company-related stiff of the year.

doug comes to a holte end

In Italy they call them mangia-allenatori - manager-eaters - the football club chairmen who go through coaches like water filters. For years in English football, there was no greater carrier of that torch than Doug Ellis. Originally a trainee at Tranmere Rovers, Ellis made his fortune as one of the first men to offer package holidays to the British working class. He used his millions to buy Aston Villa in 1968, remaining at the club until 1975. He returned as chairman in 1982 and stayed there until 2006. During his absence, the club won the league and the European Cup. In the 31 years he was chairman, they won the league cup twice and fired 13 managers. He wasn’t that great a chairman. Regardless, he’s a chilling Villain now, aged 94, and eight teams get the points.

The British philosopher Mary Midgeley was a major figure in ethics and the relationship between humanities and science in the latter half of the 20th century. A lecturer at Newcastle University for some 30 years, she had no published materials in the first half-century of her life, commenting "I wrote no books until I was a good 50, and I'm jolly glad because I didn't know what I thought before then." She made up for lost time, attacking “scientific pretension” and regularly baiting Richard Dawkins some 40 years before that became Twitter’s favourite pastime. She made it to the age of 99 before dying, and was a hit for two teams.

Actress Peggy McCay was a student of Lee Strasberg who began her career on the boards in the 1950s, winning an Obie for her performance as Sonya in “Uncle Vanya” opposite Franchot Tone. However, she found more regular work to pay the bills in the form of soap operas: as Vanessa Dale on the 50s soap “Love of Life” and, more famously, as Caroline Brady for over 30 years in “Days of Our Lives”. Her recent disappearance from the latter put people on notice, and she’s now died aged 90. Breathless in Seattle get the unique.

Although more famous as the father of scary androgynite Tilda, John Swinton of Kimmerghame had some credentials of his own. A member of the Scots Guards, he served in both the Second World War and the Borneo confrontation, eventually rising to the rank of Major General before retiring in 1979. He later became Lord Lieutenant of Berwickshire and escorted the Stone of Scone back to Scotland from its southern neighbours in 1996. He has now died aged 93 and was a unique hit for Nicked but not Dead.

List of the Lost - Latest Entrants

Sir Ngata Love, Eduard von Falz-Fein

List of the Missed - Latest Entrants

Roy Clark, Larry Pickering

Player(s) of the Month - October

Szaboss! - 20 points

Latest News

Barry Cryer hasn't a clue when he'll be back on stage - he's cancelled all bookings after breaking his hip in a fall... Noel Edmonds enters the jungle on "I'm A Celebrity", and we eagerly await a Whirly Wheel Bushtucker Trial ...

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