Can 13-year-old Nat Dixon save the club he loves from relegation? Striker Boy is a page-turning football thriller, with plenty of action both on and off the pitch.
A new special not-for-profit edition has been released to raise awareness of mental health, and in memory of its author Jonny Zucker, who last year tragically took his own life. He is survived by his loving wife and their three young sons. £1.40 from the sale of each copy will go to Mind, with the rest of proceeds going to the author’s family.
Jonny lived with depression for over two decades but accomplished many things in that time. He dedicated his life to getting kids reading, working for many years as a primary school teacher before becoming a children’s author. He often used football as a way to reach young people that wouldn’t normally read for pleasure. Even as an author Jonny worked closely with schools. He was the author in residence at several primary schools, and worked with the Premier League Reading Stars across London.
As a child Jonny Zucker devoured any stories about football and footballers. He set his heart on being a writer and, in particular, writing a novel that combined a football story with a thriller plot. Striker Boy is that book.
"Jonny was my best friend and soul mate. The Striker Boy campaign gives me hope and comfort that his death wasn’t in vain, that even in death Jonny can still inspire thousands of children all over the world through his words,” said his wife Fiona.
Paul Farmer, Mind’s Chief Executive, added: “We’re delighted to have been chosen as the charity partner for Striker Boy by the Zucker family. Their support will mean that Mind can continue providing vital services, like our Infoline, so people can make their own choices and access the treatment and support that is right for them. This partnership will help us to make sure no one has to face a mental health problem alone.”
Beyond funds, the Striker Boy campaign is raising awareness of mental health issues in adults and children. Mental health will touch the lives of almost everyone in one way or another - one in four people will live with a mental health problem and it is the largest killer of men under 50. Mental health is an illness that can affect people of all walks of life. Several recent incidents involving footballers have demonstrated how those that may appear to have everything are just as vulnerable as everybody else.
Brentford FC believes that people suffering from mental health problems deserve our support. Football can be an inspirational force both to improve children’s education and to aid positive mental health. For this reason, Striker Boy represents two very important causes for the club and our community.
Available at www.strikerboy.com for £6.99, Striker Boy makes a wonderful gift for any young fan. Mind has a confidential information and support line, Mind Infoline, available on 0300 123 3393 (lines open 9am - 6pm, Monday – Friday).