Football writer helps children and adults to be champions at reading

Pictured at Fulham Library with pupils from Holy Cross and Al-Muntada primary schools are (back row, left to right) the mayor, Cllr Charlie Treloggan; football writer Tom Palmer;
Fulham FC's head of community Simon Morgan and Fulham FC football development officer Malcolm Wilson.

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Football writer Tom Palmer helped schoolchildren
and adults to score at reading during a visit to Fulham Library on Thursday, 12th May 05.

Tom was a guest at the latest meeting of a recently-launched reading group, called Premier League Reading Stars, which uses the beautiful game to promote literacy. He ran a series of quiz rounds about reading football books, magazines and newspapers to encourage a passion for reading. The children, who were with their
parents, built up points which were translated into penalties and a penalty shoot-out finale in Fulham Library's exhibition hall with Tom in goal.

A published football writer whose books include If You're Proud to be a Leeds Fan, Tom also visits schools around the country, encouraging children to write about the game as players or fans. He said: "I hated reading until I was 17 and my mum got me into it by encouraging me to read newspaper reports about Leeds United and taking me to matches. I think the way that the library staff and Fulham FC are backing Premier League Reading Stars means the project is about as successful as it could be in this borough. It is great to see so many children and parents taking part."

Fulham Football Club has joined forces with the
council's library service as part of the Premier League Reading Stars scheme, a national initiative involving all 20 premiership clubs. Each club adopts a local library, where children and adults meet regularly to discuss and review the books they have read.

Five of the children who attended yesterday's event are pupils at Holy Cross Primary School, in Fulham, and also attend the Fulham FC Skills and Learning Centre (see note below). The
other five were from the Al-Muntada Islamic Primary School, in Parsons Green.

The borough's mayor, Cllr Charlie Treloggan, who also attended the event, said: "This is a great way to encourage children and adults to share an enjoyment of reading and become regular
users of their local library. It also builds on our excellent partnership with Fulham Football Club, with whom we run the successful Fulham FC Skills and Learning Centre to improve children's literacy, numeracy and computer skills."

The Premier League Reading Stars scheme was launched at Fulham Library two years ago by Fulham FC midfielder Lee Clark. Defender Moritz Volz, who is Fulham FC's current 'Reading
Champion', plans to visit the library for another session with children and their parents or carers on 26 May.

Reading Champions from each premier league club have nominated a book for a Reading Stars booklist. Fulham Library has received 40 free books - two copies of each book on the reading list - supplied by the National Literacy Trust. The charity is helping to run the Premier League Reading Stars programme with funding from the Arts Council. Children who take part can keep these free recommended books or donate them back to the library when they have finished with them. In addition children each receive three free books of their choice as part of the scheme.

They can pick any title from the players' reading list or the library's main book collection and can have their book reviews published on the scheme's website at

Fulham Football Club's head of community Simon Morgan, who also attended the event, said: "This is a fantastic initiative and Fulham Football Club is delighted to be involved. The
scheme is of great educational benefit to children in the local community."


May 15, 2005