John Hay is one of the Common People. Growing up on the Common council estate in a London suburb in the 1960s and 1970s is at first idyllic. The Beatles, "Blue Peter" and "The Beano" fill the senses and soccer, scrumping and splits provide the pastimes. But encounters with the police, paedophiles, pretty girls and bullies soon bring down the curtain on childhood innocence. With his friends from the estate, John passes through comprehensive school and out into the world of work. Experiences with drink, drugs, petty crime and hooliganism quickly follow, and the boys enter a lifestyle of sustained nihilism.
Martin Knight is the author of Battersea Girl and co-author of Hoolifan, The Naughty Nineties and autobiographies of George Best, Peter Osgood, Charlie Cooke and Dave Mackay.