Girls FC

What's it all about?

Megan Fawcett turns up every week to football practice for school but does Mr Glasshouse ever pick her for the team? Nope. Why? Not because she's rubbish and not because a girl but because she's only in Y4. Mr Glasshouse favours Y6s every time.

team photo So Megan starts her own team, a girls-only team, beginning with her best friend Petra Ward, her fellow Y4 teammate Tabinda Shah and some of the older girls in school who are keen – Lucy Skidmore, Nika Kozak and Eve Akboh. She's less impressed when Tabinda recruits the psycho twins Daisy and Dylan McNeil but beggars can't be choosers.

Eve invites two more from her after school club – Gemma Hurst and Amy Minter and when Mrs Woolcock, the school lunchtime supervisor signs up her step-daughter, Holly, Megan is delighted. She's almost got a full squad! A chance meeting with Hannah Preston, captain of the Parrs, a local women's team, means they have someone to coach them. During their first training session one final girl joins the squad; a surly outsider with a major pick-pocketing habit; Jenny-Jane Bayliss. The Parrs U11s (Nickname the Parsnips) are born.

Follow the Parrs' trials and tribulations through two seasons of league matches, cup runs, World Cup Tournaments and much, much more.

Where did the idea come from?

Years ago the foreign rights assistant at OUP, Helen Reagan, a keen Manchester United supporter, suggested I write a series about a girls' football team. I had so many other ideas going round my head at the time I didn't think any more about it until after I had finished 'Accidental Friends.' I started planning my next big project and remembered Helen's suggestion. The more I thought about it, the more I warmed to the idea.

Girls' football is the fastest growing sport in the world. According to a survey conducted by Sport England in 2008 1.1 million girls play football in some form. Across the world the figure is something like 26 million. Think of the potential readership!

auntie pat photoauntie pat photoFootball, like all sports, is perfect for storytelling. It's all there; passion, humour, suspense, tension, drama, mud. What more could a writer ask for? It wasn't as if I'd be starting from scratch, either. My Auntie Pat played for her works team in the 1950s and my daughter Hanya, now in her twenties, has played since she was nine. I knew exactly how smelly shin pads could be after a match. I'd seen how pathetic some parents were as they yelled at their kids for making a mistake. In fact, I'd been researching Girls FC for years without even realising it!

So I started planning a series based around an U11s team. I researched the history of women's football and used key people from the past in my stories. I named my league after Nettie Honeyball who pioneered women's football in the 1890s and named my team after Lily Parr (Dick, Kerr's Ladies) who was one of the first women footballers to be inducted into the Football Hall of Fame. My coach became Hannah Preston as Preston is where English football truly started and my assistant coach Katie Regan after Helen Reagan.

After I'd panned the storylines for all the books, I found my nearest women's football team, the Lincoln Griffins and watched their junior squad play and train whenever I could. It was amazing how often life imitated art.

Walker Books are publishing this series and I think they've done a fantastic job. The covers, by Sonia Leong are so eye-catching, aren't they?

All that's left now is for me to finish the series and hope that everyone enjoys reading Girls FC.


'I have read all the Girls FC books that are out at the moment and I can't wait for more to come out. I am not a reader but your books just grab me as I can really relate to them. I think that you are a brilliant writer but my favourite book of the F.C series is Who Ate All the Pies I love this book as it really has meaning but it is still an easy read. It puts across a really important message but in a fun and amusing way.
Thank you for writing the books as it has really kick-started my reading.'
Eva, (Y8)

'I have only just started to read Are All Brothers Foul? But I LOVE IT SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!'
Abigail, aged 10

'I love your Girls FC books. They inspired me to join my school's girls' football team. I've only read two of the books but I absolutely love them.'

'I really enjoy reading your Girls FC books and I have now read 8 of them. I can't wait to read the rest. I really enjoyed reading Tabinda's story because I used to be afraid of headers but I told my dad and he practised with me in the garden.'

'I am writing to you to tell you how much I enjoy reading your Girls FC series. I am currently reading Jenny-Jane's So What If I Hog The Ball?'
Amelia, aged 10

'Fantastic. My niece loved them. I only wish there had been books like this when I was growing up'
Sue Smith, Lincoln Ladies and England player

'Bang-up to date.'
The Scotsman

'A delightfully written, fresh new series about girls on the pitch.'
Letterbox Library

'The girls here are just what Lily was - real, funny, warm and yet determined to have their say, and do their thing. You go, girls!'
Barbara Jacobs author of The Dick, Kerr's Ladies

'My daughter and I really enjoyed reading Do Goalkeepers Wear Tiaras? and we can't wait for the rest of the series. This book makes football a fun activity that isn't just for boys and I hope reading the series will encourage more girls to get involved in sport from an early age.'
Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson

