Click here to read my tribute to Birmingham City legend, Trevor Francis.
My writing is about politics, sport and education – sometimes all three at once. Whether it’s my books, articles or blogposts, it’s unapologetically left wing. I hope some of it’s funny too. I’m always happy to hear readers’ reactions and I’ll respond unless you’re demonstrably in need of professional help.
My latest book, Brutish Necessity tells the forgotten story of the last man to be hanged in my native city of Birmingham in 1962. His name was Oswald Grey, a 20-year-old Jamaican immigrant. The book reveals the prevailing social and political attitudes of the time, explaining the roots of contemporary racism. It’s a fascinating piece of history stemming from a boy’s life that seemed dispensable and not worth commemorating – until now. You can hear an interview, recorded on BBC Radio WM in January 2023 by clicking here starting at 1.42.32. You can watch a clip from the launch during Black History Month here.
My blog, updated every month or so, is a five-minute read about whichever current issue merits a poke in the eye. Here, too, you can respond in any intelligent way that you feel is appropriate.
Zurich, 2 December 2010. Sepp Blatter pulls the name of Qatar from the envelope. The accusations fly and the recriminations start. And once it’s all sunk in, we start looking at maps and temperature charts and try to scrape together any fragments of knowledge about kingdoms in the Arabian desert. The Armchair Guide looks underneath […]more info
In Teachers Undefeated Jon Berry found that teachers had not fallen for a reduced and meagre view of what children should be offered by schools. Now he writes about schools that have made a collective decision to abide by the principles of teaching and learning, confident that results will follow. Teachers, as well as parents […]more info
You had one bath a week whether you needed it or not. You knew with iron certainty what was for tea on any given day of the week. There was every possibility that grown-ups, known to you or not, might clout you. But being a child of the 1950s endowed you with privileges that could […]more info
It’s an embarrassing truth for many of us that it was only when professional football was eventually forced to close down that we recognised Covid 19 as a genuine threat to our way of life. And maybe just as shameful was the fact that once lockdown became normalised, it didn’t take long for chatter to […]more info
Brutish Necessity is a tale from the past that casts a light on our lives today. Oswald Augustus Grey was a Jamaican immigrant. He was 20 years old when he was executed in November 1962 and 19 when the crime for which he was convicted took place. To talk to people who lived in the […]more info
With 94 reviews at an average of 4.6 on Amazon, Hugging Strangers is a book for all true football fans. It helps if you’re one of the breed who follows your team through thin and thinner, but if you love the game, you’ll get what it’s about instantaneously. It speaks to all who love football […]more info