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August 18, 2015

Sports and Fiction - More Similar Than You’d Think!


When you think of great stories, a lot of things probably come to mind --- bookstores, libraries, your favorite authors, your favorite armchair. But sports? 

According to Matt Oldfield, author of WAYNE ROONEY, RAHEEM STERLING and GARETH BALE --- three new books about the soccer stars --- sports and books are actually a lot more similar than you'd imagine.

He explains why, below, while also giving some details about the books and suggesting some other awesome soccer series.

The best sports moments have all the drama of fiction. As an eight-year-old kid back in 1996, I went to watch English Premier League Champions Manchester United play against my local team, Southampton --- one of the best soccer teams that the world has ever seen versus a team that hadn’t won a trophy for twenty years. On paper, there was only one possible winner. But that’s when the fantasy took over.

Southampton went 1-0 up after just six minutes and Manchester United had a player sent off, but my brother was sure that the Premier League Champions would fight back and win. Then Saints legend Matt Le Tissier got the ball in the centre of the field about 30 yards away from goal. With incredible skill, he dribbled through two defenders and chipped the ball beautifully over the goalkeeper and into the goal. Le Tissier watched the ball hit the net and then coolly turned around with his arms up in the air. The crowd went wild. I’ve never heard noise like it and I’ve never seen another goal like it. Southampton went on to win 6-3.

Like sports, reading is all about exciting stories, great characters and unforgettable moments. With our soccer books, we’ve tried to bring Wayne Rooney, Gareth Bale and Raheem Sterling to life for young readers. You can learn about their childhoods, their heroes, their roads to glory; and you can share in both their wins and their losses. These are real life stories told in a really fun way.

As a kid, I used to fill notebook after notebook with imaginary soccer teams. There would be all of my favourite players on one amazing roster, plus the best player of all --- me. I would score hundreds of goals and we would win hundreds of trophies. With these books, our aim is to do something similar. Ok, you’re not playing alongside your heroes, but this is the next best thing. Join Rooney, Bale and Sterling as they score lots of goals, win lots of trophies and learn what it takes to make it to the top. We hope you enjoy reading them as much as we enjoyed writing them.

Of course, we’d love you to start with our three books but if you find you want more, we’d recommend:

1.       The Football Academy series by Tom Palmer

2.       The Frankie’s Magic Football series by England and New York City FC star Frank Lampard

3.       TJ AND THE HAT-TRICK by England and Arsenal striker Theo Walcott