Adrian Doherty - the story of the lost genius who was tipped to be the brightest star of Manchester United's golden generation


On the shortlist:

Forever Young: The Story of Adrian Doherty - Football's Lost Genius.

By Oliver Kay (Quercus) £20.00

Review by Jon Culley

Tales of rising stars robbed of the chance to fulfil their potential are not new but Oliver Kay's story of the fame that fate denied to Adrian Doherty stands out from the crowd.

Doherty, a former apprentice at Manchester United, was a genuine phenomenon, even among a clutch of young players as gifted as those United were nurturing in the late 1980s.

The names that would become known as United's golden generation - Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, David Beckham, Nicky Butt and the Neville brothers - were united in their awe of him, a player whose natural ball skills were allied to lightning pace and a fearless attitude that belied his rather shy persona.

Sir Alex Ferguson knew within 15 minutes of first setting eyes on him that he wanted to sign him.  He offered him a five-year contract before he was 17, a show of faith in an unproven player that was without precedent.

Adrian Doherty was possibly the most talented young footballer any of them could remember, before or since.

Ferguson's masterplan

Ryan Giggs
Ryan Giggs
He became part of Ferguson's masterplan for United, part of the team he envisaged would grow up to be English football's dominant force. During the 1989-90 season when Ferguson's job was supposedly on the line, a United team featuring Adrian Doherty on one wing and Giggs on the other reached the semi-finals of the FA Youth Cup with Docherty their star.

He was due to have made his senior debut in March 1991 on the same day as Giggs, against Everton at Old Trafford.  Instead, he was sitting in the Main Stand, nursing a knee injury sustained in an A-team match. The knee was sore and he feared he might be out of action for a few weeks.

In fact, it was the beginning of the end for a career that had barely begun.  Two years later, aged only 20, after rehabilitation programmes and surgery and a number of attempted comebacks, United let him go.

After his football career ended, he naturally faded from view, only for his name to re-emerge in tragic circumstances. On May 7, 2000, he fell into a canal in Holland.  A month later, the day before his 27th birthday, he died.

Kay's interest with his story began a decade or so later, when Doherty's name came up while he was researching a feature about Giggs to mark the 20th anniversary of the Welshman's debut.  He admits it became an obsession.

A unique personality

Adrian Doherty
Adrian Doherty
He soon discovered that Doherty could not be more unlike what some would imagine to be a typical footballer. He was a young man whose approach to life set him apart, an individual who was not only a brilliantly gifted player, but a unique personality, at least among his football contemporaries.

Brought up in Strabane in Northern Ireland, a town described as being on the frontline of the Troubles, Doherty was different, a non-conformist, a boy for whom football was just one of many fascinations.

He played the guitar, read books and wrote poetry.  He wanted to be a musician as much as to be a footballer. Famously, while he was playing in United's A team, he would give away his complimentary match tickets for the senior team and instead catch a bus into Manchester city centre, not to buy clothes or play snooker, the ways in which his teammates might spend their spare time, but to stand on a street corner, strumming his guitar and singing Bob Dylan songs.

Kay visited the family in Strabane.  They were unhappy about several aspects of the way he was treated at United both before and after his injury but did not want to be drawn into a war of words.  They were reluctant to become involved but in time agreed, on condition that in his book Kay leaned towards celebrating Adrian's life, rather than raging against injustice.

He respected their wishes.  The somewhat sordid tales of how apprentices were treated at the club in that time and the shortcomings in the way United dealt with his injury are rightly explored but with others as witnesses.

A tragic accident

The Derry Journal's report of Doherty's death
The Derry Journal's report of Doherty's death
Yet we learn as well that Doherty's years after football were happy ones.  In terms of a career, it was a life without structure but he continued to play music and write and dream and follow his adventurous whims.

When he died, predictable rumours did the rounds.  He had been in Amsterdam, the stories said, and had fallen into a canal late at night. Assumptions were made, with no basis in fact, that drink or drugs were involved.

