World Cup fever has kicked in at Surrey's libraries with a surge in young readers netting books to get the low-down on the football extravaganza.

With England's fate in the tournament hanging in the balance, Surrey County Council’s libraries service has revealed that sports book loans to children rocketed by almost 70% last month, compared with the same time last year.

The council said the top three football books loaned to children were World Cup Football by Clive Gifford, World Cup Expert by Pete May, and All About The World Cup by Nick Hunter.

Surrey County Council’s cabinet member for community services, Helyn Clack, said: “Our libraries have books full of stories that will delight and entertain young football fans, and draw in even the most reluctant reader through the magic of the beautiful game.”

Coun Clack continued: “It’s important that children discover the joy of the written word from an early age so they develop a love of stories that will stay with them forever, and it’s fantastic the World Cup is helping them bury their head in a book.

“And if young people want to read about football – or a whole range of other topics – on the move, they can download magazines for free or borrow an e-book on their smartphones or tablets.”

Borrowing of sports books by adult fans looking to get in the mood for the tournament also went up, with 12% more loaned out last month than the previous May. The most borrowed book was The Footballer Who Could Fly by Duncan Hamilton.