SAFC skipper John O’Shea has revealed his goal to get children reading.
The defender kicked off this year’s Premier League Reading Stars initiative, which encourages pupils to read more books.
O’Shea signed up to the scheme as part of the National Literacy Trust campaign, and took part in an interactive DVD to be shown in schools, where youngsters are set reading challenges by the Republic of Ireland international.
“Reading is hugely important for everybody in education, no matter what their age,” he said.
“I enjoy relaxing with a good book and it’s great to be able to help encourage more young people to start reading.”
Now in its 11th year, the Premier League Reading Stars has seen three out of four pupils improve their reading level by up to a year.
Thanks to the programme, which is funded by the Premier League and Arts Council England, almost nine out of 10 pupils now read more because of their footballing idols.
Richard Scudamore, chief executive of the Premier League, said: “We’re very proud of Premier League Reading Stars, which has inspired tens of thousands of young people to raise their reading levels.
“The fact that the schools we work with have low achievement in literacy and high numbers of children from less well-off homes, means that we are helping those who need it most, providing a positive impact on their lives.”
To take part in the player reading challenges, visit www.premierleaguereadingstars.org.uk.