In fact, as Kay established by checking with Dutch police reports rather than trusting speculation, Doherty had tumbled into a canal not in Amsterdam but in The Hague, where he had taken a job with a furniture manufacturer.

It had happened early in the morning and there was no trace of drugs or alcohol in his body. He had simply had an accident, probably as he made his way to work.  Perhaps he was distracted by a daydream. No one knows.

Forever Young is a painstakingly researched and outstandingly well written book, with a sad end and some dark moments along the way.  Yet in a way it is an uplifting one, the story of a carefree and likeable young man, a free spirit with a zest for life who took adversity in his stride and enriched the lives of those around him.  Oliver Kay tells it with sensitivity and skill.

Forever Young: The Story of Adrian Doherty - Football's Lost Genius, by Oliver Kay (Quercus)

Buy from Amazon, Waterstones or WH Smith

More reading:

(Photo of Ryan Giggs by Gordon Flood CC BY-SA 2.0)



And then there were seven - shortlist revealed for William Hill Sports Book of the Year 2016

The shortlist for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award – the world’s richest and longest-running prize for sports writing – has been revealed following the deliberations of the judging panel, who have whittled down a longlist of 17 to a shortlist of seven.

Six sports are represented on the list, the majority sharing a common theme in that they dig deep into the psyche of their subjects, showing how their strengths and weaknesses helped and hindered them in the pursuit of their dreams.

This is demonstrated in two memoirs set against the backdrop of the sea - Barbarian Days, by journalist William Finnegan, and Find a Way, by swimmer Diana Nyad.

Barbarian Days, surfing’s first appearance in the 'Bookie Prize' field and already a Pulitzer Prize-winner, tells the story of a restless young man whose sport both anchors him and takes him around the world as he becomes an adult.

Diana Nyad’s memoir is a testimony to the indomitability of the human spirit: a world class swimmer at a very young age, Nyad first attempted to swim the 100 miles between Havana, Cuba and the coast of Florida without a shark cage aged 28 and achieved the feat - the first person to complete the treacherous crossing - over three decades later, aged 64.

Oliver Kay’s Forever Young investigates the short life of eccentric football prodigy Adrian Doherty, who was offered a five-year contract with Manchester United on his 17th birthday, yet died in unexplained circumstances having never realised his true potential.

The unpredictable character of former cricketer, writer and broadcaster Peter Roebuck, another figure who died tragically young, comes under the microscope in Tim Lane and Elliott Cartledge’s Chasing Shadows.

Rick Broadbent is on the shortlist for the third time with Endurance, which looks at the life of Olympic track legend Emil Zátopek. The greatest runner of his generation, Zátopek’s character was sorely tested as he fell from favour with his country’s Communist rulers, suffering countless indignities before coming in from the cold following Czechoslovakia’s Velvet Revolution.

Rounding off the list are Rory Smith’s Mister, which looks at how pioneer Englishmen helped export football to the world, and Christopher McGrath’s Mr Darley’s Arabian, which tells the story of horse racing by following the bloodline of twenty-five thoroughbreds, from a colt bought from Bedouin tribesmen over 300 years ago, to the modern champion, Frankel.

The seven titles in the running to be crowned the winner of the £28,000 prize are:

  • Endurance: The Extraordinary Life and Times of Emil Zátopek, by Rick Broadbent (Wisden). Buy from Amazon, Waterstones or WH Smith
  • Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life, by William Finnegan (Corsair). Buy from Amazon, Waterstones or WH Smith
  • Forever Young: The Story of Adrian Doherty, Football’s Lost Genius, by Oliver Kay (Quercus). Buy from Amazon, Waterstones or WH Smith
  • Chasing Shadows: The Life & Death of Peter Roebuck, by Tim Lane and Elliot Cartledge (Hardie Grant Books). Buy from Amazon, Waterstones or WH Smith
  • Mr Darley’s Arabian: High Life, Low Life, Sporting Life – A History of Racing in 25 Horses, by Christopher McGrath (John Murray), Buy from Amazon, Waterstones or WH Smith
  • Find a Way: One Untamed and Courageous Life, by Diana Nyad (Macmillan). Buy from Amazon, Waterstones or WH Smith
  • Mister: The Men Who Taught the World How to Beat England at Their Own Game, by Rory Smith (Simon & Schuster). Buy from Amazon, Waterstones or WH Smith

