Legendary English goalkeeper Gordon Banks said he was humbled to have influenced a dyslexic child to overcome his problems to go on to become an acclaimed writer.
A new book by journalist Don Mullan, Gordon Banks: A Hero Who Could Fly, tells how he was motivated to learn to read, despite being affected by dyslexia, as he wanted to find out more about his hero footballer.
Former Stoke City and England goalkeeper Banks, who famously blocked Pele's header in the 1970 World Cup, said: "I am humbled that I could have such an influence on someone in such a positive manner."
The legendary footballer, who travelled to Dublin to help raise funds for children with dyslexia, said: "I am proud to be the hero of an amazing person and writer, who indeed has made his own significant contribution to society. I am delighted that all the royalties of the book will be donated to the Dyslexia Association of Ireland."
Mr Mullan, who was born in Derry in 1956, only discovered he was dyslexic at the age of 38 and pursued a career as a writer and investigative journalist.
His book, Eyewitness Bloody Sunday, led to the reopening in 1998 of a public inquiry into the fatal shootings following a civil rights march in Londonderry in January 1972. After co-producing the award winning film, Bloody
Sunday, he received the 'Defenders of Human Dignity Award' from the International League for Human Rights at the United Nations in 2002.
The writer, who is donating the royalties of the book to the support association, said: "Growing up in Derry and through the Troubles, Gordon Banks did more than inspire me to be a better goalkeeper, he changed my life for the better.
"I can honestly say my life would not have led me to where I am today if I didn't have someone like Gordon Banks to look up to."
Anne Hughes, director of the Dyslexia Association of Ireland, said the monies raised from the book and a fundraising dinner in Dublin's Gresham Hotel attended by the famous goalkeeper would be used to provide specialist tuition to children with reading difficulties.
It is estimated six to eight per cent of the Irish population have some form of dyslexia.
"We also run courses for adults with dyslexia, people in their 30s, 40s and 50s, who have been told all their lives they are stupid, thick or whatever."
Ms Hughes said the help given to adults to overcome dyslexia has ensured many go back into the workplace, or advance in their jobs or it aids them in learning to read.
"It has a huge affect on a person's entire life. And of course on the next generation as it runs in families," she said.