Football Reading Game

World Book Day, Corby School

I am now taking bookings for author visits relating to my football books for girls and boys.  I can offer a mix to suit you of :


This year’s Women’s World Cup 20 July -20 August 2023 is a great chance to celebrate football and reading for all children, linked to my books.


I have been working in schools and libraries, promoting reading, for over ten years; specialising in motivating boys to read. My popular Football Reading Game – half football reading quiz, half penalty shoot out – makes reading fun and relevant to all children.

Sinclair House School
Sinclair House School

“Great morning! Very memorable! You were a big hit! Let’s keep in touch and find a way to organise a return visit!” Lucy Shepherd, Bristol Grammar School

As well as having visited over 3,500 schools across the UK, I am a consultant for the National Literacy Trust, the Reading Agency and Booktrust. International reader development has taken me to Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Russia, Australia and Egypt.

If you want to know more about my visits, email me here or use admin (at) tompalmer (dot) co (dot) uk or use the form below:

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“Guerilla reading motivation at its finest” Jim Sells, National Literacy Trust

“Tom’s visit was an absolute hit with our kids! Personally I’ve seen a lot of author talks but never one that had involved a reading quiz that got the whole audience on their feet cheering and chanting. It was a great way of combining a love of literacy and of sport.” Christleton High School

Premier League Reading Stars session


  • Advance pack of materials, activities, sample chapters and posters.
  • Reading by me from my latest children’s novel
  • Up to date quiz about football reading : fact, biography & fiction books and football in the news
  • Penalty Shootout Contest (suitable for indoors)
  • Q&A with Tom about writing and reading
  • Booksigning session with your local bookshop

“There is no doubt that Tom Palmer has a Growth Mindset!”  Reigate St Mary’s


* for groups of 30 to 300

* from Year 3 to Year 8

* 45-60 minutes per session (max 3 session per day)

* for girls and boys

* for football fans and foes

* Fee for a whole day plus reasonable expenses (or split costs with another school in your region)

“What a fantastic day! Tom informed and entertained the pupils in equal measure with his interactive assemblies.  The children were inspired by his stories and motivated to follow in his footsteps-a MUST for every  primary school!”  Neil Homer, Primary School Teacher and Education Project Leader, Shrewsbury Town In The Community 

Read a fab report by Class 3 Harewood CE Primary of a recent school visit with my Football Reading Game here.

Contact me for more information or about booking my Football Reading Game here or use my contact form here.

Recommendations from Schools

Sinclair 3
Sinclair House School

“I just wanted to write to say a very big thank you for all your work in the Leeds schools last week. Really pleased to hear it all went well and we’re so grateful for your valuable support and work in what is an extremely valuable education programme.” Harrogate International Festivals

“Thank you so very much for coming into school. Your performance and discussion with the children were both stimulating and informative and as a consequence the children learned a great deal. They have been raving about your visit with much energy ever since! It was such a delight to see the children enter the spirit of the day with such vim and vigour, and with positive response and questioning. That amounts to a whole lot of credit to you and your presenting style. It was a privilege to have you in school and I admit your relaxed comfortable manner, with the children and staff alike made my life a whole lot easier.” Denise, Amesbury School

Sinclair 2
Sinclair House School

“Our sincere thanks for your marvellous visit on Wednesday. You were a real pro, and the boys have not stopped talking about you and your books since Wednesday! I will continue to spread the word about what an excellent visiting author you are.” Dorset House

“Tom’s visit was a real treat – the students loved it.” Little Heath School, Reading

“Thank you for your really amazing and inspirational visit to Edgeborough. The children and the staff loved your relaxed interaction and they are still buzzing from the penalty shootout and Football Reading Game! We will all remember your visit for a very long time. Good luck with your research and your next book.” Edgeborough Preparatory School

“We loved having Tom, he was a great hit and the boys and girls are still talking about his visit!” Edgeborough

“We would be very interested in you visiting our school in your books are very very popular.Farleigh School

Thank you for coming to visit us at the Junior School. The children thoroughly enjoyed hearing you talk.” Alleyn’s Junior School, Dulwich

“I am writing to say how much the children of Alleyn’s enjoyed your visit. We have many visiting speakers and authors to the school but I can honestly say you were premier league! Your presentation was both entertaining and inclusive and the children loved every minute of it. The penalty shootout is such a good idea and the children will remember you for a long time to come. We will be having another bookweek next October and although we are not yet able to finalise the theme, we would be thrilled if you could possibly consider making a guest appearance?” Alleyns School

“Thanks so much for yesterday. You were totally and utterly fab! I’ve been stopped constantly on the way through the school this morning with kids asking when you’re coming back and teachers saying ‘Thanks for getting him in, he was brilliant!’. We’re looking forward to seeing you again! Thanks again!” Millfield Preparatory School, Somerset

“One of the boys in my English set is telling all the other children that you are the best author that has ever lived – ever! so you may be mobbed on arrival… Cheers………………Just wanted to say thanks again for a brilliant visit to our school. Also wanted to let you know what an imapct you’d made on our children. Several members of staff came up to me the following day to tell me about boys in there class who normally have no interest in reading but who are now full of enthusiasm for your books. My teaching assistant couldn’t get her son to bed because although he normally isn’t interested in reading, she couldn’t get him to put one of your football academy books down. At 10pm she finally took it off him! Thought you might like the feedback, Thanks again and keep up the good work inspiring the children.” Arundel Court Junior

“Today, in Writing Workshop, a 9 year old read his new story to me and it’s based on your books. You’re an inspiration. I’m keen to known if we can afford to have you visit us. Many thanks in advance, and congratulations on your books!ACS Hillingdon International School

