Trow was born in Ferndale, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Wales. He went to Warwick School from 1961 to 1968. In 1968 he went to King's College, London, to read history. After graduation he spent a year at Jesus College, Cambridge. In 1973 he married and in 1976 moved to the Isle of Wight where he works as a teacher of History and Politics at Ryde High School. Trow is a member of the Society of Authors and of the Crime Writer's Association. He has worked at Ryde High School for many years and is a well known teacher and historian, and his old classroom has been renamed the 'Trow Suite' in honour of his teaching career at the school.
Trow is also known in some circles for his work in theatre and dramas, organising and participating in many performances. He is known keenly for his impressions, dry wit and takes any chance to make fun of the French. He also jokes about the Welsh, despite being born in Wales.
Earlier in 2008 he appeared on the Channel 4 show Richard & Judy talking about his book 'Spartacus: The Myth and the Man'.