I wish my mum was alive to see this.
Monday will be my first day as Leeds United Children’s Writer in Residence. I’ve been taken on by the Premier League club to work with their education department and Leeds schools to promote reading for pleasure through football.
I write books and promote literacy because of my mum, but, as a kid, I struggled with reading. My mum, who was a teacher, used the only thing I was properly interested in to engage me with reading.
She had me reading matchday programmes in the South Stand, the Yorkshire Evening Post every day and magazines like Shoot and Match each week.
Sadly, she died when I was in my early twenties. But she left a great legacy. I am a reader because of her. I am a writer because of her. I am Leeds United Children’s Writer in Residence because of her.
So, when I got the call from Mat at Leeds United Education to tell me the name of the first school that we’re going into I didn’t see it coming.
‘Where shall I meet you?’ I asked him.
‘Seacroft Grange Primary School,’ he told me.
I went quiet.
‘Is that okay?’ Mat asked.
‘Yeah,’ I said. ‘That’s where my mum was a teacher.’