Today Bill Richmond is largely unknown to the wider public, but he was one of the most significant sportsmen in history and one of the most prominent celebrities of Georgian times. Born into slavery in Staten Island, Richmond won his freedom as a young boy and carved a new life for himself in England as a cabinet maker and then a renowned prizefighter and trainer. His amazing life encompassed encounters and relationships with some of the most prominent men of the age, including Earl Percy, William Hazlitt, Lord Byron, the Prince Regent and Lord Camelford. His fame was such that he fulfilled an official role at the coronation celebrations of King George IV in 1821.
The story of Bill Richmond is an incredible tale of personal advancement, as well as the story of a life informed and influenced by a series of turbulent historical events, including the American War of Independence, the fight for black emancipation and Britain's long-running conflict with Napoleon Bonaparte.
Luke G. Williams has been a journalist and writer for 15 years. He co-wrote Masters of the Baize (Mainstream Publishing, 2005), which examined the careers of world snooker champions. On publication the book received highly favourable reviews, being named 'Book of the Week' by both The Sunday Times and The Independent newspapers. Masters of the Baize was re-printed, revised and updated in 2006. Luke has also worked as a full-time staff writer for uefa.com, sportal.com and euro2000.com, while his freelance work has been published in various outlets including The Guardian, Sunday Express, Snooker Scene and 007 Magazine. He has appeared on BBC Radio Five Live and BBC Radio London among many others. Luke maintains the boxing blog boxianajournal.blogspot.co.uk and has many contacts in the worlds of journalism, boxing and sports media.