Hunter Davies

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Edward Hunter Davies

Born (1936-01-07) 7 January 1936 (age 87)
Johnstone, Renfrewshire, Scotland
OccupationAuthor, journalist and broadcaster
Years active1965–present
Notable worksThe Beatles: The Authorised Biography
SpouseMargaret Forster (1960–2016)

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

Early life[edit]

Davies was born in Johnstone, Renfrewshire, to Scottish parents. For four years his family lived in Dumfries until Davies was aged 11. Davies has 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 northern 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 Royal Air Force 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, where one of his fellow student journalists was the future fashion writer Colin McDowell.[2] After completing his degree course he stayed on at Durham for another year to gain a teaching diploma and avoid National Service.[3]

Writing career[edit]

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 in 1967. 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 but he advised him to obtain the approval of Brian Epstein.[3] Epstein agreed to the proposal and the resulting authorised biography, The Beatles, was published in 1968. John Lennon mentioned in his 1970 Rolling Stone interview that he considered the book "bullshit", though Lennon at the time was vigorously debunking the Beatles' myth and anyone who had helped to create it.[4]

In 1972, Davies wrote a book about football, The Glory Game, a behind-the-scenes portrait of Tottenham Hotspur. Davies also wrote a 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.[5]

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.[6]

He writes a football column for the New Statesman.[7] 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.[8] He has written a book about his collections with the same title.

During the Beatles sessions for the Let It Be album , the Beatles recorded a song called "There You Go Eddie" about Hunter Davies that appears on bootlegs. It was not officially released.[9]

Davies was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2014 Birthday Honours for services to literature.[10]

Football fan[edit]

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, he adopted English Football League club Carlisle United.[11]

A long-term resident of London, Davies' third adopted team is Tottenham Hotspur.[12] In international football, Davies supports Scotland.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Davies was married to the writer Margaret Forster from 1960[14] until her death in 2016. Their daughter Caitlin Davies is also an author. From 1963, the family lived in the north London district of Dartmouth Park.[15][16]

During the summer months they lived in their second home near Loweswater in the Lake District.[17] It was sold in July 2016.[18] His autobiography The Beatles, Football and Me was published in 2007.[3]

Selected works[edit]

  • Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush, 1st edition (1965), Little, Brown & Co. ISBN B00005XFOZ.
  • The Beatles: The Authorised Biography, 1st edition (1968), Heinemann.
  • A Walk Along the Wall (1976), Quartet Books. ISBN 0-704-33087-3.
  • The Creighton Report: A Year in the Life of a Comprehensive School (1976), Hamish Hamilton. ISBN 0-241-89412-3.
  • The Beatles, Revised Edition (1978), McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-07-015463-5.
  • A Walk Around The Lakes (1979), Hamlyn. ISBN 0-600-20012-4.
  • The Beatles, 2nd Revised Edition (1986), McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-07-015526-7.
  • Wainwright: The Biography (1995), Michael Joseph Ltd. ISBN 0-7181-3909-7.
  • The Quarrymen (2001), Omnibus. ISBN 0-7119-8526-X.
  • Confessions of a Collector (2009), Quercus. ISBN 978-1-84724-604-2.
  • The Beatles Lyrics (2014), Little, Brown & Co. ISBN 978-0-316-24716-0.
  • A Life in the Day (2017), Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-1-4711-6129-2.


  1. ^ a b "Hunter Davies". 26 September 2009. Archived from the original on 29 June 2015. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
  2. ^ "Editorial". Palatinate (99): 2. 22 February 1957. Retrieved 11 September 2018.
  3. ^ a b c Davies, Hunter (28 June 2007). The Beatles, Football and Me. Headline Book Publishing. ISBN 978-0755314034.
  4. ^ Lennon Remembers: the Rolling Stone interviews. Penguin, 1972. ISBN 0-14-003581-8
  5. ^ The Creighton Report, sleeve notes
  6. ^ [1] Archived 20 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Davies, Hunter (17 April 2008). "Modern fitba, eh?". New Statesman. London. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
  8. ^ Davies, Hunter (7 December 2007). "Confessions of a collector". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
  9. ^ "The Beatles Bible - Get Back/Let It be sessions: Day 15". 24 January 1969.
  10. ^ "No. 60895". The London Gazette (Supplement). 14 June 2014. p. b12.
  11. ^ "Sitemap overview | National Literacy Trust". Archived from the original on 12 April 2007. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
  12. ^ Whitehead, Richard (10 November 2003). "Writes of passage". The Times. London. Retrieved 4 May 2010. (subscription required)
  13. ^ "Scribes' elder statesman". The Scotsman. Edinburgh. 3 January 2004. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
  14. ^ Armitstead, Claire (8 February 2016). "Margaret Forster, award-winning author, dies at 77". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
  15. ^ McDonagh, Melanie (12 February 2016). "Hunter Davies: 'As long as I live she'll be with me'". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
  16. ^ Davies, Hunter (9 November 2003). "Posher than Hampstead?". The Sunday Times. London. (subscription required)
  17. ^ "A life in the day of Hunter Davies". The Scotsman. Edinburgh. 18 August 2006. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
  18. ^ Davies, Hunter (20 July 2016). "Hunter Davies: After Margaret died, I had to sell our family home". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 16 December 2018.

External links[edit]