The news that Chelsea's Frank Lampard is to write children's books makes Martin Chilton groan.
Let's hope it's all his own work and that he is as pleased with it as Arsenal's Theo Walcott was with his children's book, TJ and the Hat-Trick, which he declared to be his favourite book when asked in a survey. There's nothing like modesty with these modern footballers.
Lampard's publishing deal was handled by agents Neil Blair and Zoe King who also represent JK Rowling. They said the books were "full of loveable characters on wacky adventures" and destined for "great things".
Maybe so, but I'd hope that parents would rather buy books for their children based on the quality of the work and the dedication and skill of the writer. And even if parents are buying for young male readers who struggle to get into reading then there are good ones already available that won't get the publicity Lampard will generate. Dan Freedman, who once worked for the Football Association, has written a vibrant series about fictional footballer Jamie Johnson — and there are even football fiction books for dyslexic readers such as the enjoyable Number 7 Shirt by Alan Gibbons.
To be fair, maybe we should see what Lamps — who must be happy to be signing any deal — has got in his locker. You never know, it might be good. But 'Lampard signs children's book deal' is somehow not a headline to leave you over the moon.