The shortlists for this year's Telegraph Sports Book Awards have been revealed, with England Rugby coach Eddie Jones's memoir, My Life and Rugby (Macmillan), and British Lions coach Warren Gatland's Pride and Passion (Headline), jostling for Rugby Writers Book of the Year.
Also shortlisted for the rugby prize is David Beresford's Brothers in Arms (self-published) and Sam Warburton's Open Side (HarperCollins). Ross Harries' history of Welsh rugby Behind the Dragon (Polaris) is also listed, alongside Glenn Webbe's autobiography, Glenn Webbe: The Gloves are Off (Y Lolfa).
The Football Book of the Year award includes David Tossell's biography of England footballer Jimmy Greaves, Natural (Pitch Publishing), Tobias Jones' exploration into the "sinister side of fandom" Ultra (Head of Zeus), David Fieldsend's Local, The Names Heard Long Ago (Blink) by Jonathan Wilson and The Three Kings (Quercus) by Leo Moynihan, which tracks the careers of Scottish managers Jock Stein, Bill Shankly and Matt Busby. Steven Scragg's homage to the European Cup Winners' Cup, A Tournament Frozen in Time (Pitch Publishing), is also in the running.
The award has partnered with the National Literacy Trust to launch the inaugural Children's Sports Book of the year. BBC broadcaster Clare Balding’s The Racehorse Who Learned to Dance (Puffin), illustrated by Tony Ross, is listed alongside Olympic cyclist Sir Chris Hoy and Joanna Nadins’ Flying Fergus 10: The Photo Finish (Picadilly Press), illustrated by Clare Elsom, and former England women’s football captain Casey Stoney’s Changing the Game (Studio Press). Also shortlisted is Paralympian Gold medal winner Danielle Brown and nine-year-old Nathan Kai’s Be Your Best Self (Button Books), David Barrow’s The Big Race (Hodder Children's Books), and Matt Oldfield's Unbelievable Football (Wren & Rook). Alex Bellos and Ben Lyttle’s popular series Football School Season 4 (Walker Books) illustrated by Spike Gerrell completes the inaugural shortlist.
Balding said: “It's great to use the power of sport to connect with kids all over the world. Some reluctant readers will pick up a book for the first time because it's about football or horses or bikes and that's their passion. I'm pleased to see The Telegraph Sports Book Awards team up with the National Literary Trust to recognise this with a category for children's books. I'm very proud to be on the list of nominees, along with some outstanding titles which share the joy of sport and the many ways in which it can help us through life.”
The Cycling Book of the Year, sponsored by VAARU Cycles for the first time, shortlists The Cycling Podcast’s The Grand Tour Diaries (Vision Sports Publishing), Emily Chappell’s Where There’s a Will ( Pursuit Books) and Carlton Kirby’s Magic Spanner (Bloomsbury Sport). The Beast, the Emperor and the Milkman (Bloomsbury Sport) by Harry Pearson, The Yellow Jersey (Vintage) by Peter Cossins, and Riding in the Zone Rouge (Weidenfeld & Nicolson) by Tom Isitt complete the contenders.
The Cricket Book of the Year features England’s all-time leading run scorer, Sir Alastair Cook’s The Autobiography (Michael Joseph) pitted against Duncan Hamilton’s biography of Neville Cardus, The Great Romantic (Hodder & Stoughton). The England batsman Robin Smith’s The Judge (Yellow Jersey) competes alongside the founder of the Professional Cricketers’ Association Fred Rumsey's Sense of Humour, Sense of Justice (Fairfield Books). Zimbabwe wicketkeeper Tatenda Taibu’s Keeper of Faith (deCoubertin Books) and Tim Wigmore and Freddie Wilde’s account of the T20 revolution, Cricket 2.0 (Polaris) complete the list.
The Pinsent Masons International Autobiography category includes Manchester United and Spanish International Juan Mata’s story in Suddenly A Footballer—My Story (Reach Sport) alongside Olympic swimmer Casey Legler’s God Speed (Scribe). Former All Black captain Kieran Read’s Straight 8 (Headline) appears alongside former Gloucestershire cricketer Franklyn Stephenson’s My Song Shall Be Cricket (Pitch Publishing) and Arsenal and German defender Per Mertesacker’s Big Friendly German (deCoubertin).
Listed for the General Outstanding Sports Writing award is Rick Reilly's Commander in Cheat (Headline), Olympic rower Annie Vernon’s Mind Games (Bloomsbury Sport), Michael Calvin and Thomas Bjorns’ investigation into the mind of the professional golfer, Mind Game (Yellow Jersey), and Donald McRae’s In Sunshine or in Shadow (Simon & Schuster). Andy Woodward's Position of Trust (Coronet) and Jonathan Rice's Stories of Cricket’s Finest Painting (Pitch Publishing) are also in the running.
Ewan MacKenna’s biography of Conor McGregor, Chaos is a Friend of Mine (deCoubertin Books), is up for Biography of the Year, alongside Mark Synnott’s account of Alex Honnold’s life, The Impossible Climb (Allen & Unwin). Richard Askwith's Unbreakable (Yellow Jersey), Matt Clough's Lofty (The History Press) and Stephen Proctor's Monarch of the Green (Arena) complete the list, alongside Tossell's Natural (Pitch Publishing) which has also been nominated for multiple categories in the awards.
The Illustrated Sports Book of the Year features seven books ranging from motorsport to tennis, Tottenham Football Club to international Sailing. The list includes Yellow Jersey by Frédérique Galametz and Philippe Bouvet (Hamlyn), More to Gain than Just the Game by Dave Courteen (Middle Farm Press), Lap of Honour by Tim Hain (Pitch Publishing), An A to Z of Football Collectibles by Carl Wilkes (Pitch Publishing), A life Behind the Lens by Richard Pelham (Pitch Publishing), SailGP: Sailing Redefined by the team at SailGP (Vision Sports Publishing), and Destination Tottenham collated by Tottenham Hotspur Football Club (Vision Sports Publishing).
The winners will be announced during an online ceremony on 15th July, replacing the traditional celebration at Lord's Cricket Ground.
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