About Dan

Dan Freedman (TheodoreWood)Football has been a massive part of my life since I went to my first game, aged around three. In fact, I’m lying! I didn’t like that first game too much. But my dad took me back the next week and from then on, it was pretty much game over. Football was my thing.

I loved playing it – still do – but when it finally dawned on me that I might not be quite good enough to be a professional I set my mind on trying to work out if I could still be a part of the game somehow.
It seemed to me that the next best thing to playing the game was watching it so my new ambition was to become a football journalist.

I started early. You can see here my first ever published work of football writing – a letter that I sent into Shoot! magazine when I was 13! Then, while I was still at school, I did lots and lots of work experience at different, newspapers, tv and radio stations. You can also see articles I had published in the Mail of Sunday and Daily Express.

Those experiences gave me the taste of what it was like to be involved in football and the confidence to believe I could go on and achieve it.

First published - Shoot!

First published – Shoot!

My really big break came when, just after I’d left University, I got offered a job at The Football Association. It was a dream come true for me, just as it would be for any football fan. Imagine going into work every day at the organisation which actually ‘runs’ football. I had to pinch myself everyday that I sat at my desk.

Within two years I was travelling to the 2002 World Cup Finals, which were held in Korea and Japan. As The FA’s Editor, it was my job to interview all of the England players and report on their matches. As someone who’d grown up watching the likes of Beckham and Owen, to be living and working with them, day in and day out was a truly unbeatable experience.

As a journalist too, mixing with and getting to know the best football writers in the country was a great education.

As time went on, and my confidence grew, I ended up getting to know almost all the players that played for the Three Lions. Rooney, Gerrard, Walcott and Ferdinand were all kind enough to let me interview them, sometimes on several occasions as I set up The England Team’s first ever in-house TV channel.

Early writing for The Daily Mail

Early writing for The Daily Mail

And it wasn’t just England either. I wrote the FA Cup Final programmes too, which meant coming face to face with some of the top club managers and their players. As Manchester United were the most successful team in the country I worked closely with them over a number of years and there’s no doubt that three of my favourite ever interviews were those that I conducted with Roy Keane, Cristiano Ronaldo and, of course, Sir Alex Ferguson.

Since I left The FA in 2007 to concentrate on my writing, I’ve still kept all my contacts in the game and do as much freelance work as I can. Working as an Editor with the Premier League and FIFA over the last couple of years has kept me up-to-date with everything that’s happening in the game, including giving me the opportunity to interview Lionel Messi in 2009.

I realise I’ve been really lucky but I also know that there’s nothing special about me. These jobs are out there. The difficult part is working out what it is that you really want to do. Once you know that, it’s about doing everything you can to achieve it.

Rio Ferdinand and Dan

Rio Ferdinand and Dan

Frequently asked quick-fire questions

What made you want to go into writing?I wanted to share the amazing experiences I’d been lucky enough to have in football through a compelling story that would draw people in.

Who is the most famous player you’ve interviewed? CR7. (a.k.a Cristiano Ronaldo!) I interviewed him twice. We got on quite well.

How old were you when you started writing? – 13 or 14. I wrote to every newspaper in the country asking if I could come and do work experience doing my school holidays.

Why do you love football so much? – Incredible unscripted drama. The magic of a goal. The reflections of life. The escape from life. Connecting with people that you might not otherwise know or be able to communicate with. That moment when a player beats their opponent with a flourish of skill…

Which is the biggest match that you have ever reported on?The 2002 World Cup Quarter Final between England and Brazil.

How did you come up with the ideas of Jamie Johnson?They are all based on people, players or moments that I have met in life down the years. Football and life are so rich, you don’t need to make stories up.

Which JJ book is your favourite?That’s like asking a parent which is your favourite child!

Will you write another Jamie Johnson book? – If people want more, I would hate to disappoint them…

When will Series 3 of ‘Jamie Johnson’ come out?2018

Will you ever write a different series of books?Look out for a brand new book coming in 2018…

Dan and John Terry

Dan and John Terry

What they say

‘Pure joy’
The Times

‘A hot talent in children’s literature’
The Daily Mail

‘Drama you can’t beat’
Sunday Express

‘A must for junior football fans’
The Observer

‘He’s writing every reader’s fantasy’

‘If this page turner doesn’t tempt a few away from the Xbox, heaven help them’
The Financial Times

‘Action packed, never a dull moment and thouroughly recommended!’

