Michael Heatley graduated from Southampton University in 1976 with a degree in economics. He formed his own company, Northdown Publishing, in 1988 after working for a number of respected publishers. He has specialised as a writer in the fields of sport and music and is the author of over one hundred biographies, ranging from Robbie Williams to Elvis Costello. Reference books he has edited include the Virgin Encyclopedia of Rock and European Football Stadia. 

He worked for Orbis Publishing, London as an editor on part works between 1977 and 1984, including The History of Rock of which he was overall editor. National publications he has written for include 4-4-2, Radio Times, Classic Rock and the Mail On Sunday colour supplement. He is currently a regular contributor to Guitar & Bass, Vintage Rock and Record Collector magazines. 

Working in the music business on publicity projects for record companies, he earned a gold disc for work on promoting the Jimi Hendrix ‘Radio 1’ album. Van Morrison commissioned him to annotate his catalogue on iTunes as a guide to purchasers. He has written for the leading UK and US trade papers Music Week and Billboard. He also edited the short-lived trade paper For The Record in the Nineties. 

Showbiz celebrities interviewed include Slash (Guns N’Roses), Jon Bon Jovi, Roger Daltrey, Dolly Parton, Dennis Waterman (The Sweeney, Minder), Status Quo, (newsreader) Angela Rippon, the Eagles and the Four Tops. He recently appeared on the BBC Radio London Sports programme to talk about his latest book, Fulham – Match of My Life.  


His acclaimed biography of late DJ John Peel sold over 100,000 copies, whilst Michael Jackson – Life Of A Legend 1958-2009 topped the Sunday Times best-seller lists. His book on Jimi Hendrix’s guitars, Hendrix Gear, was among the most acclaimed music books of 2009, attracting unanimous five-star reviews. Other recent publications include The Girl In The Song, an analysis of women who have inspired rock’s greatest songwriters, and a companion The Boy In the Song. A colour photo book on Elvis, jointly produced with Deke Leonard, was issued in the USA and Spain.


Sporting celebrities interviewed include cricket legend Jim Laker and superstar footballer George Best. He has ghosted columns for Ian St John and Alan Hansen and contributed to a number of FA Cup Final programmes. He edited the magazines The Footballer, Matchday and The Championship Game and wrote for several boxing publications in the late-Eighties Tyson-Bruno period.

His sport-related books include Fulham: Match of My Life, The History Of Boxing, The Cricketers’ Who’s Who (editor, 2008-10), The Trivia Lovers’ Guide To Cricket, World Cricket Grounds, Football Grounds Then And Now, Ballparks Yesterday And Today and the Great Derbies series of books focusing on the Merseyside, north London and Manchester football derbies.

In 2103-14 he started writing for his beloved Fulham again - comments on press coverage in the Fulham FC programme. Currently he is sharing with son Drew a project to interview past Fulham players for articles in the 2016-17 season programme.

He has interviewed stars of TV soaps Coronation Street and Emmerdale for their official magazines and wrote two books on the latter, including The Emmerdale Family Album.

To his surprise, he also became an ‘authority’ on parental matters, writing D is for Dad: Survival Tips for the Modern Father and The Dads' Book: For the Dad Who's Best at Everything. In 2009 he delved back to his economics studies to write A Mind for Business: The Secrets of How Award Winning Entrepreneur Richard Harpin Built a £1 Billion Business, a book distributed to all secondary schools in the UK.  


Michael Heatley and one of his favourite occupations!