Publisher Little Brown has announced England and Chelsea footballer Frank Lampard is to write a series of five children’s books, titled Frankie’s Magic Football, for children aged five and over.
The first, Frankie Versus The Pirate Pillagers, is set for a June release, followed by a further two later in the year and two in 2014. The deal was brokered by JK Rowling’s agents Neil Blair and Zoe King of The Blair Partnership.
Publishers Little Brown said the books will follow the adventures of school boy Frankie, his football-loving friends, and pet dog Max.
Lampard said: ‘I first had the idea of Frankie and his Magic Football when reading stories to my own children.
‘Sport and reading are two essentials for us at home, so I decided to make up my own football stories and adventures.
‘The characters are loosely based on friends and team mates I’ve played with over the years. I am delighted that Little Brown liked the stories as much as my children and will be publishing the Frankie’s Magic Football series.’
Lampard’s publishing deal was handled by agents Neil Blair and Zoe King who also represent JK Rowling.
They said the books were ‘full of loveable characters on wacky adventures’ and destined for ‘great things’.
Lampard is not the first footballer to write fiction – Arsenal star Theo Walcott has written a series of children’s books and former England manager, Terry Venables, co-wrote a series of crime novels.
Lampard has been capped 94 times by England since making his debut in October 1999, and has scored 27 goals. He was voted England Player of the Year for two consecutive years in 2004 and 2005. He played in Euro 2004, where he was named in the team of the tournament after scoring three goals in four games. He was top scorer for England in their 2006 World Cup qualifying campaign with five goals, and played in the 2006 World Cup. He is England’s most prolific penalty taker with nine goals, surpassing the previous record holders, Ron Flowers and Alan Shearer. He was named the 49th highest earning athlete in the world in June 2011.
Lampard has two daughters with his former fiancee, Spanish model Elen Rivas, and is currently engaged to British TV presenter Christine Bleakley.
Little Brown is a UK publishing company known for the quality and diversity of its publishing. It was originally established by Charles Coffin Little and James Brown in 1837 and called Little, Brown and Company.
Since 2006 Little, Brown Book Group has been owned by Hachette UK, a subsidiary of Hachette Livre. The company was sold to Hachette by Time Warner US who owned Little, Brown UK and USA.
Frank Lampard’s bio on the Little Brown website reads as;
‘Born into a football family, with his dad being a West Ham player, Frank was determined to succeed in becoming the same. He left Brentwood School with 11 GCSEs, carrying on to pursue a career in football. Starting at West Ham United, Frank now plays for Chelsea and the England team.
The inspiration for Frankie’s Magic Football sprung from Frank reading to his own children, and them asking for stories about football. When he couldn’t find any he created his own characters and adventures to entertain them. He lives in London and Surrey with his wife and daughters and hopes to inspire both young girls and boys to read with his new series.’