Matthew Engel was born in Northampton in 1951. He has spent his working life in journalism, covering an astonishing range of subjects.
On the back pages, he has covered more than 70 different sports including underwater hockey and the European tiddlywinks championship – as well as four Olympic Games, three soccer World Cups and about 150 Test matches.
On the front pages, he has reported the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Gulf War, the September 11 attacks and the last eight British general elections.
For 12 years he edited Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack, the so-called (though never by him) Bible of cricket and remains as editorial director.
His other books include Tickle the Public, a much-praised though little-bought history of the popular press, Extracts from the Red Notebooks and most recently Eleven Minutes Late.
He lives in Herefordshire with his wife Hilary and daughter Vika. Much of Hilary and Matthew’s time is now devoted to the Teenage Cancer Trust Laurie Engel Fund, in memory of their son Laurie who died in 2005 aged 13, which is helping build a new unit at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
The best-remembered of all Matthew’s articles was his story of Laurie’s illness, the last story he wrote for The Guardian, his newspaper for 25 years.
He is now the least fiscally-aware columnist on the Financial Times, reporting for FT Weekend, writing occasional political sketches and even more occasional pieces about sport. In 2011, he is due to begin a new series on British institutions in the FT’s Saturday magazine.
His recent journalism can be found via the Fish Wrappings link.