The first team stars pitched in to the national initiative, listening intently as the pupils read their favourite books out loud, before reading a story of their own – and Mark Little praised the potential impact of the sessions.

He said: “I don’t know if they’ve brought the elite reading squad out today, because they’re really good.

“To be honest, I wasn’t very good at reading; I spent my teenage years learning to read. I wasn’t very good at school but I would have loved to have someone come around and do what we have done for the kids today – I could have definitely done with that because I would have been more interested then.”