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Martin Knight

Martin Knight is a British author whose work has encompassed working-class, Romany, football-fan and popular culture, as well as true crime, sport and fiction. He has collaborated with iconic footballers such as George Best (Scoring At Half-Time, Ebury Press), Peter Osgood (Ossie King Of The Bridge, Random House), Dave Mackay (The Real Mackay, Random House),  and Charlie Cooke (The Bonnie Prince, Random House) on their best-selling autobiographies.

Knight’s latest book is Nefarious – A Life In Crime, published by Harper Collins. It charts the criminal career of South London ex-criminal Ronnie Field, who was the last man to be a co-defendant of a Kray brother and the first man to be imprisoned in the infamous Belmarsh Unit.


In 2023, Justice Killer (London Books) was released; this being Knight’s first foray into crime fiction as he delves into the mind of a vigilante serial killer. One reviewer described it as ‘Death Wish meets Harry Brown with a sprinkling of Falling Down’. The previous year Knight released Broken Wafers, his autobiography up to the age of sixteen.


Cushty (2021) was written with gypsy golfer and boxer Joe Smith, and tells how a disadvantaged Romany boy battled prejudice to make serious inroads in professional golf and life. The first edition was published as Gypsy Joe and selected as The Observer Sports Book of the Year.

With the blessing of Ruth Sillitoe a prequel short story to Alan Sillitoe’s The Loneliness Of The Long Distance RunnerDue Diligence – was published in the literary magazine Verbal in 2019.

In 2018, Knight co-authored I Ran With The Gang with Bay City Rollers founder-member Alan Longmuir, while the year before he wrote an extended Afterword for seminal footballing autobiography The Working Man’s Ballet, by Chelsea footballing icon Alan Hudson. Justice For Joan, his controversial deep dive into the 1948 unsolved murder of a librarian in Arundel, Sussex, was released in 2016. In 2015, he was one of the contributors to More Raw Material, a tribute to one of Britain’s leading working-class writers, Alan Sillitoe.

Martin wrote the introduction to There Ain’t No Justice, the 2013 London Books edition of the 1930s James Curtis novel that was made into a film starring Jimmy Hanley. In 2010, We Are Not Manslaughterers re-examined the case of the first police officer to be murdered in a civil riot on UK soil and revealed a cover-up.

Knight’s other books include Hoolifan, The Naughty Nineties, Grass and On The Cobbles written with Martin King. The latter two books were collaborations with drug smuggler Phil Sparrowhawk (partner to Howard Marks, aka Mr Nice) and Jimmy Stockins, legendary gypsy prizefighter, respectively. Battersea Girl, Knight’s 2006 partially fictionalised account of his grandmother’s hundred-year life was described as a ‘remarkable achievement’ by author Nell Dunn.

Common People was Knight’s debut novel in 2000, and he strongly denies that his second novel – Barry Desmond Is A Wanker (2010) – is autobiographical.

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