World of Sport

Premier League stars pick their favourite books. Which sometimes just happen to be their own.

World of Sport

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Niko Kranjcar: Now we know what he reads in his (plentiful) time on the bench

A group of Premier League stars have picked their favourite books to help boost literacy through the Reading Stars scheme - though some of them have let the side down spectacularly by picking their own literary efforts.

One player from each of the clubs in the top flight recommend their two favourite books, one for adults and one for children.

Some of their choices were beyond reproach: Tottenham's Croatian midfielder Niko Kranjcar picked genuine classics To Kill a Mockingbird and Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, while Brazilian writer Paul Coelho's highly-regarded novel The Alchemist was chosen by both Owen Hargreaves and Stuart Holden.

Needless to say, books about football got several mentions, though we have to wonder how many people will take up Chris Kirkland's suggestion to read his fellow goalkeeper Brad Friedel's autobiography, Thinking Outside the Box -- and we couldn't help but chuckle at Mike Williamson's vote for Bob Wilson's Ultimate Collection of Sporting Lingo.

Sadly, however, three of the selections jump out as horrible attempts to cash in on what was intended as a good way of encouraging people to read more.

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Mark Schwarzer reads from one of the books he recommended. And also co-wrote. Tut tut!

First up are Theo Walcott's choice of his own kids' book, TJ and the Hat Trick, and Mark Schwarzer's choice of Megs and the Vootball Kids, a children's book he co-authored with Neil Montagnana-Wallace.

But worst of the lot is Stoke goalkeeper Carlo Nash, who chose a travel book penned by him and his wife, Family Adventures in Style, about how they and their kids go off all around the world on  exotic luxury holidays. Shameless.

Adult book selection Kids book selection
Theo Walcott (Arsenal)
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by JK Rowling TJ and the Hat-trick by Theo Walcott
Barry Bannan (Aston Villa) David Beckham: my side by David Beckham Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Ryan Nelsen (Blackburn Rovers) The Marks of Cain by Tom Know Kiss! Kiss! Yuck! Yuck! by Kyle Mewburn
Stuart Holden (Bolton Wanderers) The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho The Twits by Roald Dahl
Josh McEachran (Chelsea) Mr Messy by Roger Hargreaves El Diego by Diego Maradona
Tim Cahill (Everton) The Smell of Football by Mick Rathbone BFG by Roald Dahl
Mark Schwarzer (Fulham)
Destined To Live by Ruth Greuner Megs and the Vootball Kids by Neil Montagnana-Wallace and Mark Schwarzer
Charlie Adam (Liverpool)
May I have your attentions please? by James Corden Quack! Quack! by Roger Priddy
Owen Hargreaves (Manchester City)
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho The Cat in the Hat by Dr Seuss
Chris Smalling (Manchester United)
The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling
Mike Williamson (Newcastle United)
Bob Wilson's Ultimate Collection of Sporting Lingo by Bob Wilson Meg and Mog by Helen Nicoll
David Fox (Norwich City)
Operation Mincemeat by Ben Macintyre The Gruffalo's Child by Julia Donaldson
Joey Barton (QPR)
Dracula by Bram Stoker The Witches by Roald Dahl
Carlo Nash (Stoke City)
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl Family Adventures in Style by Dr Jill Nash and Carlo Nash
John O'Shea (Sunderland)
The Runaway Jury by John Grisham Fantastic Mr Fox by Roald Dahl
Leon Britton (Swansea City)
An Idiot Abroad by Karl Pilkington James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
Niko Kranjcar (Tottenham Hotspur)
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by JK Rowling
Paul Scharner (West Bromwich Albion)
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas The Gruffalo's Child/The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson
Chris Kirkland (Wigan Athletic)
Thinking Outside the Box by Brad Friedel Splat the Cat by Rob Scotton
Stephen Ward (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
Digital Fortress by Dan Brown The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson
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