World Book Day 2015

I spent World Book Day in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, again this year supporting the Town Foundation charity. The charity was founded by Huddersfield Town FC’s Chairman, Dean Hoyle, and raises money to run breakfast clubs in some of Kirklees’ more deprived areas. I am lucky enough to be one of the patrons of the Foundation and World Book Day is where I come in to my own. This is where I can contribute something worthwhile –  my time and expertise as a children’s writer.  I met up with Mandy Taylor, the charity organiser, Caroline Lee, another of the patrons, and club ambassador Andy Booth, down at the club’s training ground on Leeds Road. The players were all having breakfast ahead of training and so I couldn’t resist engineering this photograph of a few of them reading my Girls FC books. Well, opportunities like that don’t come along very often, do they? town players














Then it was down to business. As I mentioned in an earlier blog, to decide which two of the sixteen schools running breakfast clubs I would visit for World Book Day, Mandy and I set up a poetry competition. The winners were Ashbrow Primary and Dalton Junior, Nursery and Infant School.

We visited Ashbrow Primary first.







Joseph Byrne, Y3, reads his winning poem ‘Walking up the Town Tunnel’

Run, run, run,

Up across the pitch,

Fast, fast, faster,

A goal is needed.

Kick that ball!

Hard, hard, harder,

Gathering speed quickly,

A goal is needed.

The team is waiting for a goal to be scored,

The ball is speeding,

And…. The winning goal is scored.

The smiles are wide,

As we watch the team walking up the tunnel, happy.

Huddersfield Town have won.

I liked the momentum in Joseph’s poem – especially the sense of urgency and speed it created when it was read out loud. Well done, Joseph.



We had fun with the Storyteller’s Hat, too. Troy (seen here) was the winning storyteller of the day.




In the afternoon it was Dalton’s turn. This was another upbeat session in which I forced poor Andy Booth to take on the role of a naked stone cherub while I read an extract from There’s Only One Danny Ogle. Contact






Competition winners 11-year-old Abbi-Leigh Hill with runner-up 10-year-old Isla Baldwin for her poem ‘My Great Grandad is Ray Wilson’.

I’m at the back with Club Ambassador, good sport and all round top bloke, Andy Booth. Photographs (apart from the blurry top one – I bet you can’t guess who took that?) are courtesy of Huddersfield Town FC’s official photographer John Early.

Abbi-Leigh’s poem: The Crowd Goes Wild

Bang it goes in the back of the net,

Screaming, shouting – they’ve won a fifty-pounds bet,

Jumping on chairs as happy as could be, The players run, wild and free. Onto the pitch, restrained by police,

The players have stopped, the game can’t proceed.

On the ref comes, shrouded in black,

The situation is sorted,

The crowd goes back.

The game goes on another goal has been scored,

The away supporters are subdued as the home crowd roars.

The whistle blows,

The game has come to an end,

The winning team are shouting, singing, Friend to friend.

Abbi-Leigh’s poem captures the exuberance and tension of a football match.  I liked how the poem ended on a happy note.

Thank you to everyone for making World Book Day 2015 so memorable. Roll on the next one.


9780192735850‘Football Mad’ now incorporates ‘There’s Only One Danny Ogle.’ Published by Oxford University Press £8.99 (four books in one)

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