Born in the South, raised in the North, educated in the Midlands, expelled to the West Country — Mark Worrall’s formative years away from London left him without a genuine sense of belonging anywhere or to anything worthwhile until Chelsea Football Club in the guise of an affable bunch of youths known as the Honest Gang came along in the early 1980s.
Having flirted with the Blues as a kid, it was the anarchy of Punk Rock and flamboyance of the New Romantic movement that held sway over the glorious game for teenaged Mark — although stories of a (Steve) strange-looking, Flock of Seagulls coiffured individual mixing it on the terraces suggest otherwise.
Travelling the highways and byways of England watching Chelsea as a fully paid up member of the Honest Gang was as big a reason to be cheerful as the dawn of the Rave scene which Mark would embrace over-enthusiastically. Worried about the long-term memory loss effects of the smiley-faced recreational tablets ingested in industrial quantities, he started writing a diary — and hasn’t stopped writing since.
An extraordinary girl-chasing adventure in Las Vegas where Mark found himself in a bar watching Chelsea on TV with a motley crew of likeminded souls provided the inspiration for his first book Over Land and Sea, and almost twenty titles sharing the Blues experience — including collaborations with Kelvin Barker and David Johnstone — as well as a brace of novels, Blue Murder and This Damnation, have followed.
Staying true to his punk roots and sticking two fingers up at a system which for many years made it almost impossible for new authors to get published, in 2007, Mark founded Gate 17. Taking its name from the old gate where he enters Stamford Bridge, Gate 17 has gone on to bring Blue-tinted words from a growing stable of talented authors to a worldwide audience.
A charity book launch event for This Damnation held in November 2015 raised £2000 for the Poppy Appeal.
A clutch of titles including Liquidator and When Skies Are Grey have followed with charitable donations from the proceeds of sales being made on an on-going basis to the Alzheimer’s Society.
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