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Hunter Davies

Edward Hunter Davies
Born (1936-01-07) 7 January 1936
Johnstone, Renfrewshire, Scotland
Occupation Author, journalist and broadcaster,
Nationality British
Spouse Margaret Forster

Edward Hunter Davies, OBE (born 7 January 1936) is a British author, journalist and broadcaster. He is the author of many books, including the only authorised biography of the Beatles.


  • Early life 1
  • Writing career 2
  • Football fan 3
  • Personal life 4
  • Selected works 5
  • Additional bibliography 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

Early life

Davies was born in Johnstone, Renfrewshire, to Scottish parents. For four years his family lived in Dumfries until Davies was aged 11. Davies has frequently quoted his boyhood hero as being football centre-forward, Billy Houliston, of Davies' then local team, Queen of the South.[1]

His family moved to Carlisle in England when Davies was 11 and he attended the Creighton School in the city. Davies lived in Carlisle until he moved to study at university. During this time his father, who was a former RAF pay clerk, developed multiple sclerosis and had to retire on medical grounds from a civil service career. Davies joined the sixth form at Carlisle Grammar School and was awarded a place at University College, Durham to read for an honours degree in History, but after his first year he switched to a general arts course. He gained his first writing experience as a student, contributing to the university newspaper, Palatinate. After completing his degree course he stayed on at Durham for another year to gain a teaching diploma.[2]

Writing career

After he left university Davies worked as a journalist and in 1965 he wrote the novel Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush that was made into a film of the same name. He raised the idea of a biography of the Beatles with Paul McCartney when he met him to discuss the possibility of providing the theme song for the film. McCartney liked the idea of the book because inaccurate information had been published about the group and he advised him to obtain the approval of Brian Epstein.[2] He agreed to it and the resulting authorised biography, The Beatles, was published in 1968.

John Lennon mentioned in his 1971 Rolling Stone interview that he considered the book "bullshit", though Lennon at the time was vigorously debunking the Beatle myth and anyone who had helped to create it.[3]

In 1972 Davies wrote what is widely regarded as one of the best ever books about football, The Glory Game, a behind the scenes portrait of Tottenham Hotspur. Davies also wrote a wry column about his daily life in Punch called "Father's Day", presenting himself as a harried paterfamilias. In 1974 he was sent by the Sunday Times to look at a comprehensive school in action. He wrote three articles and then stayed on at the school – Creighton School in Muswell Hill, North London, now part of Fortismere School – to watch and study through a year in its life. The result was a book, the Creighton Report, published in 1976.[4]

Davies has also written a biography of the fell walker Alfred Wainwright, and many works about the topography and history of the Lake District.

In children's literature, he has written the Ossie, Flossie Teacake and Snotty Bumstead series of novels.

As a ghostwriter, he has worked on the autobiographies of footballers Wayne Rooney, Paul Gascoigne and Dwight Yorke. The Rooney biography led to a successful libel action in 2008 by David Moyes, the manager of his former club, Everton. He has also ghostwritten politician John Prescott's 2008 autobiography, Prezza, My Story: Pulling no Punches.[5]

He writes a football column for the New Statesman,[6] which is written in his trademark humorous, irreverent tone. A compilation of these articles was released as a book, The Fan, in 2005 by Pomona Press. Davies writes "Confessions of a Collector" in The Guardian's Weekend colour magazine.[7] He has written a book about his collections with the same title.

Davies was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2014 Birthday Honours for services to literature.[8]

Football fan

Davies has stated that the first football team he supported was Queen of the South, when he lived in Dumfries.[1]

After moving to Carlisle aged 11, Davies next adopted English Football League club Carlisle United.[9] He is vice president of the Carlisle United Supporters' Club London Branch.

A long term resident of London, Davies' third adopted team is Tottenham Hotspur.[10]

In international football Davies supports Scotland.[11]

Personal life

Davies is married to the writer Margaret Forster. Their daughter Caitlin Davies is also an author. Since 1963 they have lived in the North London district of Dartmouth Park.[12] They also have a home near Loweswater in the Lake District in which they reside during the summer months.[13] His autobiography The Beatles, Football and Me was published in 2007.[2]

Selected works

  • Here We Go, Round the Mulberry Bush, 1st Edition (1965), Little, Brown & Co. ISBN B00005XFOZ
  • The Beatles: The Authorised Biography, 1st Edition (1968), McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-07-015457-0
  • The Beatles, Revised Edition (1978), McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-07-015463-5
  • The Beatles, 2nd Revised Edition (1986), McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-07-015526-7
  • The Creighton Report: A Year in the Life of a Comprehensive School, (1976), Hamish Hamilton. ISBN 0-241-89412-3.
  • Wainwright: The Biography (1995), Michael Joseph Ltd. ISBN 0-7181-3909-7
  • A Walk Round The Lakes, (2000), Orion. ISBN 0-7528-3390-1
  • The Quarrymen, (2001), Omnibus. ISBN 0-7119-8526-X.
  • Confessions of a Collector, (2009), Quercus. ISBN 978-1-84724-604-2.

Additional bibliography

  • The Other Half
  • The New London Spy (1966)
  • The Rise and Fall of Jake Sullivan
  • I Knew Daisy Smuten
  • A Very Loving Couple
  • Body Change
  • A Walk Along the Wall
  • George Stephenson
  • William Wordsworth
  • The Grades
  • Father's Day
  • A Walk Along the Tracks
  • Great Britain: A Celebration
  • Flossie Teacake's Fur Coat
  • Snotty Bumstead Collection
  • A Walk Around London's Parks
  • A Good Guide to the Lakes
  • The Joy of Stamps
  • Back in the U.S.S.R.
  • Beatrix Potter's Lakeland
  • My Life in Football
  • In Search of Columbus
  • Striker
  • Hunting People
  • The Teller of Tales
  • Living on the Lottery
  • Born 1900: A Human History of the Twentieth Century – For Everyone Who Was There.[14]
  • Come on, Ossie! Illustrated by Malou Bonicos
  • Ossie the Millionaire Illustrated by Malou Bonicos
  • Ossie goes Supersonic Illustrated by Malou Bonicos


  1. ^ a b "Hunter Davies". 2009-09-26. Retrieved 2013-11-20. 
  2. ^ a b c Davies, Hunter (28 June 2007). The Beatles, Football and Me. Headline Book Publishing.  
  3. ^ Lennon Remembers: the Rolling Stone interviews. Penguin, 1972. ISBN 0-14-003581-8
  4. ^ The Creighton Report, sleeve notes
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ "Modern fitba, eh?". Retrieved 2013-11-20. 
  7. ^ Davies, Hunter (7 December 2007). "Confessions of a collector: Hunter Davies | Life and style". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2013-11-20. 
  8. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 60895. p. b12. 14 June 2014.
  9. ^ "Sitemap overview | National Literacy Trust". Retrieved 2013-11-20. 
  10. ^ Whitehead, Richard (10 November 2003). "Writes of passage". The Times (London). Retrieved 4 May 2010. 
  11. ^ "Scribes' elder statesman - The Scotsman". 2004-01-03. Retrieved 2013-11-20. 
  12. ^ Davies, Hunter (9 November 2003). "Posher than Hampstead?". The Sunday Times (London). 
  13. ^ "A life in the day of Hunter Davies". Retrieved 2013-11-20. 
  14. ^ Above additional bibliographical list taken from a copy of Born 1900 published by Little Brown of London in 1998

External links

  • Journalisted – Articles by Hunter Davies
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