William Hill spokesman, judges' chair and co-founder of the award, Graham Sharpe, said:

“From an incredibly strong longlist a ‘Magnificent Seven’ of sporting books go forward, but from here on in the race is wide open.

"What is striking in this year’s selection is how the authors uncover the inner sportsman and sportswoman, revealing their hidden souls and proving that they are not just great athletes but also complex, driven people. These are brilliant, revelatory stories that our panel of experts will have a tough time judging.”

The William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award is the world’s longest established and most valuable sports writing prize. As well as a £28,000 cash prize, the winning author will receive a free £2,500 William Hill bet, and a day at the races.

The judging panel comprises journalist and broadcaster Mark Lawson; ex-player 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 The Times columnist and author, Alyson Rudd.

Graham Sharpe succeeds the late John Gaustad, co-creator of the award and founder of the Sportspages bookshop, as chairman.  John retired following the 2015 Award and sadly passed away earlier this year.

The winner will be announced at an afternoon reception at BAFTA, in central London, on Thursday November 24.

More reading:

Longlist announced for William Hill Sports Book of the Year 2016



No Nonsense: Joey Barton's autobiography on the William Hill Sports Book of the Year longlist after just one day in the shops

Joey Barton
Controversial footballer Joey Barton's autobiography No Nonsense has been included on the longlist for the 2016 William Hill Sports Book of the Year even though it was published only yesterday.

Written in collaboration with Michael Calvin, the award-winning author and sports journalist, Barton's book promises to deliver a candid account of a life never far from the headlines on and off the field.

Calvin is the third writer to work with the player, who began the project in 2014 with Times journalist Matthew Syed and made one attempt to write it himself, which he did not sustain beyond nine chapters.

There is much detail, some of it quite harrowing, about his upbringing in hard-edged working class Liverpool, where many of his associates and even family members were involved in crime at one level or another.  His brother, Michael, and his cousin, Paul Taylor, are serving jail sentences for the murder of an innocent black teenager.

The book has no shortage, too, of outspoken comment from an incident-packed career on the field.  Barton, who has studied philosophy and appeared on the BBC's Question Time, is currently suspended by his latest club, Rangers, following a furious row with manager Mark Warburton and team-mate Andy Halliday that blew up in the wake of Rangers' 5-1 defeat against Celtic.

Also longlisted is former Formula One world champion Damon Hill's autobiography Watching the Wheels, in which he writes movingly about his father Graham Hill, who died before he could see his son triumph in the sport he once ruled.

Paternal relationships can also be found at the heart of two other titles in the running for the £28,000 cash prize that goes with the award.

‘How’s Your Dad?’ is Mick Channon junior's account of growing up in the shadow of a father who succeeded in not one sport but two, while Dan Waddell offers an affectionate portrait of his father, darts commentator Sid Waddell, one of sports broadcasting’s most fondly remembered figures, in We Had Some Laughs.

Elsewhere writers dig deep into their subjects’ histories to tell their stories as never before.

Oliver Kay’s acclaimed Forever Young is about “football’s lost genius”, the former Manchester United prodigy Adrian Doherty, who died aged 26 while working in Holland, having become estranged from the game he once loved.

Tim Lane and Elliot Cartledge’s Chasing Shadows probes the life and violent death of controversial cricketer and commentator Peter Roebuck.

Double William Hill winner Duncan Hamilton takes on one of Britain’s greatest Olympians, Eric Liddell, in For the Glory. 

