Norwich City goalkeeper John Ruddy visits City Academy Norwich ahead of World Book Day

Pupils at City Academy Norwich had a special guest ahead of Thursday's World Book Day celebrations, Norwich City goalkeeper John Ruddy.

The big shot-stopper stopped of at the Earlham high school this afternoon to talk to 30 lucky pupils about his favourite books and the importance of reading.

He revealed that Dan Brown's books The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons were two of his favourite books but that sports autobiographies were also often on his reading list.

Mr Ruddy, who many have been tipped for a call-up to the England national squad because of his great form this season, said: 'When The Da Vinci Code came out in the cinema there was all the talk about it but a lot of people were saying the book was a lot better, and I absolutely loved it.

'I heard Angels and Demons was as good as well and I loved that too. I usually read a lot of sports autobiographies and I used to be mad about wrestling when I was younger, so Brett Hart and The Rock's books were what I read.'

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The 25-year-old goalkeeper, who signed for City on an undisclosed fee from Everton in the summer of 2010, took questions from the City Academy students before signing autographs and posing for pictures and heading to the school's sports hall to give some football coaching tips.

He was keen to encourage the pupils to read though, just as he encourages his two young children.

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Mr Ruddy added: 'I've got two kids of my own, the oldest is four and is at the age where he has started to pick up words so it is important that we read to him and encourage him.

'He likes the Gruffalo and Thomas The Tank Engine books, so it's an important part of his development that he is reading at an early age.'

The school's librarian, Viviane Palmer, added: 'It's really exciting for the students, particularly this week, with it being World Book Day.

'It is particularly big for us to have a football player in as well because it is always boys that are hardest to get into the library, so it is really encouraging for them to hear about reading from John.

'Quite a few of the questions they asked him were about football but that shows how much they read about football, on books, magazines and websites.

'It all helps with their literacy so we do stock some football magazines and books in the library.'

- Have you got a story about Norwich City? Contact reporter David Freezer on 01603 772418 or

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