At the age of 36, Frank Lampard is thinking about what he might do when he retires from football.
After more than 20 years in the game, he is one of England’s most lauded players, but he’s already made an unexpected ?career swerve by publishing nine children’s books. And more are on the way in the Frankie’s Magic Football series.
“I thought I’d do something good with my time, rather than watching TV,” he says. “Footballers spend a lot of time travelling and staying in hotels.”
Lampard’s books are written for young readers and aimed particularly at those who are interested in how to dribble a football past two defenders and score a cracking goal.
Last year, the National Literacy Trust survey revealed that 16 per cent of boys rarely or never read outside the classroom, and only 51 per cent of boys aged 8-11 thought reading was cool.
Lampard can empathise. “In terms of reading being uncool, I get that,” he says. “I was a young boy myself who loved kicking a football or watching telly.”
But he is now involved in the NLT's Premier League Reading Stars programme to make reading cool – and has recently become an ambassador for the trust.
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Premier League gives £10.5m to primary school sport – 13 Aug 2014
Frank Lampard among football stars to inspire struggling readers – 27 July 2014