Winner of the Striker Boy writing competition announced

March 4, 2019

Last year we ran a Striker Boy writing competition, which attracted over 500 entries from budding writers across the country. To enter, children had to write a 200-word diary entry from the perspective of Striker Boy’s main protagonist Nat Dixon.


The winning entry, which you can read below, was submitted by Rayna from St Luke’s Primary on the Isle of Dogs (London). Rayna had this to say:

“The ‘Striker Boy’ challenge was wonderful, and I was even more ecstatic that I won! I really enjoyed reading the book and have read it cover to cover 4 or 5 times! It was a difficult task because you had to summarise it in less than 200 words, but I have to tell you that I didn’t expect to win and have never read a book about football with such enthusiasm as I did this one.”

We chose Rayna’s entry as the winner because of its great depth of vocabulary, gripping tempo and realistic diary style. In recognition of her achievements Rayna received a hamper full of football merchandise from clubs who have supported the Striker Boy campaign, including Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea, and many others. In addition, she won a personalised football shirt for a team of her choice. Rayna chose West Ham but admitted this was principally because she liked the claret and blue colour scheme!

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, she won £100 for her school to spend on books. Hopefully these books will inspire other children at St Luke’s to pick up a pen and start writing.

Striker Boy campaign manager Sam de Lange (pictured) visited St Lukes to present Rayna with her prizes as part of a school 'celebration assembly'.

The fact that Rayna is self-confessed football-phobic is testament to Striker Boy being much more than a football book. At its heart it’s a gripping crime thriller that will have children glued to the page. You can pick up your own copy here, and £1.40 from every copy sold is donated to Mind – the mental health charity.

Here is Rayna's winning entry.

Dear Diary,

I am trembling with such excitement that I am having trouble keeping my pencil steady! Wait till you hear this…

Today, Dad and I were ambling along to the Rangers event when suddenly a mysterious figure blocked our path, whipped his hat off, lifted his shades and there he was, Rangers Assistant Manager, Stan Evans!

I stared at him in awe as Dad fiddled with his tie. This was surreal! He then used my name in the same sentence with some of the world’s most skilled footballers! How I wish you could frame speech!

He looked at me with somewhat of a gleam in his eyes asking if I would consider a trial for Rangers on Thursday! If it wanted to, my jaw could have hit the ground and chiselled its way down to the core of the earth! After two minutes of deathly silence and a painful elbow in the ribs from Dad, I managed a feeble “yes”. With a curt nod, Evans was gone.

“Bloody hell!” Dad quoted seconds later. There was nothing else to say; “bloody hell” covered it!

Chat tomorrow Diary, when I am twice as worried about Thursday as I am today.