118 Responses to “About Dan”

  1. Conor September 25, 2013 at 3:42 pm #

    Hi Dan really enjoying ur books

    • Dan Freedman October 30, 2013 at 5:37 pm #

      Delighted to hear it!

      • Tilak January 3, 2018 at 7:12 pm #

        Hi I love your books can you write some more please Dan your my favourite writer please

        • Dan Freedman January 7, 2018 at 10:57 am #

          Hi there,
          Thanks very much! Don’t worry, I am working on things all the time!

    • jess May 12, 2014 at 7:40 pm #

      Hello Dan

      Your coming to my school this friday and I am looking forward to meeting you.

      Jessie Spicer

      • Dan Freedman May 20, 2014 at 6:06 pm #

        Thanks Jessie, hope you enjoy/ed it!

  2. 7zLit1 October 4, 2013 at 11:26 am #

    After your talk on Thursday the group want to know if there is a way we can look at the Jamie Johnson TV programme.

    Yours sincerely,


    • Dan Freedman October 30, 2013 at 5:38 pm #

      We have to get it on TV first!

      • J lumber April 28, 2014 at 1:21 pm #


        Dan we come from Hamworthy Park Junior School and we are looking forward to you coming tommorow.

        Yours sincerely

        Romeo & Thomas Draycott-Lovell

        • Dan Freedman April 30, 2014 at 5:25 pm #

          Lovely school! Thanks for having me!

  3. zebra' s May 16, 2014 at 7:35 pm #

    Hi Dan freedman we really enjoyed you coming to our school we all love your book’s.Keep being a author your books are fab.from Lilly and Rosie.

    • Dan Freedman May 20, 2014 at 6:04 pm #

      Thanks for the support! Will do!

      • Tilak December 20, 2017 at 9:24 pm #

        Hi Dan I finally finished reading your cool football books Iam from Krishna avinti primary school that you will go to in January bye Dan and please can you write new books please BYE DANNNN!

        • Dan Freedman January 7, 2018 at 11:15 am #

          I love visiting schools. Make sure you say hi when I visit and have some great questions ready for me!

  4. SPOONEY June 16, 2014 at 10:16 am #


    • Dan Freedman June 17, 2014 at 10:05 pm #

      Sadly not. Saw him play for England U21s a few years ago though.

  5. George Parker September 27, 2014 at 2:07 pm #

    Hi Dan,
    I have just started secondary school and in literacy we have to do a 4 week homework project on our favourite author. I have chosen you, I have read all your books and I love football. Can you let me know what you did at university and also did you come across any obstacles when you were starting to write your books and if you’ll did how did you get over them,

    • Dan Freedman September 29, 2014 at 6:45 pm #

      Hi George,

      Thanks for your kind words! And good questions…

      I actually went to Uni to study Politics & Philosophy…but after a couple of weeks I realised I had made a very big mistake and that I really missed English. I managed to swap courses and the three years that I spent studying English Literature were really helpful in me later becoming an author.

      Lots and lots of obstacles in writing the books – not least the first book because, at the time, I’d never written a book before in my life. It isn’t easy!

      The main obstacle was being rejected by many publishers and agents. They just weren’t interested. But I always asked them why they were rejecting me and some of their feedback (for example, that I shouldn’t make Jamie Johnson too ‘nice’ as ‘nice’ characters don’t make for very interesting characters) was really helpful.

      Also, the support of friends and family when I was being turned down was vital too…

      Hope the project goes well, George. Feel free to send it to me when you’re done.

      Maybe we can publish it on the website…



  6. Murad October 4, 2014 at 12:41 pm #

    Hi Dan I heard that you are coming to our school, Chiltern hills academy . I look forward to asking you a lot of questions and when exactly are you coming because I don’t know.

