Dad publishes children's football book inspired by Norwich City
PUBLISHED: 14:46 15 May 2018 | UPDATED: 14:46 15 May 2018
As his sons were growing up, born-and-bred Norwich City fan Peter Barnes thought it would be a fun idea to write a fictional story about two young football-mad brothers who rise to football stardom after getting mistaken for the Murphy brothers.
But the father-of-two is now sharing ‘The Bumpy Road to Wembley’ beyond the bedroom walls of his sons Daniel, 11, and James, 13 after self-publishing the book on Amazon.
To appeal to an audience further afield than Norwich City fandom, Mr Barnes has subtley changed some of the character’s names in the published version - but Canaries fans will not be fooled as to the book’s original plot with names like Celia Whisk.
Mr Barnes, 44, said: “The draft manuscript contained real football players, teams and names, but in the published version I have changed these to fictional characters and teams - though readers may still recognise many of these!”
The book follows the fortunes of Jimmy and Danny, two football crazy kids, who following a comical mix-up with the England coaching staff are thrust into the realms of professional and international football after being mistaken for City’s attacking twins Josh and Jacob Murphy??
The two end up reaching the cup final at Wembley, featuring a certain Norchester City and Norchester Town - but Mr Barnes says that those wanting to find out which team wins will have to buy the book and find out.
Mr Barnes, 44, said: “I originally wrote the book for my sons, who were eight and 10 at the time, as a Christmas present.”
When I had some time off this year I thought I would write it up and change the names so there weren’t any legal issues when I published it.”
The City fan, who now lives in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, says that regardless of the book’s success he doesn’t plan on quitting his day job in IT.
He said: “People say I have a talent for writing and it has been well received. I would love to be a full-time author but at the end of the day you have to pay the bills.”
Despite living more than 150 miles away from Carrow Road, Peter and his sons still follow their team home and away. The boys have met past and present Canaries stars and eldest son James was able to get his hands on City midfield star James Maddison’s shirt after the game against Cardiff City in December.