Biography

I was born in the Mossley Hill district of Liverpool back in 1957. It wasn't too far from Penny Lane and where the Beatles came into being. Sometime in the early 1960's my family moved to the other side of the river Mersey to the town of Ellesmere Port where I first went to school. From there I went on to be a chorister at Chester Cathedral and eventually we moved again to Chester where I spent my teenage years. I didn't go to secondary school in Chester though, but travelled on two trains and a bus each day to attend  Birkenhead School, back nearer Liverpool. It was here that I developed a love of both music and football, regularly going to gigs in Liverpool at the Stadium and the Empire, as well as attending many matches at Anfield to see a highly successful Liverpool team. I also attended matches at Chester FC as well, their Sealand Road ground being not far from where I lived

After doing my A-Levels at Birkenhead School, I went up to Exeter College, Oxford, where I read Theology. Although I could have gone into the Church, I chose teaching as a career and went onto Avery Hill College in London to do a post graduate certificate in education. After Avery Hill, I did some primary school teaching in London, before moving eastwards to Essex, where I have since lived. This was because at Avery Hill I met my wife Wendy and within two years we were married and ended up living in her native Essex.

Although I taught for many years, I started writing the odd review when I was at university and first wrote a children's novel which never got accepted by the various publishers I approached. After writing a review of a U2 concert I attended in 1992 for the U2 fanzine Silver & Gold, I went on to take over the editorship of the fanzine with Wendy.

My first musical love has always been the classic rock music from the 1960s and 70s and so I started a second fanzine in 1994 called All Flared Up, which concentrated on this music. Through the two fanzines I was able to make many contacts within the music business, writing reviews of live gigs and interviewing several rock musicians. This led to me beginning to write freelance for various mainstream magazines including Record Collector, Q and Classic Rock. I also got involved in writing the sleeve notes for various CD releases for such artists as Robin Trower, Ten Years After and Wishbone Ash.

It was this last group that was the subject of my first published book, Blowin' Free - 30 Years of Wishbone Ash, (co-authored with Gary Carter who produced the Wishbone Ash fanzine, Hot Ash, which I regularly wrote for). This book was published in 2001 by Firefly. Then the following year my second published book, U2 - The Complete Encyclopaedia was published again by Firefly.

At the same time, I became involved in the live music scene in Southend, first as an agent for several bands and then as a promotor. Bands/artists I promoted included The Groundhogs, Stray, Man, Carl Palmer, John Wetton, Carvin Jones, Larry Miller and Martin Turner's Wishbone Ash (as it was then known), plus a whole host of minor groups and tribute bands. I also went on to manage two tribute bands - Piledriver (Status Quo) and Ashbone U Wish (Wishbone Ash).

While all this was going on I started an educational publishing company called MW Educational, which specialised in publishing 11+ and SATs practice papers for the burgeoning home learning market. I wrote over thirty different titles for this company. These were sold both in bookshops and on line, in traditional printed formats and as e-books. In 2015 I sold this company to concentrate on other writing subjects.

More recently I have started to write about the British Transport system, particularly railways. I have had articles published in Railway Magazine, Traction and Railways  llustrated. I am also webmaster of the minor railways website, Branch Line Britain, which also contains a blog of my travels on Britain's railways.

I am also a member of the 92 Club, having attended a professional football match at all the 92 football league grounds. This was achieved in April 2011 and a blog of my trips can be seen on my football grounds website, Doing the 92 Plus. I am currently writing a book on my experiences over the years which is due for publication in 2016 by Hadleigh Books.