Continuing the Olympic theme, the Czech long-distance runner Emil Zátopek is the subject of not one but two books on the longlist: Today We Die a Little by Richard Askwith and Endurance by Rick Broadbent. Never before have two biographies about the same person have been in direct competition for the William Hill prize.

Football, which produced the 2015 winner, David Goldblatt's  The Game of Our Lives, is the subject of two other longlisted titles in Football’s Coming Out, Neil Beasley's story of surviving and succeeding as a gay fan and footballer in an often homophobic sport, and Mister: The Men Who Taught the World How to Beat England at Their Own Game, by Times journalist Rory Smith, which looks at how English football managers helped take the sport around the world.

Also in contention are two books about the business of sport in Mr Darley’s Arabian, in which Christopher McGrath looks at the history of horse-breeding by following the bloodline of 25 exceptional horses, and Phil Knight’s memoir, Shoe Dog, which tells the story of one of sport’s most instantly recognisable brands, Nike.

Completing this year’s 17-strong longlist: William Finnegan’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Barbarian Days, which chronicles the journalist’s long love affair with surfing; Diana Nyad’s memoir Find a Way, culminating in her record-breaking swim from Cuba to Florida, without a shark cage, at the age of 64; Anna Kessel’s timely Eat Sweat Play, an examination of attitudes to women in sport today, in which she explores sporting taboos including body dysmorphia, periods, miscarriage, sex and the gender pay gap; and The Belt Boy, by Kevin Lueshing, which charts the hidden torment behind the boxing champion’s rise to the top.

The shortlist will be announced on October 18. The winner will be revealed at an afternoon reception at BAFTA, in central London, on Thursday November 24.  There will a poignancy about this year's award ceremony in that it will be the first since John Gaustad, the award's co-founder and proprietor of the much-missed Sportspages book shop in central London, passed away earlier this year.

The longlist in full (alphabetically by author’s surname):



Extraordinary book about extraordinary times recreates the golden era of Nottingham Forest

A guest review by Jeremy Culley, editor of www.lostintheforest-nffc.co.uk

ALL clubs with distant glories are beset by the same problem.

Younger fans are forced to cling to past triumphs of which they have no recollection, experiencing a mixture of frustration at missing out and blissful ignorance of just how bad the current crop are compared with the stars of yesteryear.

In the same way that those of a certain vintage describe their partying days in the 1960s and 70s with wistful smiles and glints in their eyes, older Forest fans turn to children and grandchildren and say: "I've been there and done it all, me. Munich, Madrid the lot."

Sadly for those fascinated by their ancestors' memories of European Cup and Wembley success, their own tales of watching Forest away may extend no further than Yeovil, Grimsby and Woking in the LDV Vans Trophy.

Daniel Taylor has done much to ease their annoyance, however.

'I Believe in Miracles: The Remarkable Story of Brian Clough's European Cup-Winning Team' recounts the glory days of the late 1970s and early 1980s so skilfully and vividly readers almost feel they didn't miss out at all.

Told through the eyes of the players who made it all happen, the eccentricities and magic of Clough and his assistant Peter Taylor are revealed in all their glory.

And lifelong Forest fan Taylor, who writes for The Guardian, manages to weave together the comic and maverick side with the impact the astonishing achievements of Forest at that time had on the wider city of Nottingham.

He vividly portrays a crumbling provincial club with a disenchanted fanbase living in a city rife with growing post-industrial social problems.

Brian Clough's unique management style transformed Nottingham Forest
Brian Clough's unique management
style transformed Nottingham Forest
But then in sweeps Brian Clough, a manager whose potential brilliance is without question but one whose career hangs in the balance after a disastrous spell as Don Revie's successor at Leeds United.

He shakes down and reinvigorates some of the club’s journeyman stars, transforming the careers of Martin O’Neill and Ian Bowyer, and moving portly winger John Robertson away from chip shops and chain smoking to scoring the winner in the European Cup final at the Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid.

