Tragedy inspires family of children's author Jonny Zucker to help Mind

Author Jonny Zucker took his own life last year. Now his family are raising money to help others, with a new edition of his book Striker Boy


A book by popular children’s author Jonny Zucker is being reissued to raise funds for his family and for mental health charity, Mind.

Mr Zucker, 49, took his own life in November 2016 after living with depression for over two decades.

His book, Striker Boy will be republished on October 5.  It is available from for £6.99 and £1.40 from every copy sold will be donated to Mind, a registered charity in England and Wales (no. 219830). The family have chosen Mind as Jonny received support from them over the years.

Mr Zucker, from north London, worked as a teacher and also performed stand-up comedy, before turning to writing full-time. He wrote more than 50 books for children and held countless writing workshops for young students, visiting schools and inspiring pupils.His books included a range which detailed different religions, festivals and cultures. The Striker Boy series is about a young footballer.

His wife, psychologist Fiona Starr said: "Jonny was my best friend and soul mate. Even towards the end, when his flame was brurning out, we managed to salvage deep moments of love and humour. The Striker Boy campaign gives me hope and comfort that his death wasn't in vain, that even in death Jonny can still inspire thousands of children all over the world through his words."

One in four people will live with a mental health problem every year and it is the largest killer of men under 50.

A group of authors have already held a collection in Mr Zucker's name and donated it to the Striker Boy fund. "He was much loved in the children's literature world," said one.

The Striker Boy campaign is raising awareness of mental health issues in adults and children. The publishers,  2Simple have designed a range of free teacher resource packs for schools, including an ‘emotional resilience resource’ to help primary school teachers promote positive mental health.

Paul Farmer, Mind's Chief Executive said: "This partnership will help us to make sure no one has to face a mental health problem alone. 

Fiona's cousin, radio and television presenter Jonny Gould received the news of his cousin-in-laws death whilst live on air. He feels strongly that this is a story the world needs to hear, "Mental health needs to be discussed in the open and these personal stories need to be shared

You can pre-order the new edition of Striker Boy here 


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