On Wednesday 28 June Dan Freedman, a children’s football themed novel author came to visit St Martin’s. Yet, not only did he give a fantastic talk about writing but he also officially opened the newly refurbished school library, which was an honour. He said how a library opens so many new doors in life and we could be a certain character or escape from the outside world all inside a book. Mr Freedman also explained that real books are always there to read, and will never run out of battery like digital books do and that there is nothing more satisfying than turning over the last page of a great book.
As Mr Freedman began talking, the whole of main school were instantly hooked, many seeming to easily relate to his passion for football. He described how his journey from hating books and loving football came together from one catalyst. One of his friends wanted to buy a football novel for her godson, but she couldn’t find one in the whole book shop. Then something clicked in Dan’s head, making him think that he could write a football novel.
When Dan was younger, he was told many times that he would never be in the England football team that he aspired to be in. Though he was very skilled at playing, he was too slow in moving and running with the ball. He believes that whenever someone says “never”, you should take it as “not yet.” And yes, he didn’t become a football player playing for England, but after all of his experiences he definitely felt like one. He became a journalist and when working for England he was considered a part of that team. He walked with them, into the 2002 World Cup Finals. He did everything from eating to sleeping along side the other team members.
Mr Freedman tells us he is not good at thinking of ideas out of the blue. Instead he “steals” ideas from real life experiences. For example, he was visiting a school in East London several years ago, where there seemed to be chaos because the staff and students were having their annual football match against each other. Mr Freedman decided to watch the match and there was such a great atmosphere that he had to write a book on it, and so that is how he started his first ever book, Kick Off.
Throughout Mr Freedman’s experiences that he told us about, he showed us that he was a perfect example of perseverance. He carried on trying to get an agent and be published for three years, with his family’s encouragement. All the boys enjoyed talking to him as they got their books signed and I’m sure they were sad to see him go, but had been inspired with his relatable journey to becoming a successful author. He is a perfect example of great ambition and triumph.
Daniel A commented that “Dan Freedman’s success was due to perserverance.” Tian P said that he felt “motivated to not only dream about great things but to do great things!”
School librarian Mrs Oldroyd-Elliott who organised the visit said “The boys delighted in hearing about Dan Freedman’s experiences he had as the Football Association’s Editor; he travelled all over the world with the England Football Team over the course of two World Cup campaigns. Dan Freedman’s presentation was truly inspirational and after hearing him speak, we feel that anything is possible!”
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