The achievements are widely known but the anecdotes from the players involved are not.

And Taylor brings them together wonderfully, illustrating the fearless spirit in the Forest camp.

A brilliant story comes from Larry Lloyd, a towering centre-half from Liverpool and a slightly opinionated character with whom Clough perennially clashed.

David Needham had been signed from Notts County as cover when Lloyd became injured and performed so extraordinarily well that his more renowned teammate faced a battle to get back into the side.

Clough dealt with it in the expert way only he could: by making them both feel a million dollars.

Watch the goals from Forest's 1978-79 European Cup campaign

The team was announced and Lloyd was in it.

Clough told Needham: “David, you’re probably wondering why I’ve left you out and you’re entitled to. David you’ve done ever so well since I bought you. You know you’ve done brilliantly and I can’t fault you. David you’re a lovely boy. If my daughter were looking to bring home a man to marry, you’d be that man. You’re that nice I’d have you as a son-in-law.

“You see him over there, Larry Lloyd? I hate that f***ing b*****d. Absolutely hate him. And that David is why you’re not in the team. You’re not a b*****d like Larry Lloyd. And son, I want a b*****d in my defence.”

Another story is how Forest were taken to an FA Cup replay with Queens Park Rangers.

The inability to finish off the Hoops had the regrettable effect of cutting short a Spanish getaway for Clough.

In the run-up to the match, there was no sign of Old Big ‘Ead until five minutes before kick-off.

Lloyd recalls: “There he was, tanned and healthy, but with a face like thunder. ‘You f***ing b*****ds’ he shouted. ‘You’ve dragged me back from Majorca to get you through this FA Cup tie against a load of s*** from London’.”

Forest won the match 3-1.

Watch the goals from Forest's 1979-80 European Cup campaign

Clough was not like most managers, taking his players for walks in the park rather than training in European stadia, and keeping them up late drinking wine and playing cards instead of sleeping before a big match.

And author Taylor, in a more subtle way, has written something unlike most football books of its kind.

Released to accompany the film of the same name, it reads as if the players have gathered in a living room or cosy bar to share anecdotes over some scotch or a bottle of wine.

It is not a biographical or historical account of Forest’s greatest triumphs, but an intimate, charming and incredibly funny insight.

Buy I Believe in Miracles: The Remarkable Story of Brian Clough's European Cup-Winning Team, by Daniel Taylor (Headline)




Speed Kings by Andy Bull and Ed Caesar's Two Hours: The Quest to Run the Impossible Marathon among winners at 2016 Cross Sports Book Awards

  • Max Mosley, Guillem Balague, Ronda Rousey and David Millar also take prizes
  • Tim Lane and Elliot Cartledge worthy winners of Cricket award for Peter Roebuck biography Chasing Shadows

Andy Bull's Speed Kings and Ed Caesar's Two Hours: The Quest to Run the Impossible Marathon were among the outstanding books to be recognised as winners at the 2016 Cross British Sports Book Awards.

The Times Biography of the Year prize went to Guardian journalist Bull, whose Speed Kings (Bantam Press) is the story of the four maverick adventurers who came together from disparate backgrounds to form the United States team who were four-man bobsleigh champions at the 1932 Winter Olympics.

Caesar was named Freshtime New Writer of the Year for Two Hours (Viking), an engaging study of elite marathon runners from around the world and the challenge of covering the classic distance of 26 miles 385 yards in less than two hours.

As in previous years, a public vote on the 10 winners of the book categories will determine which is named the overall Cross Sports Book of the Year for 2016.  To cast your vote, visit www.sportsbookawards.com and complete an online form between now and midnight on 16 June.  Each vote will earn the chance to win £100 worth of book tokens in a draw.

Guillem Balague's life story of the Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo (Orion) was a popular winner of the Barclays Football Book of the Year, pipping a field that included past winner Michael Calvin's Living on the Volcano and James Lawton's excellent Forever Boys.

