Photo credit: Steve Wraith
“If people are expecting a blood and guts expose of Manchester’s underworld then they’ll be sadly disappointed”.
The life of Massey a popular local figure, mobster, businessman, and family man is told in a whole new light in a new book.
The book explores the life of Massey; telling of his childhood in Salford and delving into the trauma he suffered as a young man which influenced his path.
The book was written by Steve Wraith (who has written books on The Krays and The Sayers of Newcastle previously) along with Kelly and Lindsey Massey, and Jack W Gregory.
Steve first met Paul when a friend of Paul’s avoided a difficult situation in Newcastle by taking refuge in the bar he was working at. Steve didn’t hear about him again until 2015 when Paul was shot outside his house.
A mutual friend; the former Glasgow gangster Paul Ferris ‘Wee Man’ suggested Steve helped offer guidance to Kelly (Paul’s daughter) to write the book.
Up until that point Steve had “no real knowledge or connection with Manchester or the Massey family”.
Kelly got in touch with Steve in March to start the process.
“So we got our heads together. It gave me a chance to walk into Paul’s life, meet all the people, and walk out the other side with a few ideas on how to direct the book”.
Steve described his aim for the book. “The key thing about the book is that it is a tribute to Paul Massey and his life. It’s not a book which glamourises crime, it isn’t a finger pointing exercise”.
The book goes into the numerous spells he served in prison “where it has to be said was somewhere, he probably felt more comfortable because of the routine and discipline, he was not a model prisoner by any means”.
From there it looks at the businessman, Paul got himself on his feet, he matured, established himself, he was making a lot of money at this point, especially through the security industry.
The 90s also features heavily in the book. “A period of time which I was a part of, it was a second Summer of Love, the ecstasy, the music, it was a great time to be alive”.
Paul’s life took a big turn for the worst in 1999 when he was sentenced to 14 years in prison for stabbing a man in the groin during an altercation in the centre of Manchester, whilst he was filming a documentary.
“The case is covered very well in the book”.
The book is “50% my research and interviews with the family, friends and all their recollections. The other 50% is tributes, with so many from different walks of life”.
Massey was clearly popular with tributes from Joy Division founder Peter Hook, Mark ‘Bez’ Berry of the Happy Mondays, Bruce Jones of Coronation Street, and even a foreword from Charles Salvador (formerly Charles Bronson) who he knew well from his prison days.
Work on the book began in March and was completed by August. “It’s a proud moment… this is a book I’m immensely proud of”.
Steve was able to complete the book in such a short time after being left with time on his hands during lockdown which caused his career in acting and promotion to pause while the country has COVID-19 measures in place.
You can find the book on Amazon Kindle where it has already been released. With the book coming out in physical copy on the 15th of December.
It can be pre-ordered from www.badboysbooks.net where you can also buy signed copies.