About Me

I am a father, husband, author, football fan and a reader. In fact, it was reading about football that changed my life.

I wasn’t keen on reading when I was young. My mum was worried about me because I was struggling at school. She encouraged me to read about football in newspapers, magazines and books. Gradually I came to love books.

And, from that point, my life changed. I wanted to know everything about books. I went to night school to do A levels when I was 21. Then I did a degree in European Literature when I was 24. It was brilliant!

Tom Palmer Black OPAfter I had graduated, I went to work in a bookshop, then a library, then I managed book festivals. All that time I was writing: stories, poems, diaries and books for adults. Then – after a few years – I was lucky enough to have one of my football books for children accepted by Puffin.

Read my fuller biography page here.

How I became a writer

I’ve made a FREE short introductory film about my career and how it has been based around the world of reading and writing – in bookshops, libraries, book festivals and literacy charities.

It is for classroom use in careers, English or PHSE lessons, aimed at people who might like a career in the book world.

Watch or download from my advert free YouTube site here.

Listen to my recent interview with The Careers Podcast
here .

More about Tom

Powerpoint.  A quick introduction to me and my books.  Download here.

More literacy resources here.



Tom Palmer Reading Foul PlayEmail me with any questions here.

Meet me at one of my events.

Watch my advert free YouTube films about how I write and about my books here.

Read a recent interview with me by pupils from Tettenhall College published in their school newspaper.

Watch me reading from the first chapter of Foul Play.

Frequently Asked Questions

I get asked a lot of questions. These are the most popular ones:

Hamstel display
Visiting Hamstel Junior

Do you come into schools?

I do. I love it.  I can bring an inflatable goal or rugby posts and host my Football Reading Game or Rugby Reading Game complete with penalty shoot outs.   I also offer a Historical Fiction option for my author visits.  Ask your teacher or school librarian if she or he would like me to come in.  And at the moment I am doing virtual visits – either live or pre-recorded and they are going really well!  More here .

How many books have you written?

54 in total. About spies, detectives, ghosts, war, pilots, rugby, friendship, parents and football.

How long does it take to write a book?

Shorter books like Football Academy  take a month. But the Foul Play ones are more complicated and three times as long: they take four or five months. History books like Over the Line took over a year to research and write.

What research do you do for your books?

If I write about a place I need to have been there. I went to Ghana to research Off Side, the third Foul Play book. Part of it is based in Africa, so it was important to get that right.

Do you get help writing the books?

Yes. Lots. My wife and my friends help. My daughter. Then I try to find experts about what I am writing about so that I can make sure I get my facts right. People are very generous with their time.

Do you know any other writers?

A few. I sometimes work with Helena Pielichaty who writes the Girls FC books. I used to work for bookshops and libraries, so I met a few then. But most of my friends aren’t writers.

What other jobs have you had?

Librarian. Bookseller. Milkman. Post office bag sorter. VDU operator. University lecturer. I liked them all, except the last two.

Where do you get your Foul Play writing ideas from?

Newspapers. Football is full of crime. I read about it the newspapers. When a story grips me I know it’s one I can use in a book.

Why do you support Leeds?

I was born there. And being a Leeds fan is a special destiny.

Player Profile

Thank you Hamstel Junior for the wonderful cake

Born: Yorkshire Day, 1st August, Leeds

Team: Leeds United

Favourite stadium visited: Elland Road, Leeds (but also Bernabeu, Spain and Hearts of Oak, Ghana)

Favourite footballer : Lucas Radebe, Leeds

Favourite football magazine: World Soccer

Favourite football book: Keeper by Mal Peet

Food: Fair Trade chocolate

Country: Norway

Drink: Yorkshire tea

Yorkshire Tea

Buy Books

Signed and dedicated copies of all my books are available personalised to order from my local independent children’s bookshop “The Thoughtful Spot” here. 

With an extra special Christmas or birthday card from me on request!

Overseas : FREE Delivery worldwide from The Book Depository.
Australia: Boomerang

Canada: Amazon Canada
New Zealand: Wheelers

USA :  Indigo books

Visit myAmazon bookshop or support your local bookshopHIVE



Schools bumper 33 book pack
offer here

33 books
£194 saving £63 – over 25% discount

Please email rosie@rosemaryhillbooks.co.uk


Schools class set offer here.

15 copies 20%+ discount
30 copies 25%+ discount
100 copies 30% + discount


Please email rosie@rosemaryhillbooks.co.uk for a quote



Email me here for more information or use my contact form here to ask me a question.

Thank you.



PRIVACY & COOKIES POLICY                            TERMS & CONDITIONS