What books did you read when you were a child?
I loved animal adventures, so Fantastic Mr Fox, The Wind in the Willows and Brian Jacques’ Redwall series. My main football reading came from magazines like SHOOT and MATCH.
If you could be a storybook character who would you be?
I’ll go with Mr Hoppy from Roald Dahl’s Esio Trot. I’d like to have a tortoise or two, a balcony filled with plants, and his unwavering determination.
What is the best thing about reading?
For me, the magical thing about reading is its power to transport you - to a hobbit hole, a treasure island, a football pitch.
What is your all-time favourite book?
I’d say The Wind in the Willows because of the amazing characters but also because of my happy childhood memories. We had a beautiful, illustrated edition that my mum and I read together.
Other than reading books what is the most important thing a parent can do to help develop their children’s communication skills?
I think talking about the books you’re reading is also really important. Comprehension isn’t an easy skill for kids to learn and so fun discussions about characters or what’s going to happen next, can really help with that.
How big a part did your parents play in encouraging your writing skills?
My parents played a huge part and still do. By taking such a keen interest and pride in my writing, they really encouraged me to keep developing my skills. My mum still talks about my early use of adjectives!
How do you encourage your children or grandchildren to read, what books do you enjoy reading with them?
My nephews are currently one and three-years-old. There’s a lot of Peppa Pig and Paw Patrol but I try to balance that out with Burglar Bill by Janet and Allan Ahlberg, and The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr. One day, maybe we’ll read the Ultimate Football Heroes books together!
Matt Oldfield is one half of Matt and Tom Oldfield, the brothers behind the Heroes Football book series for children aged 7-12 years old. Their fun biographies tell the life stories of the world’s greatest footballers including Gareth Bale, Luis Suarez and Wayne Rooney. Matt also works with schools, charities and literacy organisations to deliver reading and writing workshops aimed at football fans and reluctant readers.
Matt is the author of Ultimate Football Heroes published by John Blake (£5.99 each)
Read more author interviews here.