I’m Simon Goodyear; I’ve been a football fanatic all my life, but I just so happen to write about the game I love.
It all started by chance really, shortly after my father passed away in the autumn of 2008. While searching through my father’s house, I discovered a scruffy, old plastic bag with what appeared to be a t-shirt in it. On closer inspection, I discovered it was an old England football shirt. Not knowing who this 1960s’ football shirt belonged to, I later discovered a host of old photos and identified the person on the photos as the late Gerry Hitchens. Putting two and two together, I assumed the England shirt also belonged to the ex-Aston Villa, Inter Milan, and England legend. Indeed, it did.
It didn’t take long for me to contact the Hitchens family, and a few weeks later I returned the photos and the England shirt to its rightful home. It wasn’t by coincidence that the shirt was in my father’s possession. As it happened, my father was in fact a friend of the Hitchens family, and was in the process of trying to get the shirt displayed in a museum.
In the meantime, I had gained permission of the family to write Gerry’s biography. Not having any experience in writing, I set about the task of trying to fill a book with the memories of his family and newspaper articles, which had been compiled by my father. It could be said that I went into it ‘blind’, but no more than six months later, and after many trips to North Wales to interview Gerry’s widow, Meriel, and eldest son, Marcus, a book was published called ‘From Mine to Milan: The Gerry Hitchens Story’. The rest, as they say, is history.
Much publicity was secured from the publication of the book (and the subsequent discovery of rare 8mm cine film shot by Gerry Hitchens during the 1962 World Cup in Chile), including appearances on the BBC™, Sky Sports™, and talkSPORT™ radio. It did not take long for me to acquire a taste and passion for writing.
In the years that followed, I’ve written more books, and my latest books document the life stories of football legends Peter Withe (2017) and Brian Little (2018). Other projects are also in the pipeline, so watch this website for further updates. Oh, and watch out for the movie version of the Peter Withe book....yes, it's in the early stages of being made into a film.
Incidentally, that England shirt is now being displayed in the FA Football Museum in Manchester.