The best football books for kids

Get young football fans reading with our edit of the best football books for kids including picture books, non-fiction, and poetry collections

There’s no better way to encourage a football-obsessed child to read than to give them a book about the sport they love. Here we share our favourite football books for kids, perfect for gifting to any little football fanatic in your life. 

For more books to empower young readers, discover our edit of the best feminist children’s books

The Wonder Team And the Forgotten Footballers

by Leah Williamson

Loosely based on one of Leah Williamson's big inspirations, the Dick Kerr Ladies and their brave protest against the ban on women's football, The Wonder Team and the Forgotten Footballers is a fun adventure that comes from the heart. When Leah unearths a mysterious time capsule in her local park with her two best friends Mimi and George, she opens up a whole new world of adventure. Transported a hundred years back in time, she finds a women's football team in crisis. Can she and her friends lead them back to victory? 

You Have the Power

by Leah Williamson

Written with Suzanne Wrack, Leah Williamson, captain of the England women’s football team inspires children to be a leader in everything they do. She uses her experience as an elite footballer to inform the stories she tells – not least the Lionesses’ triumph at the 2022 European Championships! In a sport that can so often be male-dominated, Leah is a brilliant role model to show young girls how to find their strength and empower them to follow their dreams.

Sammy Striker and the Football Cup

by Catherine Emmett

Perfect for 3-5-year-olds, Sammy Striker and the Football Cup is an empowering story for young football fans, about friendship, courage and, of course, football. Sammy Striker always has a football at her feet, and one day she's spotted by Melissa McDream who coaches the Under 8s National Team! Sammy is a dribbler extraordinaire, headed straight for the top. But, as the Football Cup gets closer, the nerves kick in and Sammy's shots on goal go a bit wonky.

You Are a Champion

by Marcus Rashford

Marcus Rashford MBE, famous for his skills both on and off the pitch, shows children how to achieve their dreams in this positive guide for life. Long before he was a Manchester United and England footballer, Marcus was just an ordinary kid from Wythenshawe, South Manchester. You Are a Champion is packed full of stories from his life and covers themes of dreaming big, learning from mistakes and finding your voice. This is more than just a football book – young readers will be inspired by these life lessons from the nation’s greatest footballing heroes. 

You Can Do It

by Marcus Rashford

In this follow-up to You Are A Champion, Marcus Rashford MBE shows kids how to be kind to themselves and others, celebrate differences, bounce back and be team players. He demonstrates how these are vital skills for all budding footballers to apply to both their gameplay and also everyday life. Give reluctant readers this book, written by their hero, to encourage positive reading habits. While this book goes beyond football, it’s the perfect gift for young fans to engage with the sport they love while conveying important life lessons. 

The Breakfast Club Adventures

by Marcus Rashford

Inspired by Marcus’s own experiences growing up, The Breakfast Club Adventures: The Beast Beyond the Fence is the first fiction book by England International footballer, child-poverty campaigner and bestselling author Marcus Rashford MBE. When Marcus kicks his favourite football over the school fence, he knows he's never getting it back. But when Marcus gets a mysterious note inviting him to join the Breakfast Club Investigators, he is soon pulled into an exciting adventure. Fans of the series can also get excited for the releases of The Ghoul in the School and The Phantom Thief later this year.

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50 Ways to Score a Goal and Other Football Poems

by Brian Bilston

This hilarious collection of poems by Twitter’s unofficial poet laureate, Brian Bilston, provides guaranteed giggles for football fans of all ages. Are you team Messi or Ronaldo? Or do you have strong opinions about the World Cup squad selections? Bilston brings these classic football-fan debates to life with his characteristic wit and lyricism. Laugh together through the Euros or Premier League games, and swap the half-time pundits for puns!

Busy Football

by Jayri Gómez

Little football enthusiasts can push, pull and slide the tabs to play in the Busy Football match! Young children will love playing with this bright and colourful board book with gentle rhyming text, and wonderful illustrations by Jayri Gómez. Readers can even block the ball from entering the net and pass to teammates to score the winning goal. And they’ll meet twelve famous football heroes, including Cristiano Ronaldo, Lucy Bronze and Hugo Lloris, while doing so. Part of the Busy Book series, this is a great choice for infants. 

Football Skills

Book cover for Football Skills

Young players can perfect their skills with this essential guide. Complete with colourful and exciting pictures and easy-to-follow instructions, Football Skills includes advice on dribbling, passing, shooting, defending, goalkeeping, tactics and more. So, whether you want to be a sturdy presence in the back four or a tricksy winger you’re one step closer to playing like the professionals with this book on hand. The detailed practical advice is enhanced by spreads about the all-time great players, the FIFA World Cup and unusual versions of the sport.

The Football Encyclopedia

Book cover for The Football Encyclopedia

Updated with a fresh new design and all-new photographs throughout, The Football Encyclopedia brings you all the latest information, stats and facts from the world of football. Perhaps you want to scrub up on all the stats about your favourite superstar player. Or maybe get the lowdown on the greatest tournaments and competitions. No matter which team you support or which players you aspire to, this is an essential book for all football fans. The book also now features expanded material on women’s football, making it the complete Encyclopedia of the beautiful game. 

Football Jokes

by Macmillan Adult's Books

When is a footballer like a baby? When he dribbles! Perfect for football fans who like a good giggle, Football Jokes is filled with hundreds of the most hilarious football jokes around! With funny illustrations by Jane Eccles, young fanatics will be laughing through those all-important World Cup games, Premier League matches and European Cup finals — even when the result doesn’t go your way. 

Match Annual 2024

Book cover for Match Annual 2024

MATCH is the UK’s bestselling football annual and is top of Christmas wish lists for footy fans everywhere. Inside the Match Annual 2024, you'll find the ultimate guide to the games ahead, from the UEFA Champions League Final to Euro 2024. Plus a Women's World Cup 2023 scrapbook, tons of brain-busting quizzes, WSL stats special, the chance to colour-in Haaland, an EFL club selector, hilarious cartoons, in-depth profiles on epic entertainers like Bellingham and Saka, and loads more!