Steven Naismith is a Scottish footballer who plays for the English Premier League club Everton in Liverpool. In a recent interview, he opened up about his childhood struggles with dyslexia and how they contributed to his success.


Naismith was born and raised in Ayreshire (Scotland) in a tiny community of just 6,500 people. He struggled with reading and writing in school, and it had a huge impact on him. He remembers vividly the fear of knowing it would be his turn to read soon, and scrambling to try to predict what would be on his page before the class got there.

“I didn’t think I was thick. I thought I was slow. I thought, ‘How am I not getting this?’ I could cover it well, though. I was only exposed in tests. I could deflect attention from my problem. I could get out of situations. I was always thinking, always looking at how to solve problems before they overwhelmed me.”

That problem solving nature has helped him in his football career, where he is constantly having to make quick decisions about where to pass the ball, or when to shoot it.

He is now an ambassador for Dyslexia Scotland… alongside with scoring goals for Everton, of course!

DSCN0462Sarah Forrest is Programme Training Manager the Easyread System, an online course for children struggling with reading, spelling, dyslexia, auditory processing issues and more. Get a free 10-lesson trial from