    • Dan Freedman October 5, 2014 at 7:04 pm #

      I’m with you this week and really looking forward to meeting you all and answering all your questions. Make sure you prepare some good ones as there will be a prize for the best one in school which will then be entered for our best question of month! Dan

      • Nasir October 11, 2014 at 2:50 pm #

        Hi Dan I won the prize for the best question at Chiltern hills academy and you gave me 5 pounds and a small ball and your book with your signature so I want to give you a sincere thanks

        • Dan Freedman October 12, 2014 at 8:46 pm #

          No probs – you deserved it. Asking good questions (and listening to the answers) are two of the most important skills you can develop in your life.

      • xander jacobs January 8, 2016 at 7:09 pm #

        My author of the term is you I’m searching lot about you

        • Dan Freedman January 18, 2016 at 12:20 pm #

          Have you found enough information Xander? There is plenty on this website. Let me know how you get on.

  7. Gemma Hayward October 7, 2014 at 4:38 pm #

    Good website. Good for homework.

    • Dan Freedman October 7, 2014 at 8:12 pm #

      Thank you! Glad you like it.

  8. Elli October 9, 2014 at 6:50 am #

    hi dan looking forward for you to come to Chiltern hills academy tomorrow.

    • Dan Freedman October 9, 2014 at 5:55 pm #

      I look forward to meeting you all. Dan

  9. Elli braybrooks October 9, 2014 at 3:15 pm #

    Hi Dan
    really looking forward to you coming to Chiltern Hills Academy tomorrow.
    Love your website it is really good for the homework that we got.

    • Dan Freedman October 9, 2014 at 5:55 pm #

      I’m glad it helped you Elli.

  10. ryan October 9, 2014 at 3:34 pm #

    could you give me a shout out when you go to Chiltern hills academy tomorrow.

    • Dan Freedman October 9, 2014 at 6:09 pm #

      Not sure we’ll have time for that … but look forward to meeting you.

  11. Shamillah October 9, 2014 at 4:41 pm #

    Hi Dan I look forward to seeing you tomorrow at our school. This website is very helpful for my homework that is to create a fact file about you. Could you please tell me what other characters are there in your books.

    • Dan Freedman October 9, 2014 at 6:03 pm #

      I am glad it has helped you Shamillah. There are lots of characters in the books including Jamie’s best friend Jack, his Mum and of course his Granddad, Mike.

  12. alishah October 9, 2014 at 6:51 pm #

    Hi Dan your coming to my school tom could you tell me a bit about your education and characters in your book
    Can’t wait to ask u my questions

    • Dan Freedman October 11, 2014 at 11:39 am #

      Hi Alishah, I hope you managed to get the answers to all your questions! Dan

  13. Andy and Mikey October 20, 2014 at 1:57 pm #

    We have just finished reading Final Whistle after reading the first five books in the series as well. Tell us that there is going to be a follow-up book!

    • Dan Freedman October 22, 2014 at 9:57 pm #

      What would you like a follow-up story to be about? In the meantime, have you read Skills from Brazil?

  14. Matthew November 8, 2014 at 12:12 pm #

    Hi dan, doing a biography.
    Which school did you go to?
    What do you like to do in your spare time?
    Do you have any children and if so who are they?

    • Dan Freedman November 8, 2014 at 5:28 pm #

      Sounds interesting Matthew, maybe you could send me a copy when you have written it …

      My schools were St Anthony’s and UCS, both in London.
      In my spare time I love to play football and watch a good game! I also like to catch up with my friends, go for a walk and also go to the cinema.
      No, I don’t have any children.

      • matthew November 11, 2014 at 4:11 pm #

        thanks that really helped

  15. Holly dryland January 31, 2015 at 10:04 pm #

    Hi dan I’m doing a project about ‘the kick off’ i need to write a pretend letter and i need to set it out properly wats your address you know the one what you put in the top right hand corner pls reply ASAP

    • Dan Freedman February 15, 2015 at 10:27 am #

      That would be my publisher’s address, which you can find by clicking on the Contact tab on my website. Good luck with your project!

  16. jack February 23, 2015 at 10:38 am #

    i am jack dan your my favouroute author rwead all your books there amazing

    • Dan Freedman March 1, 2015 at 5:08 pm #

      Thank you Jack, that’s good to hear.

