Happy Days at Merry Hill as Fonzie stops by

Henry Winkler and Sam Tombs, aged 12.

Henry Winkler and Sam Tombs, aged 12.

First published in News Stourbridge News: Photograph of the Author by

IT was Happy Days at Merry Hill when the Fonz stopped off as part of a tour to promote his latest children's comedy novel.

Henry Winkler, known to millions as Fonzie in the 1970s American TV sitcom Happy Days, was at WHSmith yesterday (Thursday March 14) to sign copies of his new book Hank Zipzer and The Parent Teacher Trouble - the latest from his series of children's stories about a dyslexic young boy.

The signing, held at 4.30pm, saw fans of Happy Days and Winkler's 23 comedy novels queue to meet the star who was nearing the end of a nation-wide tour to raise awareness of learning difficulties in children.

Winkler, who discovered he had dyslexia at the age of 31, said he was having a blast meeting people and inspiring youngsters facing difficulties.

He said: "It is one of my favourite things to do in my whole life. I had no idea this was going to happen and all of a sudden I get to meet all these fabulous young children and tell them that no matter how they learn they are great."

And for fans who remember him fondly as legendary TV character The Fonz he thanked them for watching all those years ago and urged them to "continue to watch what I do at this point in my life".

Winkler's Ghost Buddy novels deal with theme of responsibility while the Hank Zipzer books follow the world's greatest underachiever and are based on his own struggles with dyslexia.

After signing autographs and posing for pictures with fans - the star made his way through the mall, no doubt surprising shoppers as he took time to browse in various outlets on his way out.

Kelly Reed, Merry Hill marketing manager, said: "We were thrilled to welcome Henry to the centre.”

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