AN inspirational football writer is using the power of the beautiful game to encourage more teenagers to read.

Tom Palmer visited Inverclyde Academy as part of a pioneering project to combine sport with books.

He held a question and answer session and was grilled by first and second year pupils.

Tom was joined by Morton legend Allan McGraw and Gourock sportswriter Stewart Fisher to chat to the young people.

There was also a quiz, followed by a penalty shootout in the gym hall and a mock press conference where the kids interview former Ton goalscoring machine Allan and found out about sports journalism.

Tom said: "It was brilliant.

"The school is really innovative in asking different writers in to talk about their work.

"My writing is about sport, football mostly, but I tend to mix that in with other themes such as ghosts, war and spies."

English teacher Brian Connell invited around 35 pupils to the author's event.

Pupil Dean Buchan, 12, said: "It was really good to get to speak to an author and other guests.

"I'll definitely read more Tom Palmer books after he what he told us about them."

Stuart Crawford, also 12, said: "I thought it was very good educationally and it's opened up a lot of opportunities for me to enjoy reading.

"I like football so I'll be interested in Tom's books."

Classmate Andrew McClure said: "It was really interesting hearing how Tom got into writing."

Mr McGraw said: "The pupils asked a lot of interesting questions, mostly about how I felt as a player and my best goal and things like that.

"I'm happy to support the project to get the children reading, I used to read a lot myself."

Parents were also invited along to the event to get them on board with the aim of setting up a book group.

The sessions will lead to a coaching session from Morton youth staff followed by a chat about Tom's books and there will be a finale event at Cappielow.