Biographies of Sir Matt Busby and Bob Paisley are among the books longlisted for the Football Writers’ Association Book of the Year award.
Patrick Barclay’s account of the manager of the famous “Busby Babes” Manchester United team, published by Ebury, goes head-to-head with Ian Herbert’s account of three times European Cup-winning Paisley’s stint as manager of Liverpool, Quiet Genius, published by Bloomsbury.
They are joined in the running by David Bolchover's The Greatest Comeback, the story of Bela Guttmann (Biteback), which is turn is competing against a biography of Tottenham Hotspur coach Mauricio Pochettino in a Brave New World by Sky Sports La Liga pundit Guillem Balague (Orion). A book about Stephen Constantine, a lesser-known veteran coach of six different national teams in four continents, by Owen Amos, From Delhi to the Den: The Story of Football's Most Travelled Manager (deCoubertin Books), completes the manager biographies competing for the overall prize.
The subjects of the other books vying for the football category prize of the Sport Book of the Year Awards range from a probe into football’s super rich owners to a look at the history of Tottenham’s home before it reopens.
Previous winner James Montague is longlisted for his work The Billionaire’s Club (Bloomsbury), Michael Calvin for No Hunger in Paradise (Arrow), the third in his trilogy of football writing, Martin Lipton’s White Hart Lane (Orion), Tom van Hulsen’s Game Changers - The Remarkable Story of Dutch Masters Arnold Muhren and Frans Thijssen (Portman Road), which celebrates two great Ipswich Town midfielders, and Doctor Socrates by Andrew Downie (Simon & Schuster), chronicling the maverick, iconic captain of the greatest Brazil side never to win the World Cup.
David Tossell's Alan Ball: The Man in White Boots (Hodder & Stoughton) and James Corbett’s Faith Of Our Families: Everton FC– An Oral History 1878-2018 (deCoubertin Books), completes the line up.
The shortlist will be revealed in April and the Sports Book Awards Ceremony, sponsored by Coutts, will take place at the Lord’s Cricket Ground on 7th June.
Mike Collett, Chair of the Football Writers’ Association Books Committee, said: “We’re incredibly impressed by the quality of this year’s football writing. So much so that we’ve decided to announce this longlist for the first time. We’re thrilled with the continued association with the Sports Book Awards team and by the new sponsorship from Coutts.”