English soccer star Marcus Rashford took home the top prize at the British Book Awards, the BBC reports.
Rashford won the honor for his motivational children’s book, You Are a Champion: How To Be the Best You Can Be, co-written with Carl Anka and set for publication in the U.S. next month by Feiwel & Friends.
The publisher says the book “is packed full of stories from Marcus’s own life, brilliant advice and top tips from performance psychologist Katie Warriner.”
Rashford, 24, is one of the world’s most recognizable soccer players. The Manchester United forward is known not just for his skills on the pitch but for his charity work with literacy and anti-poverty organizations.
His book won the overall book of the year award, which is selected from the winners of the prize’s other categories. You Are a Champion was the winner of the children’s nonfiction category; other winners this year included Meg Mason for Sorrow & Bliss (fiction), Phil Earle for When the Sky Falls (children’s fiction), and Paul McCartney for The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present (lifestyle nonfiction).
“I think the way that the book has been perceived, and the reception it has got, and the actual words that I have heard from a lot of the kids, they have taken different stuff from the book, which is what I intended to do,” Rashford said. "I am really happy with it and hopefully it shows that if we can get books in the hands of children, it allows them to dream and believe in whatever they want to achieve in life."
Michael Schaub, a journalist and regular contributor to NPR, lives near Austin, Texas.