I was living in Sunderland when I first began occasionally writing for a living in 2002. I was able to steadily increase my income after I moved to West Yorkshire in 2004. In October 2008 my authorised biography on Sunderland footballing legend Charlie Hurley was published and its success allowed me to embark on a full-time career as a freelance journalist and writer. I have specialised in the three topics I know best: football, politics and trade unionism.
I have had published fifteen football books plus three that are in digital format only. I am currently working on a series of football books for the future. In 2013 and 2015 I co-ordinated two major pieces of work on behalf of the Manchester United Disabled Supporters Association and these are available for free.
I have had many articles published in the Big Issue North magazine, where I have been fortunate to work under the direction of editor Kevin Gopal. With his help some of the campaigning articles I have written have made a positive difference to some people’s lives.
Landworker magazine for Unite the Union is the oldest surviving trade union newspaper in the world and celebrated its centenary in 2019. In 2005 I was paid for writing an article on how organophosphates in sheep dip had caused serious illnesses and deaths amongst many within the farming community. I have maintained my investigative work for the magazine since then.
I have also written many articles for the Unite bi-monthly magazine, UNITEWorks, and the web-based weekly digest of news . I have been fortunate to work under the direction of Amanda Campbell, who has been a big help as I constantly seek to improve my writing skills.
In 2013, I began working freelance under the direction of Unite Education director, Jim Mowatt, on two projects titled Book of the Month and Rebel Road, which have led to me speaking regularly to members attending Unite workplace representative education courses and branch meetings.
The booklets I have written for Unite Education can all be downloaded free
I enjoy public speaking – and answering questions afterwards – and I have spoken to a number of football supporters meetings about my published books – in particular about football prior to 1915.
In 2014, I was the co-ordinator and co-author of a successful book on the 1984/85 Miners’ Strike
Prior to working as a journalist I was an industrial worker, full-time student, researcher, part-time teacher, trade union tutor and organiser, youth and community worker, publisher and charity advisor.
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