  17. jack February 23, 2015 at 10:39 am #

    what footbal teamyou support

    • Dan Freedman March 1, 2015 at 5:10 pm #

      Tottenham, I have since my Dad took me to watch them play when I was three. I’m hoping they win this afternoon!

      • Fionn March 12, 2015 at 7:46 pm #

        Dan which footballer gave you the inspiration to create Jamie Johnson and who do you think is the most inspiring footballer that you have met?
        I am really looking forward to meeting you at my school tomorrow and hope you will sign my books for my younger brother and I.

        • Dan Freedman March 14, 2015 at 7:54 pm #

          I guess you know the answer to your question now Fionn after my visit to Sacred Heart! I hope you enjoyed the afternoon, I thoroughly enjoyed being with you. Dan

  18. draco class July 7, 2015 at 2:28 pm #

    I am writing an email to you using my mums email adress.
    you are coming to our class!!!
    from Griff & Teo draco class.

    • Dan Freedman July 12, 2015 at 2:58 pm #

      How did you enjoy the visit? Tufnell Park School is a great place to visit!

  19. Saaleh September 23, 2015 at 7:00 pm #

    Dan, can you give me advice on my new book please. Your books inspired me to write one of my own

    • Dan Freedman September 30, 2015 at 4:27 pm #

      Hello Saaleh,
      I would love to see what you have written! You can send it to Dan@danfreedman.co.uk
      Do you have any ideas for a new book? I suggest you write about something that you know about. It’s great to hear that i inspired you to write your own book!

      • Saaleh October 4, 2015 at 11:50 am #

        Dan, can you come to my school again this academic year. We really loved you.

        • Dan Freedman October 4, 2015 at 1:17 pm #

          I’m really pleased you enjoyed my visit so much! You will have to have a word to your teachers if you want me to come back.

  20. harry newsham October 15, 2015 at 6:47 pm #

    hi dan i would like a bit of info on your life where u was born etc

    • Dan Freedman October 27, 2015 at 1:47 pm #

      Hello Harry,
      I was born in London, 37 years ago and have travelled to various places in the world but I have lived in London all my life. I have always loved football and went to my first game when I was 3. I started writing and had my first letter published when I was 13.
      After I left university, I was offered a job at The Football Association which was my dream job. That gave me the opportunity to travel to two World Cup finals and mix with some football greats.
      I left the FA in 2007 to concentrate on writing and now visit schools to deliver talks and write full time.

  21. issy rachel arshin November 13, 2015 at 12:19 pm #

    hi dan,
    youre coming to our school on the 19th of november and were really excited to see you!

    • Dan Freedman November 15, 2015 at 7:51 am #

      Hi there, I’m looking forward to the visit! I will see you there!

  22. amelia calderwood November 14, 2015 at 10:01 am #

    Hi Dan! I am a really big fan. my English teacher gave the class a homework to write a review on your visit but im really not sure what to write. can you help?

    • Dan Freedman November 18, 2015 at 4:04 pm #

      Hello Amelia.
      I would suggest that you write about how you prepared for my visit and your expectations, what you enjoyed about it and also what you learned from it. You could also include any parts of the visit that inspired you. Let me know how you get on!

  23. Dan Freedman January 14, 2016 at 12:17 pm #

    That’s good to hear Xander. How is the search going? There’s lots of information about me on this site but let me know if you have any questions.

  24. 6VB January 18, 2016 at 12:01 pm #

    Hello Dan,

    We are very excited that you are going to be visiting our school, Wexham Court Primary, on Thursday this week. We hope you enjoy your visit and feel welcome.

    Class 6VB

    • Dan Freedman January 18, 2016 at 12:13 pm #

      I’m looking forward to it as well! I love visiting schools and it’s great to hear that you are looking forward to it as well.

  25. Ethan February 10, 2016 at 8:34 pm #

    Hi dan,
    Love the Jamie Johnson series, quick question how did you get the idea for this series.

    • Dan Freedman February 13, 2016 at 11:10 am #

      Hello Ethan,
      I wanted to find a character that people could relate to and as football is one of my favourite things, it made sense to make Jamie a young aspiring football player. Once I had the main character, ideas built from there. It was about thinking of who else would be involved in his story and what could happen in his life along the way.

