Football Case studies

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Bedworth Library

Established a Dads 'n' Lads project to try to encourage reluctant teenage readers.

Coventry City provided a table football game, a signed football and a pair of match tickets to see Coventry vs. Liverpool. The items were used as draw prizes for completed evaluation forms and book reviews, respectively.

Two Playstation consoles plus footie games were loaned from another county council youth project free of charge.

Sports Development officer attended from Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough Council with information about coaching, local football clubs, etcetera.

Plenty of football magazines were also made available.

David Reed, Divisional Librarian, has kindly made his report available. From this you will be able to gain an idea of some of the practicalities and logistics of setting up such a project.

Islington Libraries

Held an inter-secondary school quiz to test knowledge of World Cup countries.

Venue supplied by Arsenal FC, prizes from Sainsburys.

The winning school received a trophy and a replica World Cup football while the 6 winning team members got a bagful of goodies.

The runners-up each received a £5 book token.

The borough's 10 libraries put up exciting and imaginative displays of books, videos, DVDs and music.

32 collectable World Cup cards are also available: one for each of the countries taking part, with questions testing knowledge on the history of the competition. Cards could be picked up from libraries, but not all cards were available from every library.

Held competitions to write a match report, published by local paper High & I, and to draw a picture from a match.

Contact Geoff James:

Doncaster Libraries

Joined up with Doncaster Rovers Football in the Community for the 2002 World Cup to help promote each other's services in the community. There was a quiz (you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download this, click Acrobat Reader if you don't have it, to try the quiz online click online quiz) for the over eight's relating to the World Cup history. All the answers to this were on a big display within the library, and in books and websites.

Eric Randerson at FITC provided prizes of a family ticket for the first home game of the season, places on a football skills challenge day, and each week of the competition (which lasted throughout the World cup) there was a draw for a football. The under seven's had to design a football shirt, and the best received a 'goodie bag' from the Rovers and was entered into the draw for a football. Everyone who entered received a certificate from FITC and bookmarks from the Library service. During half term, the library hosted an activity which involved reading football poems and stories and making a footballing puppet.

On 22nd of July 2002, Eric Randerson from FITC came to the library, to talk about FITC & give out the prizes from the competition. The local radio and lots of children came along for a brilliant day. Following from this, Rovers have asked Carol Wootton of the library to write an article each week for their website, so permanently linking the library & the club. Now the website has an official children's area with lots of games, quizzes, book reviews, poems jokes and more. To see this visit

Hampshire Libraries

Steve Claridge (currently Millwall FC but from Portsmouth) appeared on a bookmark with library service (he has also written a book). A Dads and Lads librarian, originally funded by the Arts Council, has established after-school groups in four locations. This post has now been expanded by the library authority. Robbie Earle has visited one group, Bournemouth players another and there are plans for Southampton players to attend an event in September. Reviews from their book discussions are posted online. Some of their reviews have also featured on the RIF site and they have received prizes for these.

Bradford Libraries

Have held several football writers' sessions in a local pub, where fans can talk about football and find out how to read more about it. Encouraged to write book reviews as 'homework'. Have a website (launched by Nick Hornby in May) to encourage book/football discussions, with lots of literacy related activities such as swapping football songs, write a review of 90 words.

School case studies


Schools in Hampshire held a competition to make a booklet out of local school children's original work inspired by first lines. The opening sentences came from Anne Fine's 'Bill's New Frock' and Tolkien's 'The Hobbit'. Portsmouth FC provided the venue, and awarded medals as prizes which were given out by players. First team members have also visited after-school clubs to talk about reading.


Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School. "In order to inspire boys to write, we invited our local football clubs to send in a representative that we could interview [for our newsletter]. Students gave a brief outline of the importance of our local teams and the best were then invited to interview the Chief Executive of Burnley FC, players from Bury FC and coaching staff from Liverpool FC. The project focused on boys who did not see a purpose for their writing. By focusing on one of the most popular male activities boys who were not usually attracted to writing for the paper were now very eager to participate. How successful? The number of boys writing for the paper went up seven-fold. The finished articles were included in the paper which was a complete sell out. The proceeds from which were donated to school to help with our fundraising for new sports facilities. Our activities were also featured in the local press.


In their school library, Blythjex High School in Norwich showed World Cup matches at lunchtimes, made a display of football fiction, non-fiction, a big display of results and posters with footballers reading. They also held competitions to identify 20 players and their countries and to design a strip or a mascot. A range of prizes was offered, from book vouchers to an England Football (signed by an author), to packets of crisps.


In Staffordshire James Brindley High School asked Years 7 & 8 to write book reviews for members of the England Squad. This gave students an opportunity to suggest their favourite reads to Becks and Rio, and to tell them what is so good about them. They then put screensavers up saying: "Becks should read."


"St Patrick's School takes boys aged 8 and upwards. It delivers both a mainstream and remedial curriculum. It also has a residential care home. The school has just started a 6 months pilot project for under achieving boys based totally on football. The name of the club is 'Johnny Bosco's Learning Club' (JBLC), named after the founder of the Salesian Order. The boys are called players, our learning support volunteers are coaches and as teacher in charge I am known as the referee. We deliver our alternative football curriculum in a very large room which has striped curtains - black and white for Juventus, red and white for Man u and black and yellow for a local club. The boys attend the club dressed in their football gear for 6 hours a week. At the moment we are concentrating on improving their English. A lesson based on colours enabled the boys to design their own team strip, a lesson on body parts included labelling our football mascot, Each session the players can earn 2 goals and I also award a ref's goal for special work. Once they have earned 10 goals which are recorded on a goal mouth they can trade these in for a player which they then colour in their own team strip. The object being to collect a team plus officials. This is a real motivator. Each boy has their own pitch made from green card on which they position the players they have earned. We also operate yellow/red card procedure but haven't yet had to use it!

"This week we started the JBLC grammar league and had teams of nouns, adjectives and verbs."

Club case studies

Leyton Orient - held a paper-chase literacy related quiz around the ground

For example, 20 students from the Robert Smythe School recently visited the stadium to discuss how a business is run as part of their A-Level studies. The topics discussed included finances, merchandising, marketing and conference and banqueting. The club's community mascot, Filbert Fox, has also visited over 20 schools for sessions of 'Read with Filbert' to encourage children to read more often. Let us know about your good ideas so that we can share them! Email us

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