Booked! England players dash into print as football fever grips

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The Independent Culture

The trials and tribulations of England's World Cup campaign will kick off a publishing bonanza over the coming weeks. Six of England's key players in the current squad are to bring out books before the end of the year as they cash in on football fever.

Heading the attack is Wayne Rooney with My Life So Far, ghosted by the writer Hunter Davies, the first of five books to be published under a £5m deal.

Outgoing manager Sven-Goran Eriksson is touting his book about his time with the England team, and a deal is expected to fetch in excess of £1.5m. Although Eriksson has kept silent about his private life during his five years in charge, the book is expected to include revelations about his affairs with the FA secretary Faria Alam and with Ulrika Jonsson.

Other England players to have books out shortly are Frank Lampard with Totally Frank; Ashley Cole's My World Cup Year; Rio Ferdinand's My Story; and Steven Gerrard's autobiography.

David Beckham will add to his tally of best-sellers with a new book, Making it Real: My Soccer Skills, which is coming out in September.

If last year's England success in the Ashes is anything to go by, there will also be numerous rush-released round-ups of the competition. A spokeswoman for the bookshop chain Waterstone's said: "It is very likely that all the major publishers will have something in the pipeline."

But it is a game of two halves for booksellers. While they can expect to pack their shelves with books from England's stars in the next few months, yesterday's match and the sweltering weather were predicted to drive down sales as crowds elected to stay at home on what should be the busiest day of the week for bookshops.

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