Gareth Thomas’ autobiography and a book about footballer Sir Bobby Moore are among the seven titles shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award.
The books will compete for a £26,000 prize in the award’s 26th year.
Yellow Jersey Press, an imprint of Vintage, and Bloomsbury each have two shortlisted books.
Bobby Moore: The Man in Full by Matt Dickinson, and Night Games: Sex, Power and Sport by Anna Krien, a book which takes the high-profile rape trial of a young Australian Rules player as the starting point for a wider examination of the darker recesses of sport, both come from Yellow Jersey Press.
Bloomsbury’s books are Floodlights and Touchlines: A History of Spectator Sport by Rob Steen, and Alone: The Triumph and Tragedy of John Curry by Bill Jones, a biography of the figure skater.
The list is completed by Proud: My Autobiography by Gareth Thomas and Michael Calvin (Ebury Press), Played in London: Charting the Heritage of a City at Play by Simon Inglis (English Heritage), and Run or Die by Kilian Jornet (Viking), an autobiography by the Spanish endurance athlete.
Graham Sharpe, co-founder of the award and spokesman for William Hill, said: “In this year’s rich and varied shortlist lie compelling explorations of the personal struggles and triumphs of some of our most esteemed sporting figures, an enquiry into the dark side of sporting culture and not one, but two fascinating social histories. The quality of writing speaks for itself – it’s an extremely exciting time in sports-writing.”
As well as a £26,000 cash prize, the winning author will receive a free £2,500 William Hill bet, a hand-bound copy of their book, and a day at the races.
The judging panel for this year’s award consists is retired professional footballer and former chairman of the Professional Footballers’ Association, Clarke Carlisle; broadcaster and writer John Inverdale; broadcaster Danny Kelly; award-winning journalist Hugh McIlvanney; and columnist and author, Alyson Rudd. The chairman of the judging panel is John Gaustad, co-creator of the award and founder of the Sportspages bookshop.
The winner will be announced at an afternoon reception at BAFTA, in central London, on Thursday 27th November.
Last year’s award was won by Jamie Reid for Doped: The Real Life Story of the 1960s Racehorse Doping Gang (Racing Post).
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