Everton Free School students enjoyed a very special visit recently as successful author Dougie Brimson called into the Spellow Lane facility on World Book Day.
Dougie, who is best known for penning the cult movie Green Street, discussed the rudiments of writing with students from Year 10 through to Sixth Form over the course of two assemblies, before explaining how his life led him into his chosen literary path.
After 18 years’ service with the Royal Air Force, including both the Falklands War and the first Gulf War, the ex-Sergeant engineer’s writing career began in 1996 when he wrote a co-book exploring the culture of football hooliganism entitled ‘Everywhere We Go: Behind the Matchday Madness’. He has subsequently written a further 14 books in a variety of genres including fiction thriller and fiction comedy.
With over half a million books sold worldwide and three multi-award winning feature films on his CV, former serviceman Dougie Brimson has forged a reputation as one of the UK's most diverse writers.
“It is phenomenal as a football fan to see a club put something like Everton Free School back into the community,” said Dougie. “The facilities here are incredible.
“Books are really important, they act as a form of escapism, but more importantly they allow young people to explore their imaginations. Video games and social media, while both enjoyable, can often stifle someone’s creative flow. I would rather see young people read and learn, which in the fullness of time will stand you in much better stead.
“When you are at school you don’t realise what you have,” he continued. “I am not necessarily saying that these are always the best days of your life, but this is where your future is shaped.”
“Dougie’s visit has had a real positive impact on the students today,” added the School’s Head of English, Jacqueline Colbeck. “What we really wanted to do was bring someone in who could really influence their writing skills and Dougie has done exactly that. He has talked them through his life, how he got to where he is now, the books he has read as well as written, as well as the films he has penned or had involvement with.
“It has been a great inspiration for them, we need the students to be inspired by people who have done well in their lives and we want to keep introducing them to people like Dougie. He has shown them his books and stressed the importance of reading.
“Reading will build on someone’s writing skills and a lot of students, as well as many others, do forget to read,” she continued. “That is why we are so keen for days like these, as well as the promotion of World Book Day, to keep the kids reading, both in school and at home.
“Reading is an essential, every day skill that everyone needs.”