  26. Jessica Mwamuka April 13, 2016 at 2:01 pm #

    Im Jess
    HI Dan i know it might be a long time i havernt told my headmistress tthis or any1 else, but we are sopposed to writting about our fav ourite authors, i absoloutly love your books, ive read all the Jamie Johnson series xx

    • Dan Freedman April 14, 2016 at 10:41 am #

      Hi Jess,
      I’m really pleased that you like the books. Not long until the TV series comes out!

  27. Jessica Mwamuka April 14, 2016 at 12:56 pm #

    Can wait
    Thx 4 the reply
    Umm… do you have any social media account

  28. Jessica Mwamuka April 14, 2016 at 1:16 pm #

    Im writing about my favorite author and i chose you
    Can ur have help
    Describe what type of a person you are
    Do you have family
    Where do you write

    And any other ino which can be helpful

    • Dan Freedman April 25, 2016 at 10:46 am #

      Hello Jess,
      That’s an interesting question! It’s really quite hard to describe what type of person I am. I think I would say I’m passionate about sport and writing.
      I don’t have any children yet but I hope to one day and I usually write at home. If you have any more questions just ask! Have a look at this page as it has a bit more information about me.

  29. Jess April 15, 2016 at 9:03 am #

    Hi Dan, it’s me Jess again. Because I am going on Got what it takes, it might not work out so I was wondering if for your next series on TV could I be a new girl in town who sings and is friends with JJ (Jamie Johnson) if not don’t worry. Could you message me back on my email

    • Dan Freedman May 4, 2016 at 2:27 pm #

      I will keep you in mind Jess!

  30. jacob May 2, 2016 at 2:21 pm #

    Hi Dan,
    My name is Jacob and I am 14 years old from Norway. I am writing a task at school about you. I have a few questions for you that I hope you can help me with:
    Where are you born? Where do you live today? How old are you? Have you ever been to Norway? Do you know any football teams in Norway? Do you know any Norwegian fotball players?

    thank you!

    • Dan Freedman May 9, 2016 at 9:42 am #

      Hi Jacob,
      Here are the answers to the questions you asked.

      Where were you born?

      Where do you live today?

      How old are you?

      Have you ever been
      to Norway?
      No. I have been to Finland, Denmark and Sweden but Norway yet so I’m extremely keen to come!

      Do you know any football teams in Norway?
      Yes. Lots. The team I know most is Rosenborg. I remember very well when Steffen Iversen came to play in England and how well Rosenborg were doing at the time in the Champions League.

      Do you know any Norwegian
      football players?
      Lots. Solskjaer, Iversen, Johnson, Carew, Leonhardsen to name but a few! I think Norway have produced some brilliant players and I’m very proud that you are reading the JJ books over there!

      Thank you!

      • Saaleh August 29, 2016 at 2:59 pm #

        Odegaard as well. He plays for Real Madrid.

        • Dan Freedman August 29, 2016 at 3:09 pm #

          He is a very talented midfielder/right winger and only 17!

  31. Saaleh June 6, 2016 at 3:57 pm #

    So hyped for Jamie Johnson on CBBC! Official release date 13 June 2016!!! The Hype is big! The hype is real!!!!! I just got to watch this!!!

    • Dan Freedman June 7, 2016 at 1:50 pm #

      I hope you enjoy it! Let me know what you think.

  32. dhrumeet August 20, 2016 at 3:08 pm #

    Hey Dan , can u tell me what is your full name ?

    • Dan Freedman August 22, 2016 at 9:51 am #

      It’s Daniel Freedman, but I am usually called Dan.

  33. Jamie kelly October 10, 2016 at 11:43 am #

    Hey Dan what school did you attend ?

    • Dan Freedman November 26, 2016 at 9:59 am #

      Hi Jamie.

      I went to a school called St Anthony’s and then a school called UCS.

  34. Bob Dylan November 3, 2016 at 10:47 am #

    I really like your books and you are coming to my school on the 9th November :))

    • Dan Freedman November 6, 2016 at 1:17 pm #

      Looking forward to meeting you on Wednesday!

