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Golden opportunity to name a character

Dan with the footballers of the future

Dan with the footballers of the future

Dan arm wrestles with Sven-Göran Eriksson

Dan arm wrestles with Sven-Göran Eriksson

24 October 2008

Author Dan Freedman (BA 1999) is offering Bristol alumni the chance to name one of the characters in his new book, Golden Goal. The book is the third in Dan's hugely successful series that follows the highs and lows of a schoolboy as he battles to make it to the professional football leagues.

Author Dan Freedman (BA 1999) is offering Bristol alumni the chance to name one of the characters in his new book, Golden Goal.

The book is the third in his hugely successful series that follows the highs and lows of a schoolboy as he battles to make it as a top Premier League star.

Dan, a lifelong football fan and former editor of the Football Association’s website, was inspired to write the first book when he tried to buy a present for an 11 year-old football-mad boy. ‘There didn’t seem to be a football novel for kids. I couldn’t understand it,’ he said.

And so he created the book’s central character Jamie Johnson, wrote The Kick Off and then its sequel, Shoot to Win.

The books are packed with top tips for young footballers and have been endorsed by some of football’s biggest names. ‘True to the game…Dan knows his football,’ said Owen Hargreaves. ‘An inspiring read for all football fans,’ said Gary Lineker.

They aren’t just about football though – Jamie faces bullying, problems with his step dad and a coach with a grudge. There’s even a bit of girlfriend interest thrown in. ‘It’s about a boy growing up,’ said Dan. ‘The good times he has and the obstacles he meets. If you didn’t include these, it would just be a series of match reports.’

Dan hopes that his books will encourage more boys to read. 'If boys can be drawn in through football, perhaps it will open them up to reading in general,' he said.  Dan was not a huge reader as a child; it was his English degree at Bristol that introduced him to the joys of literature – something he wants to share with others.

If you would like win the opportunity to name a character in Dan’s new book, email alumni@bristol.ac.uk with your name and the name for the character by 17 November 2008. The winning name will be selected from a prize draw.

You could name the character after your younger brother or sister, your child, your grandchild, your friend’s child – it would be great surprise for any football-mad youngster! 

Dan has just finished the first draft of Golden Goal and said he’s ‘Looking forward to finding out the name of one of my new characters.’

The Kick Off, Shoot to Win and Golden Goal are all published by Scholastic and are available to buy on Amazon. For more information visit www.jamiejohnson.info.