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Mark Worrall Gate 17


It’s a strange-but-true fact that Walter Otton was so unsure of his ability to write that he chose his pen name before submitting his first article to a football fanzine for publication. 

That was back in 1990 when ‘Walter’ reasoned that if people didn’t like what he wrote, then nobody would know who the real ‘Walter’ was. Having written for cfcuk since 2003, ‘Walter’ has picked up a cult following who know him only as ‘Walter’ and so Walter Otton remains with us today. In 2005, Walter wrote his brilliant debut novel The Red Hand Gang (originally entitled Never Eat Shredded Wheat) and he has also published several collections of short stories and articles.

In his own words, Walter says, “when I'm not in the boozer pre-match I crave it. When I am there I cherish it. I've always been compelled to write stuff down. If it makes a good short story or blog or novel then I'm happy. I despise writers block. I hate it more than that horrible walk along the Seven Sisters Road. I go to Chelsea when my budget allows. When I write about my day at the football, it doesn't take the shape of a match report or an analysis of tactics, but more about sights and smells and characters and conversations and emotions and pubs and friends with nicknames. I got married in 2004. My daughter was born in 2007 and my son in 2008. Not only am I a family man, I am also a man of faith. I love to go on twenty mile hikes with a few pals - we are working our way around our splendid island - it's going to take some time. I spent twenty years working in the charity sector, predominately with grass roots projects supporting vulnerable children and young people - so I guess I have a bit of fight in me for social justices. For the last few years, though, I've had a break from a lot of that to focus more on putting my own family first for a bit, so I've got a different job now in a supermarket. This only increases my yearning for the pre-match pub. Like I said - when I'm not there I pine for it. When I am there it is treasured.”

Honest words, from an honest and very talented man. A new Walter Otton novel entitled Poppy is in the works - we look forward to reading it.

Follow Walter on Twitter @WalterOtton and Facebook