Match of the Day meets The Bill

TomcupThis has to be one of the most exciting weeks ever. Man U and Chelsea slugging it out for the Premiership. Two Champions League semi-finals involving English clubs. And . . . Leeds United have made it into the league one play offs. In fact, we could be promoted automatically if we get our 15 points back. But I can’t see that happening. (I’m sorry if league one is a bit obscure for you: I am, however, a Leeds fan!).

As if this week couldn’t get more exciting, there’s more . . .

Tom1_3Puffin are publishing my book on Thursday 1st May. Foul Play. A football thriller. Sort of a cross between Match of the Day and The Bill. I love that programme: all the swearing, cheating and fighting. And I like The Bill too.

Here’s the story of Foul Play.

Danny Harte witnesses the kidnap of England’s leading scorer. But no-one believes him. So he has to solve the mystery on his own. Who kidnapped Sam Roberts? And why? Where is Roberts? And can Danny rescue him? In the book Danny gets chased a lot. He meets footballers, football journalists and a menacing football club chairman. But can he rescue Sam Roberts?

Because so much is going on this week, I couldn’t get to sleep last night. I lay there from 10.30 p.m. to 2.15 a.m. Thinking. Champions League . . . Book launch . . . Play offs . . . Like I said: too much excitement.

But there was another reason I was over-excited. I’d just been to Salford. Home of Manchester United. I run these sessions with families called Football Reading Games. Half football quiz, half penalty shoot   Tom2_3 out. With me in goal. That evening I’d been doing it with eight Man U families. I always try extra hard in goal with Man U fans. It’s nothing personal: just that they’ve won so much, it’s only fair they don’t beat me too. After the kids had had a go (one lad scoring three out of five, not bad) the dads got up to have a try. There was no way three Man U supporting dads were going to put one over on me.

I take these things seriously, which is why I was a bit wired, which is why I couldn’t get to sleep.

If you fancy coming to one of my Football Reading Games have a look on under ‘Meet Tom’ and you can see a list of where I’ll be – and when – this summer. I’ll be in libraries all over England, from Cornwall to Northumberland, Norfolk to Merseyside. There’s more of my blog entries there too.

Tom Palmer