Toppsta - Childrens Books – Reviews

Reader Q&A with Gareth Southgate


England football manager, Gareth Southgate, is a role model for so many children. So, we were very excited to hear about his new book of life lessons and inspiration for young people and their parents.

Anything is Possible is all about unlocking your own potential. Southgate uses the same principles he applies when training the England male football team and it's all about the right mindset. 

If we can learn from our mistakes, keep positive and focus on our goals then we can achieve anything. In short, as the book says: Be Brave, Be Kind and Follow Your Dreams.

Toppsta reviewer, Tristan aged 12, loved the book and was lucky enough to have the chance to ask Gareth some questions about the book, football and his writing.

Here is Tristan's review of the book and read on for the full Q&A:

"This book wasn’t what I was expecting. It is so much better. I have really enjoyed reading it. It makes you feel positive about everyday life problems. I really like how it has been written. Even my dad and brother has been reading it. Great feel good book.”

Reader Q&A with Gareth Southgate
Toppsta Reviewer, Tristan, aged 12

1. What would you say is the most important out of all the parts? Be brave, be kind or follow your dreams?

Very good question! I’d have to say be kind, because that will impact on other people as well as yourself. We need to be a more tolerant society and help other people, especially in these difficult times with the pandemic.

2. What was your favourite book as a child?

So there was a guy called Michael Hardcastle who wrote football fiction books and that encouraged me to read. I did like Roald Dahl’s books as well!

3. In the book you mention that the England players play video games together what games do they play?

Usually they are competing at FIFA and they were certainly into Fortnite a couple of years ago

4. Why was football the centre of your world at a young age?

Hard to say, but I just loved kicking a ball around, trying to get better and competing to win.

5. What first comes to mind when I say the word football?

Kids around the World, from different backgrounds, on dusty, muddy, or icy pitches, united in a love for one sport.

6. What made you want to write a book?

I remember some books when I was a kid that gave me some good advice about life and I wanted to pass some things on that might be helpful. Especially, I’ve noticed as a I got older that most people experience very similar feelings, emotions, problems, but maybe you think you’re the only one. You’re not and I think that can be reassuring.

7. Who is your all-time favourite player and why?

In my lifetime, Maradona was the best I’ve seen, closely followed by Lionel Messi who I’ve had the privilege to watch live, many times. 

8. If you didn't have a career in football what job would you have liked to have?

I was thinking about journalism, because I was decent at English language at school and I thought I could write about sport.

9. What is the best age to start football and get noticed?

Well, you should just play and practice as much as you can from any age. People will notice you if you are good and have a good attitude, so you don’t need to push ‘to be noticed’. Enjoy your football first and see where it takes you!

Reader Q&A with Gareth Southgate

And here's what some of our other reviewers had to say about the book:

"Totally different to what I expected,  this book made me look at things differently and as my mum put it "helps you believe in yourself"... I told my teacher about it and he has even asked to borrow it."
Ad575, aged 10

"this book contains beneficial advice which will help for life. I found the book inspiring and helpful."
ChildGenius, aged 11

"I have been blown away by the practical suggestions and easily accessible layout of this book. My class are going to enjoy this"

"what an inspirational and motivational read"

"This book is absolutely brilliant on so many levels."

Reader Q&A with Gareth Southgate
Book pages Placeholder Book

Anything is Possible: Be Brave, Be Kind and Follow Your Dreams

NOW AVAILABLE: the inspirational book of life lessons for young people and parents, by England manager Gareth Southgate

With a foreword by HRH The Prince of Wales
YOU have the potential to make ANYTHING POSSIBLE .

When working with the England football team, we focus on what we might achieve instead of worrying about what might go wrong. I honestly believe that with the right mindset, a willingness to learn from our mistakes, and the ability to cope with the highs and lows, every one of us can make the most of our lives.

In this book I hope I can prepare you for your own exciting journey ahead.

Bravery is not just the kind of heroic act that earns a medal. It's the quality we need to step out of our comfort zones and take on new challenges.

A force for good that comes from the heart, kindness changes lives. It opens up opportunities and can be our greatest strength.

We all have a story to tell in life. It's down to us what it will be about. So, let's begin writing YOUR STORY - and make it one that truly shines.
'Inspirational and honest - just like the man himself.' BEAR GRYLLS

'I loved this - full of wonderful advice I can't wait to share with my children.' HOLLY WILLOUGHBY

'An inspirational book' THE SUN

'It really is a great book ... lots of really nice tips for confidence, staying strong, glass-half-full mentality, what makes a good team' CHRIS MOYLES

' I feel that the lessons you're sharing, the wisdom that you're sharing, has relevance for all of us, whether football fans or non-football fans. And that's because these are some quite core lessons for life ' DR RANGAN CHATTERJEE

'This is a fantastic book, I've told my son Noah, aged 11, you have to read this book ... I can't tell you how much I loved this book because [it talks] about confidence, and I struggled with confidence' CHRIS EVANS

' Southgate's analytical mind is stamped across the pages of the book; his meticulousness, his love of clarity and process. He offers tips and life lessons - focus on what you can control, do not compare yourself with others, dare to try even if it means slipping up. The tone is easy, upbeat and the messages are drummed home gently, always linking to one another ... what shines through is the warmth and inclusivity of his leadership style.' THE GUARDIAN


3rd February 2021

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