Herbie Sykes was born in England in 1967. He attended a secondary modern school in rural Lincolnshire, but what he studied was principally Manchester City and the Nicaraguan Solidarity Campaign. In 1991 he took the train from Lincoln to Turin, and there he watched his first derby. He subsequently wrote about it for the mythical City fanzine, Blueprint, and became a regular visitor to Turin long before Ryanair. He met his wife there whilst writing a book about the Giro d'Italia, and has reported extensively on the city and its football teams.His 2014 book, The Race Against the Stasi, won the cycling category of the British Sports Book Awards, and was shortlisted in the Outstanding Sports Writing category.