  35. tyrese November 11, 2016 at 12:34 pm #

    hi love your books thx for coming to borden

    • Dan Freedman November 13, 2016 at 2:50 pm #

      You are welcome Tyrese. I hope you had as much fun as I did!

  36. Sulaiman December 24, 2016 at 4:22 pm #

    I love your books can you write more jamie johnson books or start another series about someone else

    • Dan Freedman December 27, 2016 at 11:23 am #

      Thank you for your comments. I am thinking about what to do next!

  37. jamie lewis February 16, 2017 at 11:55 am #

    love your books so much dan!

    • Dan Freedman February 26, 2017 at 1:24 pm #

      Thank you Jamie! I enjoyed writing them!

      • cristoina ronoldo March 9, 2017 at 11:48 am #

        you came to my school yesterday somerville

        • Dan Freedman April 7, 2017 at 8:40 am #

          Great school!

  38. George April 3, 2017 at 10:44 am #

    Hi Dan
    I read your books and loved them!
    I’m currently doing a school project about you and I would like to ask a question,
    How did you come up with the characters personality’s?

    • Dan Freedman April 7, 2017 at 8:33 am #

      Thanks for writing in. The characters are taken from people I have known over the years.

  39. George April 3, 2017 at 10:45 am #

    Hi Dan
    I read your books and loved them!
    I’m currently doing a school project about you and I would like to ask a question,
    How did you come up with the characters personality’s?

    • Dan Freedman April 7, 2017 at 8:48 am #

      Hi George,
      The characters are based on people I have known over the years. Some of them are a mix of a few people. I think it’s the best way to make them believable.

  40. Fortuly April 9, 2017 at 6:16 am #

    Will there be a series 3 of Jamie Johnson

    • Dan Freedman April 18, 2017 at 11:45 am #

      I hope so. I will let you know!

  41. boomerdog159 June 6, 2017 at 4:48 pm #

    i love your books. i am a big massive fan. i have always wanted to meet you. i watch jamie johnson everyday.

    • Dan Freedman July 31, 2017 at 4:23 pm #

      Hi there.
      Thank you for your comment. I’m really pleased you like the books. I visit schools to talk to the students so perhaps you should ask your teachers!

  42. Breen July 25, 2017 at 10:35 pm #

    Hi Dan I’m writing this with my mams email I just wanted to ask when will series 3 of Jamie Johnson on cbbc come out and also what happens in born to play ps I love your books

    • Dan Freedman July 31, 2017 at 4:08 pm #

      Hi there,
      I will keep you posted on any new series! I’m really pleased you like the books! You should read ‘Born to Play’!

  43. julius jh August 23, 2017 at 11:01 am #

    Hi I read you book in our school the trial very nice book

    • Dan Freedman August 29, 2017 at 11:45 am #

      Thank you! Have you read any of the others

  44. ryan October 15, 2017 at 1:56 pm #

    hi Dan

    I have to do homework about an author and I chose you.

    • Dan Freedman November 19, 2017 at 12:40 pm #

      Thank you very much Ryan! That is really fantastic to hear!

  45. John April 24, 2018 at 1:57 pm #

    Hey make more books pls

    • Dan Freedman May 14, 2018 at 7:26 am #

      I am working on something at the moment John!

  46. Alex May 1, 2018 at 1:15 pm #

    Hey dan freedman im doing a thing about i have to read books then i write a couple of paragraphs and i chose u who i right about i love the book and i hope u can keep it up pls replay and yeah thanks for reading

    • Dan Freedman May 14, 2018 at 7:22 am #

      Brilliant! Thanks Alex!

  47. anonymous June 18, 2018 at 9:32 am #

    Happy your coming to our school

    • Dan Freedman September 22, 2018 at 2:04 pm #

      Thank you very much!

  48. Theo September 3, 2018 at 7:11 pm #

    Dan when can you come to my school

    • Dan Freedman September 22, 2018 at 4:14 pm #

      Best way to organise a school visit is for your teacher to email me.

  49. PugsliGirl October 2, 2018 at 5:21 pm #

    I am sooooo exited Dan Freedman is visiting my school!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Dan Freedman October 2, 2018 at 8:43 pm #

      Looking forward to visiting!

Leave a Reply

Captcha *