William Finnegan won the Blink Publishing Outstanding Sports Writing award for Barbarian Days (Little, Brown), in which he recounts a life spent chasing waves around the world as a member of the enduring brotherhood of surfers. The book is this year's winner of the Pulitzer Prize for biography.

The Littlehampton Book Services Cricket Book of the Year was won by Tim Lane and Elliot Cartledge for Chasing Shadows: The Life and Death of Peter Roebuck (Hardie Grant), in which Australian journalists Lane and Cartledge charted the life of the controversial English cricketer-turned-writer and examined the dramatic circumstances of his death in a fall from a hotel window in Cape Town, where he was being interviewed by police over an allegation of sexual assault.

The Cross Autobiography of the Year award went to the colourful former Formula One boss Max Mosley for his life story Formula One and Beyond (Simon & Schuster), a book that might disappoint some in that it is mainly about motor racing, but which does at least touch on his roots - he is the son of former Fascist leader Sir Oswald Mosley - and devotes several chapters to the newspaper revelations about his private life that led him first to bring a successful legal action against the News of the World and subsequently to become a campaigner against media intrusion into private lives.

Ronda Rousey, the former Olympic judo medallist who became a world champion at Ultimate Fighting, won the Cross International Autobiography of the Year award for My Fight, Your Fight (Arrow).

The Cycling Book of the Year is The Racer (Yellow Jersey), by David Millar, in which the Scottish former professional cyclist, who wrote about his return from a two-year doping ban in Racing Through the Dark, describes his final year on the circuit before retirement.

The Arbuthnot Latham Rugby Book of the Year is No Borders: Playing Rugby for Ireland (Arena Sport), Tom English's superb history of Irish rugby told through the words of the 115 present and former players he interviewed, a story that describes not only great victories and crushing defeats but the profound impact of politics and religion on Irish sport.

Winner of the Illustrated Book of the Year was Bob Martin for 1/1000th: The Sports Photography of Bob Martin (Vision Sports).

The Publicity Campaign of the Year went to Fiona Murphy from Quercus, who looked after The World of Cycling According to G, by Geraint Thomas.

The awards were announced during a gala dinner at Lord's cricket ground in London, where the proceedings also included some moving words by former Arsenal and Scotland goalkeeper Bob Wilson on behalf of the Cross Sports Book Awards charity partner Willow, the charity Bob and his wife Meg set up in memory of their daughter Anna, who died of cancer aged 31.  Willow helps seriously ill young adults, aged between 16 and 40, enjoy unforgettable experiences by providing Special Days.

Wilson also presented a special award made to veteran football writer Brian Glanville, who was honoured for his Outstanding Contribution to Sports Writing after a career that spans an incredible 67 years.  Now 84, Glanville began writing for newspapers at the age of 17 and had his first book published aged 19, while working for the Italian sports daily, Corriere dello Sport.  He spent 33 years as correspondent for the Sunday Times, for whom he still writes regular match reports.

To see who these winners beat to the big prizes, read our post on the full shortlists.

Follow these links to buy any of the winning titles

Autobiography of the Year: Max Mosley: Formula One and Beyond
Biography of the Year: Speed Kings, by Andy Bull
International Autobiography of the Year: My Fight Your Fight, by Ronda Rousey
Football Book of the Year: Cristiano Ronaldo: The Biography, by Guillem Hague
Cricket Book of the Year: Chasing Shadows: The Life and Death of Peter Roebuck, by Tim Lane and Elliot Cartledge
Rugby Book of the Year: No Borders: Playing Rugby for Ireland, by Tom English
Cycling Book of the Year: The Racer: The Inside Story of Life on the Road, by David Millar
New Writer of the Year: Two Hours: The Quest to Run the Impossible Marathon, by Ed Caesar
Outstanding General Sports Writing: Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life, by William Finnegan
Illustrated Book of the Year: 1/1000th: The Sports Photography of Bob Martin



Judges pondering over 10 shortlists for Cross Sports Book Awards 2016

The judges are pondering over 10 shortlists for the 2016 Cross Sports Book Awards ahead of the awards ceremony on 1 June.