“You are all no doubt aware that the World Cup begins this weekend. Years 4, 5 and 6 have been ‘warming up’ for this international event by reading a live, ‘on-line’ story written by Tom Palmer. Tom spent a day with us last year when he shared his passion for football and for writing, inspiring many of our pupils. His debut children’s novel, ‘Foul Play’ had just been launched by Puffin and was thoroughly enjoyed by our Year 5 and 6 pupils. He has since written a further two in the series featuring young football detective, Danny Harte: ‘Dead Ball’, set in Russia and ‘Off Side’ set in Africa. In collaboration with The Literacy Trust, Tom is writing a special ‘live’ story. It began on 7th June and is published every weekday morning at 8.00 am until 12 July. The story is being followed by the children as a daily five minute classroom reading slot and will respond to real events and results of the World Cup Tournament as it progresses. The unfolding story can be accessed at It is a very exciting venture that we hope will really engage our older readers!” Heathfield, Rishworth School

“Dear Mr. Palmer, We are really enjoying your story, thank you. We really enjoyed the part where Danny was left on the Safari and then escaped the lions and also the part where Danny drove the land rover. We are looking forward to tomorrow’s episode.” Ashbridge School

“We are a boys’ prep school in Guildford, Surrey with about 450 boys between the ages of 3 and 13. We would love a visit from you! Is there any chance of a visit in the autumn term? We have a big celebration in Children’s Book Week ( 4th – 8th October) but we would love to see you at any time of the year, for a whole day visit if you can manage it. Most of our boys are keen readers. We have lots of your books in the library and I know the boys would enjoy hearing you talk about them.” Cranmore School

“Sadly we do not have the budget this year for a visit but I thought I would let you know that I think your World Cup Tool Kit is marvellous and I am going ahead with our Reading challenge over the World Cup! Each class will adopt a team and we have a whole school challenge to read 250 books. I wanted to say thank you very much for the inspiration to get this project resurrected. We are particularly looking forward to your story and will await each chapter with great anticipation! Good luck with all your endeavours over the World Cup month and let’s hope my school reaches its reading target and that England does well! Thanks again and best wishes.Claires Court Schools, Ridgeway

“The message came from Librarian Chris Turner at the Hordle Walhampton School in Lymington, Hampshire. Chris ordered various ‘Foul Play’ and ‘Football Academy’ titles from Tom’s range for an event that took place this month… She would just like to say what a delight it was to have Tom Palmer at the school. She could not praise his performance enough and wanted you guys to know that he was simply outstanding! I have been informed that the children interacted very well with him and she also said that they would love to welcome Tom back to the school at some point in the future. Thanks!” Amy Clements, Puffin Books

Many, many thanks for today. The children are buzzing about the sessions. It was terrific fun and everyone enjoyed it.” Port Regis School

“Thank you so much for coming along to SHS and talking to the boys, you were a huge success!! Staff and boys commented on the visit and how enjoyable it all was. Good luck with the new book and keep in touch.” Shrewsbury House Prep

“Thank you. That was the best author visit we have ever had.” Churchers College, Liphook

“Hi Tom, Just to say a big Thank You for your visit on Monday. The pupils were buzzing all day about the penalty shoot out. The feedback from parents today was really good too. One pupil in particular Jordan, who struggles with his reading took his signed book to his extra support tutor and they have started to read it together. So Thanks for inspiring him!” Tettenhall College

“Penalty shoot out – at Kingswood Library!
Tom began by telling the students how football inspired him to read. His enthusiasm was clearly contagious, and soon students from both schools were sharing their own reading likes and dislikes. The students then took part in a quiz about football reading, followed by a penalty shoot–out for those who answered questions correctly. After several comedy misses (from both schools!) Rick Davies of form 7NP, scored to win the Football Reading Game Trophy. The afternoon ended with excellent questions from the students to Tom about how he comes up with ideas and writes his books. Tom Palmer was a big hit with the boys and we will be inviting him to speak to a wider audience at Harris Boys’ Academy East Dulwich very soon.”

“I would like to thank you on behalf of all the boys, for your visit on Monday. We all really enjoyed meeting you and the penalty shoot out was great fun. I have just started Foul Play, like a lot of other boys here, and I think it is great (and I’m not really a football fan!) You have certainly got us all reading!” Head Boy, Aysgarth School

“I’ve read Foul Play to a group of boys at school and they really enjoyed it! We’d love to try and arrange something in the Spring Term – when are you free? We are a small boys’ prep school” Lockerspark School, Herts

“The children at Manor Lodge know your writing because we were sent Foul Play as one of the books we tested for the Red House Children’s Book Award. The children enjoyed it so much that when the time came to pass on the books to another school, I had to buy a copy for the library!” Manor Lodge School

“Thank you so much, once again, for giving the children the opportunity to see and hear from ‘ a real live author’ – their words not mine. Tom was so good: obviously interested in the children and put so much effort into capturing their interest. I have spent most of the afternoon with the Year 4 children and they were completely animated by him. They talked all the way over to the swimming pool and back again. It was lovely to hear their excitement and so many of them have decided to buy more of his books. It’s such a boost to their love of the written word and I can’t thank you enough.” Stockport Grammar

“Good luck with all the writing projects – I spotted a year 5 boy just the other day reading ‘Foul Play’ – hurrah!” Dolphin School

“After your visit it was lovely to hear the children’s excitement …it was such a boost to their love of the written word and I cannot thank you enough.” Stockport Grammar School

“The best thing was, that it has encouraged some of the more reluctant readers in the group – especially when Tom talked about how he got into reading.” Nottingham High Junior School

“You made a real contribution to our aim of getting the boys talking about books, reading & writing.” Bury Grammar School

“We would love a visit from you – Foul Play is very popular with the older boys.” Homefield School, Sutton

“You were a big hit! Let’s organise a return visit!” Bristol Grammar School November 

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