Publisher’s Note: first published in 1995, this wonderful Young Adult novel went to #1 in the Irish Times Young Adult bestsellers list within weeks of publication. Optioned by Paradox Entertainment Ltd as a feature film to be shot in Ireland, Tom – who did NOT know how to write screenplays then, though his best friend Liam O’Neill insisted it was NOT too difficult – instead started writing a Made For Television feature film, Merlin the Magic Begins. Shot in Peebles Scotland, that film stars Jason Connery – the late Sean Connery’s son and Deborah Moore, the late Roger Moore’s daughter. Both fathers were famous for playing the lead in James Bond films. Directed by David Winning (famous for directing the Power Rangers Movie).


I make this note about the above film because learning to write screenplays and having one actually filmed, as well as Hotfoot!, gave me renewed confidence in not only how to write but also in the persistence it takes to get a project finished, published, or produced.

GERRY LARKIN (12) aspires to be a football star. His only problem: he stinks. His co-ordination is zip; he can’t dribble, can’t shoot, can’t play defense. In short, he can’t play. He’s the lad that’s always chosen last when teams are picked after school. And the team that gets him always considers it a handicap when forced to use Gerry, because Gerry invariably loses the game for them. That said, he does have a couple of friends who have much the same problem: guys and girls who love the sport but simply can’t play . . .There’s FRAN CURTAIN, keeper and team captain and the brains behind the team (if, indeed, any brains can be found); BIG JIMMY, a sloshing ton of lard who can steamroll over anyone on the field; the BRIGHT BROTHERSALMOST and NOT QUITE—twins who are definitely not the brightest of people; HAROLD SMITH, the small cowardly back who hates any kind of confrontation; and TOMMY REYNOLDS, whose Coke-bottle thick glasses spell disaster on the field when he loses them. This inept group of individuals come together to form . . .The kids will play against just about anyone who will take them on. The result, of course, is embarrassing. Scores of 27–nil are not uncommon. Hotshot team members sliding into goalposts, taking out referees in blindside tackles, wiping out opposing parental visitors in “co-ordinated” offensive strikes are all par for the course. The result: they becomes the butt of the country. Until LUCKY LUCY (Beelzebub disguised as a talent scout) visits them. Lucky insists that with just a little of his special coaching, the Hotshots will become the most successful team in history. The cost: a lot of sweat and work, of course. And one more item: the souls of each of the team players. After a little hesitation, and despite protests from Gerry, the team signs Lucky’s Temporary Contract. Little do they know that the end result will be an eternity of low-paid coal carrying in a hot little place due south . . .And so, each team member gains a particular talent. Gerry is chosen as the Striker and is given a leg which has never before been seen in the annals of professional football. His hotfoot is accurate and incredibly powerful—so powerful that it can deflate balls, destroy defenders and rip through even the strongest goal netting with a single WHAP! The team competes against teams taken completely by surprise. Enlisted at last by the manager of the country’s International Squad, Gerry, Fran and the rest of the Hotshots play with their famous international adult counterparts and end up trouncing team after team as they glide onward to victory. But on the eve of the World Cup Final—the most famous game in international soccer—the Hotshots have to make a choice: to sign Lucky’s Eternal Contract which will sacrifice their souls for all eternity, or to achieve an incredible win which they’ve all dreamed of so obsessively. Fortunately, however, IGNATIUS—Angelic Problem Wish Assistant First Class—has a plan on how to beat Lucky Lucy at his own game, stop the team members from signing the final contract with the dastardly fellow, and get his kids’ souls back. Without permission from MICHAEL (archangel and Iggy’s boss), Ignatius risks everything and swooshes to the kids’ rescue. Earthside, he confronts Lucky in an out-of-this world fight where both feathers and pitch-forks go flying. Needless to say, and despite the odds, Ignatius beats Lucky, confining him once again to his Pit of Pestilence. And despite the hellish odds, Ignatius inadvertently manages to let the kids taste the fruits of international victory.


HOTFOOT is a simple story about choices that kids have to make. It is about good guys and bad guys. A topsy-turvey, zanny and fun combination of MIGHTY DUCKS and DAMNED YANKEES set in what is the world’s most popular sport—football.



Just when you thought it was safe to go back onto the soccer pitch, along comes Larkin’s Lot with another outrageous fantasy story. This time, Gerry Larkin, Fran and all the rest of Larkin’s Lot learn that the Irish International Soccer Squad has been kidnapped by Lucky Lucy! Follow our group of inept soccer players as they venture to hell to play against an absolutely ghoulish football squad in the match of their lives!


There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Hotfoot!”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *