Fourteen books including one on the trial of Paralympian Oscar Pistorius, and another on the recent FIFA scandals make up the longlist of the 27th William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award.
Publishers Simon & Schuster, Aurum Press and Yellow Jersey each have two titles on the longlist: The Ugly Game: The Qatari Plot to Buy the World Cup by Heidi Blake and Jonathan Calvert, A Man’s World: The Double Life of Emile Griffith by Donald McRae (both Simon & Schuster), Kings of the Road: A Journey into the Heart of British Cycling by Robert Dineen Runner: A Short Story About A Long Run by Lizzy Hawker (both Aurum Press) and Fire in Babylon by Simon Lister and The Bolt Supremacy by Richard Moore (both Yellow Jersey).
The other titles on the list include: Speed Kings by Andy Bull (Bantam Press), Living on the Volcano: The Secrets of Surviving as a Football Manager by Michael Calvin (Century), The Trials of Oscar Pistorius: Chase Your Shadow by John Carlin (Atlantic Books), A King in Hiding: How a Child Refugee Became a World Chess Champion by Fahim, Sophie Le Callennec, Xavier Parmentier and (translator) Barbara Mellor (Icon), Fifty-Six: The Story of the Bradford Fire by Martin Fletcher (Bloomsbury), The Game of Our Lives: The Meaning and Making of English Football by David Goldblatt (Viking), My Fight/Your Fight: The Official Ronda Rousey Autobiography by Ronda Rousey and Maria Burns Ortiz (Century) and Journeymen: The Other Side of the Boxing Business by Mark Turley (Pitch).
All the longlisted authors will receive a free £500 bet and a certificate.
William Hill media relations director and co-founder of the award, Graham Sharpe, said: “Never let it be said sportswriters shy away from difficult subjects. In this longlist, our authors shine their floodlights into many of sport’s dark corners, but also find inspirational tales of individual and team success. While football is the most written about subject, it is wonderful to see areas less widely covered - endurance running, bobsledding and chess, whose status as a sport may provoke some debate - included. These books deserve a wide audience – I hope their inclusion here helps them find it.”
The shortlist will be announced on 27th October and the winner will be revealed at an afternoon reception at BAFTA, in central London, on Thursday 26th November.
The winning author of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award will receive a £27,000 cash prize, a free £2,500 William Hill bet, a leather-bound copy of their book, and a day at the races.
The judging panel for this year’s award consists of: retired professional footballer and former chairman of the Professional Footballer’s Association, Clarke Carlisle; broadcaster and writer John Inverdale; broadcaster Danny Kelly; award-winning journalist Hugh McIlvanney; and columnist and author, Alyson Rudd. Chairman of the judging panel is John Gaustad, co-creator of the award and founder of the Sportspages bookshop.
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