The Football School Encyclopedia byAlex Bellos, Ben Lyttleton and Spike Gerrell: must-have gift for all young-at-heart footie fans – book review -

Could football – the nation’s much-loved beautiful game – be the source of all knowledge, from history and geography to science and language?
The Football School Encyclopedia by Alex Bellos, Ben Lyttleton and Spike GerrellThe Football School Encyclopedia by Alex Bellos, Ben Lyttleton and Spike Gerrell
The Football School Encyclopedia by Alex Bellos, Ben Lyttleton and Spike Gerrell

Although aimed at youngsters aged over nine, both children and parents are guaranteed to get a kick out of this fun and fact-packed football school encyclopedia which boldly claims that there’s nothing in the world that you can’t explain through football – even if you aren’t sporty!

Written by the dream team of bestselling author Alex Bellos and journalist, broadcaster and football consultant Ben Lyttleton, and fabulously illustrated by the hilarious cartoons of Spike Gerrell, The Football School Encyclopedia is a colourful cornucopia of all things footie.

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So look no further if you want to discover everything you've ever wanted to know about football. Packed with amazing true stories, terrific trivia, brain-busting quizzes, eye popping colour and laugh-out-loud cartoons on every page, the encyclopedia enables youngsters to learn about all aspects of the game, including the positions, rules, mascots, nicknames, trophies and tournaments.

Find out about the history of the game by journeying through football’s past from ancient history to the present day, the anatomy of a player, the ball, and the kit... did you know Henry VIII had a pair of football boots made by his shoemaker in 1526?

Travel the globe with the clubs and learn the secrets behind club mascots from Wigan’s Crusty the Pie to Swansea’s Cyril the Swan, the structure of a football club, stadiums and inside the business world of transfers.

Discover the flags and national team shirts and shorts of all 211 members of FIFA (the sport’s governing body) and take a geographical trip across the world through football, with maps, national styles, trophies and titles right through to the most prestigious tournament of all... the World Cup!

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And if you’ve ever wondered what footballers do all day, all is revealed in The Football Family section which gives readers the lowdown on pre-match menus, nutrition, the mental game, tactics, superfans, and football jobs like travel manager, data scientist, sports physio, journalist, photographer, graphic designer and groundsman.

Billed as everything you want to know about football, and with a guarantee that there is something new and exciting to discover about football on every page, this essential guide is a must-have gift for all young-at-heart footie fans.

(Walker Books, hardback, £14.99)