Calm Pond takes a storm: teacher becomes top ten author

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A Yorkshire born PE teacher has hit the charts with his children's book to help children understand life skills set in Lancashire.

Richard Clarke was born and bred in Bradford. He trained as a PE teacher and has spent nearly thirty years in the education sector. The majority of his career was spent on Halifax at Holy Trinity Senior School and Ryburn Valley High School.

He was also a semi professional footballer for several years. This was despite a serious leg injury in 1988 when he was 19. He was told I would not be able to teach PE, play football or walk properly again.

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Despite having to wear a calliper all his life, he never gave up on his dreams. He became a PE teacher and a semi professional footballer. He even played in the 2000 FA Sunday Cup Final at the City Ground Nottingham Forest. In the semi final he scored the only goal of the game at the Shay Halifax.

The cover of my book Calm PondThe cover of my book Calm Pond
The cover of my book Calm Pond

He was told at the time he was the first player to lead a Bradford team out in a National Final since 1911. For sure, he is likely to be the only player to ever wear a calliper in an FA Cup Final.

Inspired by his children and late grandmother, he recently wrote and published a children's book called "Calm Pond." It is aimed at 5 to 9 year olds and is a book of nine short stories about a group of animals that live in Blackstone Edge. The resilience story on the book is based on his injury and drive to succeed.

Four animals in the book are named after his children, George, Hannah, Niamh and Harry.

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The stories cover many topics to help children understand life issues, such as equality, resilience, honesty, change, strengths and weaknesses, anxiety, differences, empathy, bereavement and mental health.

My childrenMy children
My children

Set in beautiful Blackstone Edge, it will also hopefully give children an appreciation of the environment.

The book recently got to number 10 in the Amazon charts for short stories for young adults. At that time it was above Roald Dahl in the charts. Richard has been interviewed twice by BBC Radio.

You can listen and see these interviews on his Facebook page Calm Pond by Richard Clarke

The book is available on Amazon