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After studying the history of everything at Goldsmiths College, Simon worked at the Science Museum making paper aeroplanes and setting fire to hydrogen balloons. Despite being a fully-grown man, his favourite subjects include dinosaurs, robots, rockets, loud music and Star Wars. An Ipswich Town fan since they won the FA Cup in 1978 (it's true - look it up) he lives in Kent with his wife, daughter, and a cat with two names.
If you want to know the facts and the stats behind Virgil Van Dijk, Liverpool star, UEFA Men’s Player of the Year 2018 – 2019, then this is the book for you. They're all there – the number of goals scored for teams and country, the number of clean sheets kept. You’ll also learn lots about Van Dijk the man, his early life growing up in the Netherlands and playing football non-stop, his dreams of playing like Ronaldinho and how a late growth spurt turned him into the football giant he is today. It’s told in such a lively, accessible style, with lots of humour and asides from writer and illustrator (they appear in the illustrations, slipping in extra jokes and football facts). Readers can test their memory at the back with a quiz and this is a winner for any young footballer, whatever side they support.
What a special person Marcus Rashford is, on and off the pitch. With a focus on his football, this excellent little biography also gives readers a good idea of his life and how he’s got to where he is today. The stats of course speak for themselves, he’s a brilliant footballer and the book provides some analysis of why he scores so many goals. It also tells us about his early football games, playing in his tiny back garden with brothers Dwaine and Dane, before joining the youth academy at Manchester United (born in Wythenshawe, he’s always been a fan). No matter how successful he’s been, he’s never forgotten the community he grew up in as the book explains, and its final stat, after all those goals, penalties and assists, is the money he’s raised for charity FareShare: £20 million. Author and illustrator write with all the enthusiasm of real football fans, peppering the pages with jokes and extra football facts, making this very appealing and super-readable. There’s a quiz at the end to test the reader’s memory and a useful glossary too.