John Matthews was born at Preston Royal Infirmary in September 1951 and grew up in a terraced street devoid of a single car! He left school at sixteen with the modest achievement of two GCE ‘O’ levels in English and Mathematics. A job in a bank and a short spell as a bus driver followed. He is now a widower after the sad loss of his wife Sharon four years ago. He has two sons and two grandsons of whom he is very proud. He has adopted a snow leopard and other interests include watercolour painting and cricket.