Story of local legend shortlisted for Blue Peter Book Award

Michaela Morgan with the new book on Walter Tull
Michaela Morgan with the new book on Walter Tull

A book featuring the late Northampton Town star Walter Tull, who once lived in Rushden, has been shortlisted for the prestigious BBC TV Blue Peter Book Award.

The book, Walter Tull’s Scrapbook (Frances Lincoln), is written by Rutland resident Michaela Morgan.

Tull was the first black British outfield football star, who overcame being an orphan and played for Spurs before racial abuse nearly forced him from the game.

Instead he moved to Northampton where he found friends, support and became a club stalwart in the years leading up to the First World War.

After joining up at the outbreak of war he went on to become the first black British officer in the British Army, even though it was against regulations at the time.

Tull, who also played for Rushden Town Cricket Club, was killed at the age of 29, on March 25, 1918.

The book, for 9-13 year olds is told as if written by Tull, with post cards, mementos and personal photos from the time.

It has already gained the support of footballer, TV panellist and chairman of the Professional Footballers Association, Clarke Carlisle and is only one of only three non-fiction books shortlisted nationally for the Blue Peter award.

Michaela Morgan is an established children’s author, having written over 140 titles during the last 30 years.

Her work includes junior fiction, non-fiction, poetry and picture books for the very young to early teens.