The services that Mark Metcalf can provide include journalism, publicity, book writing, research, annual report writing, presentation talks, documentary film making, podcasts and oral history interviews, advice and organising events.

After starting writing part time as a journalist in 2003, Mark – a former industrial worker – became a full-time journalist, writer and author in 2008.

Mark is happy to discuss possible ideas and projects with commissioning editors, publishers, former footballers, filmmakers, schools, trade unions, charitable bodies, authors and campaigning organisations.

Here is a small sample of the work that Mark has undertaken since 2003.

Articles on a wide variety of subjects

Mark has written many hundreds of articles for various newspapers and magazines and particularly for the Big Issue North magazine and the Landworker Magazine of UNITE the union. Mark has an extensive knowledge of rural affairs including food, farming, land and labour.

The subjects that Mark has covered are extensive and include football (especially the rich history of the game), politics, trade unionism and workplace rights, sport, social issues, culture, immigration and asylum, health and safety, food, farming, agriculture and the environment.

There have been positive outcomes from some of these works for campaigns, groups and individuals.


Mark has written numerous books including the best selling authorised biography of Sunderland and Ireland legend Charlie Hurley and Flying Over An Olive Grove – the remarkable story of Fred Spiksley, a flawed football hero. A KickStarter campaign raised the funds for the latter book to be used as the base for a documentary film on the early years of football, and filming for which is ongoing.

Mark researched, wrote and edited two unique booklets on disabled football fans for the Manchester United Disabled Supporters Association.

Mark is currently (as at February 2022) working on 5 football books including two with Simon Mullock, chief football writer at the Sunday Mirror and with whom Mark worked on a series of football history articles for the paper in 2021. Mark has assisted Roy Massey – who headed up the Arsenal Academy between 1998-2014 – to write his autobiography, which is due for publication on 1 March 2023.

Mark has written, complied and edited over a dozen booklets — covering the lives of union members past and present  — for the UNITE Education department. These publications include the only works published by a union on an LGBT+ activist, a Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority member (who became the TUC President) and a disabled member.

These works have been read by tens of thousands of people – read more about them here.

Mark’s co-authored Images of the Miners’ Strike book, which helped raised thousands of £s for the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign, was highly praised by The Daily Mirror: “if you read one book on the strike then read this one.”  

Press and publicity

Acting as a press officer for many organisations, Mark has organised numerous press conferences, issued press releases and worked with TV, radio and the press.

Professional Footballers’ Association

Mark has worked for the Professional Footballers’ Association on legacy projects, involving work with – amongst others – schoolchildren, local councils, football clubs and former players, that have unveiled plaques to Kenny Davenport in Bolton, Frank Swift and Jimmy Armfield in Blackpool, John Aston senior in Manchester, Bert Whalley in Stalybridge and Stan Cullis and Joe Mercer in Ellesmere Port.


In 2018 Mark helped with the production of two documentary films: the Ellen Strange commemoration event and Benny Rothman and the 1932 Kinder Scout Mass Trespass

In the period 2019-2021 , Mark co-produced a series of well-received documentary films on food  and farming, Edward McHugh, , NO PASARAN – A tribute to James Alwyn and Ellen Strange: the Light that Still Burns

Mark has also worked under the direction of film-maker Adam Marseille on the Fred Spiksley documentary (see above) and which when completed will be 90 minutes in length. Filming has taken place in numerous locations, including many football grounds. There have been interviews with former footballers, historians and social history experts as well as the collecting of historical documents, film footage and photographs.

Oral history interviews and podcasts

Mark has conducted a large number of interviews for the UNITE Oral History project and he has subsequently edited many of them to produce podcasts. Find out more about the series here.

John Smith (1932 – 2021) – The decline of the docks. by Unite Oral History (anchor.fm)



Manchester United Disabled Supporters Association is the oldest body of fans in the world and it was a real pleasure and privilege to be able to work with photographer Mark Harvey and Jamie Leeming (who is a MUDSA member) on two unique booklets for the Association.

Celebrating Ten Years of the Ability Suite 2003-2013 

MUDSA is 25! 

Mark Metcalf is a qualified youth and community worker.

Contact Mark