'A great book for boys and girls. I read it with my six-year old son and he absolutely loved it after turning up his nose at it at first when spotting Girls FC on the cover. My son and I both loved the humour in the book and the short chapters. The dialogue is funny and catchy and the story includes details from everyday life. Highly recommended.'
Amazon Reviewer

'My ten year old daughter read it from cover to cover in one sitting and thoroughly enjoyed it. We're off to the library now to get others in the series.'
Amazon Reviewer

'The books will definitely appeal to a group of children who have been neglected in the reading market'
Amazon Reviewer

'My 8 year-old granddaughter really enjoyed this story. She is a very girly girl who loves football so the title really caught my eye. It's a nice counterpoint to other series such as High School Musical and shows girls in a very positive role.'
Amazon Reviewer


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Official name
Parrs Under 11s

Lornton FC, Low Road, Lornton.


Affiliated to
The Nettie Honeyball Women's League: junior division

Sweet Peas Garden Centre, Mowborough

Club Colours
Shirts: red with white sleeves; Shorts: white; Socks: red with white trim

The Parsnips

Hannah Preston

Assistant coach
Katie Regan

The books

Do Goalkeepers Wear Tiaras? image
Do Goalkeepers Wear Tiaras?

Meet Megan and find out how wearing a tiara and fairy wings to football practice led to her starting her own, brilliant girls' football team.

Can Ponies Take Penalties? image
Can Ponies Take Penalties?

Petra is having second thoughts about joining the Parrs. For a start she's rubbish at football, something her mum, who would prefer her to join the Pony Club, keeps pointing out. Worse than that, her best friend Megan seems to be putting football first. Is football more important than friendship?

Are All Brothers Foul? image
Are All Brothers Foul?

Lucy Skidmore loves sport and football is her favourite; she just can't wait for Saturdays to come. If only things were less complicated at home; since her parents split up arranging who's taking her and picking her up from matches has become a nightmare. As for her brother Harry… don't even go there.

Is An Own Goal Bad? image
Is An Own Goal Bad?

Dylan and Daisy McNeil are nuts – everyone knows that. They're also late for everything and it's driving their teammates crazy. When their lateness threatens the cup run, it's their Scottish granny who rescues the day.

Who Ate All The Pies? image
Who Ate All The Pies?

It's the end of season one and the presentation evening is looming but Holly's not going. Why would she? Like her dad says, it's always the attackers like Gemma who get the glory and Holly plays defence. Plus fat girls don't win trophies, right?

What's Ukrainian For Football? image
What's Ukrainian For Football?

Nika and her family have settled into the UK. She is happy being part of the football team and can't wait for the summer trip to Sherburn Sands. A 7-a-side World Cup Tournament! But when the Parrs are selected as Ukraine, things turn sour between her and JJ, who wanted to be England. Then Nika's uncle tells her about a special match that took place during World War Two...

So What If I Hog The Ball? image
So What If I Hog The Ball?

Jenny-Jane can't believe that the new away strip is pink. Pink! Of all the colours in all the world why did Tabinda's dad have to pick that one? Well, she wasn't wearing it. Hannah could keep her on the bench the whole season for all she cared. She had enough changes going on with her horrible brothers and useless new teachers at the unit. Wearing pink was one change too many.

Can't I Just Kick It? image
Can't I Just Kick It?

Tabinda has a problem; she's scared of heading the ball. The trouble is, if she told her dad he'd make such a fuss in front of her coach and everyone she'd want to crawl into a hole and hide. No, no, it was way better to keep her problem to herself and hope that nobody noticed, right?

We're The Dream Team, Right? image
We're The Dream Team, Right?

When a snowstorm causes a match to be abandoned halfway through, the quiet and reserved Gemma invites Eve back to her house. Here she opens up and tells Eve things about her past, little knowing what consequences this would have on and off the pitch.

Has Anyone Seen Our Striker? image
Has Anyone Seen Our Striker?

10 year old Eve Akboh lives at home with her mum and two older brothers, Samuel and Claude. Her dad died when she was five but she still remembers him. Every goal she scores is a goal for her dad but when things go wrong on the team and she knows she's to blame, she stops scoring. Eve knows there's only one way to find her form again but with only a few matches left until the end of the season, time's running out.

Do Shinpads Come in Pink? image
Do Shinpads Come in Pink?

Amy Minter; what is she like? Girlie with a capital 'G' , she's never really taken football seriously but now that her time is almost at an end she's having second thoughts. Does she really want her legacy to be the one who didn't make an effort? No. But it's the end of the season; it's too late to do anything about it now, isn't it?

Here We Go! image
Here We Go!

Megan has seen so many changes in the team since she started it and she's coped with every one of them, just about. What she hadn't realised was the biggest change of all had to come from within herself. Find out what happens to Megan and the rest of the team in the last of the series.