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 (1961-2016)

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

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, which 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 was married to the writer Margaret Forster from 1961 until her death in 2016. Their daughter Caitlin Davies is also an author. From 1963 they lived in the North London district of Dartmouth Park.[12][13] During the summer months they lived in their second home near Loweswater in the Lake District.[14] It was sold in July 2016. His autobiography The Beatles, Football and Me was published in 2007.[2]

Selected works

Additional bibliography


  1. 1 2 "Hunter Davies". 26 September 2009. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
  2. 1 2 3 Davies, Hunter (28 June 2007). The Beatles, Football and Me. Headline Book Publishing. ISBN 0755314034.
  3. Lennon Remembers: the Rolling Stone interviews. Penguin, 1972. ISBN 0-14-003581-8
  4. The Creighton Report, sleeve notes
  5. Archived 20 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. Davies, Hunter (17 April 2008). "Modern fitba, eh?". New Statesman. London. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
  7. Davies, Hunter (7 December 2007). "Confessions of a collector". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
  8. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 60895. p. b12. 14 June 2014.
  9. "Sitemap overview | National Literacy Trust". Retrieved 20 November 2013.
  10. Whitehead, Richard (10 November 2003). "Writes of passage". The Times. London. Retrieved 4 May 2010. (subscription required)
  11. "Scribes' elder statesman". The Scotsman. Edinburgh. 3 January 2004. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
  13. Davies, Hunter (9 November 2003). "Posher than Hampstead?". The Sunday Times (London). (subscription required)
  14. "A life in the day of Hunter Davies". The Scotsman. Edinburgh. 18 August 2006. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
  15. Above additional bibliographical list taken from a copy of Born 1900 published by Little Brown of London in 1998
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