Martin Hardy has been writing about football in the north-east for three decades. He was senior sports reporter at the Sunday Sun, before moving to the Sunday People and then to the Daily Mail. More recently he has worked for the News of the World and the Independent. He currently writes for the Sunday Times. His first book, Touching Distance, was shortlisted in the best new writer category in the Cross British Sports Book of the Year awards. Rafa's Way will be Martin's third book.