In addition to the titles under consideration for Autobiography of the Year, the longlist for which was revealed in January, the contenders in nine other categories have been named, including the new award for International Autobiography of the Year.

Photo of Gareth Thomas with 2015 award
Gareth Thomas won the 2015 Sports
Book of the Year award for Proud
As in previous years, after the individual category winners have been announced, each will go forward to an online public vote to determine the overall Cross Sports Book of the Year. Everyone that takes part in the public vote will be entered into a draw to win National Book Tokens.

Michael Calvin, who won the overall prize in 2014 with The Nowhere Men and was the ghostwriter behind rugby star Gareth Thomas's 2015 winner Proud, has the chance to complete a hat-trick with Living on the Volcano, his study of what it takes to survive as a football manager, which is shortlisted for Football Book of the Year.

Ronald Reng, the German sports journalist who won Biography of the Year in 2004 with Keeper of Dreams and Football Book of the Year in 2012 with A Life Too Short, is shortlisted in the football category again with Matchdays: The Hidden Story of the Bundesliga.

John Cross's Arsene Wenger and Guillem Balague's Cristiano Ronaldo go head to head in both the Biography and Football categories, while Richard Tomlinson's Amazing Grace: The Man Who was WG is shortlisted for Cricket Book of the Year as well as the biography prize.

Stephen Chalke, author of the 2009 Cricket Book of the Year winner The Way it Was, is a contender for that prize again with Summer's Crown: The Story of Cricket's County Championship.

Donald McRae, who collaborated with Steven Gerrard on his shortlisted Autobiography My Story, is shortlisted also for Biography of the Year with A Man's World: The Double Life of Emile Griffith.

And Ed Caesar is in the running for the New Writer award and the Outstanding Sports Writing award for Two Hours: The Quest to Run the Impossible Marathon.

The 2016 awards will be presented by Sky Sports News presenter Mike Wedderburn and Test Match Special’s Alison Mitchell after a dinner at Lord’s Cricket Ground on 1 June. An hour-long highlights show will be shown on Sky Sports. with multiple repeat shows on 4 and 5 June.

The shortlists in full:

Cross Autobiography of the Year

Steve Davis: Interesting (Ebury)
Steven Gerrard: My Story (Penguin)
David Lloyd: Last in the Tin Bath  (Simon & Schuster)
Nigel Mansell: Staying on Track (Simon & Schuster)
AP McCoy: Winner (Orion)
Max Mosley: Formula One and Beyond (Simon & Schuster)

The Times Biography of the Year

Guillem Balague: Cristiano Ronaldo (Orion)
Andy Bull: Speed Kings (Bantam Press)
John Cross: Arsene Wenger (Simon & Schuster)
Donald McRae: A Man's World: The Double Life of Emile Griffith (Simon & Schuster)
Richard Tomlinson: Amazing Grace: The Man Who was W.G.(Little, Brown)
Luke G. Williams: Richmond Unchained: The Biography of the World's First Black Sporting Superstar (Amberley)

Littlehampton Book Services Cricket Book of the Year

Scyld Berry: Cricket: The Game of Life (Hodder & Stoughton)
Stephen Chalke: Summer's Crown: The Story of Cricket's County Championship (Fairfield Books)
Steve James: The Art of Centuries (Bantam Press)
Tim Lane and Elliot Cartledge: Chasing Shadows: The Life and Death of Peter Roebuck (Hardie Grant Books)
Simon Lister: Fire in Babylon (Yellow Jersey Press)
Richard Tomlinson: Amazing Grace: The Man Who was WG (Little, Brown)

Cycling Book of the Year

Peter Cossins: Alpe d'Huez: The Story of Pro Cycling's Greatest Climb (Aurum Press)
William Fotheringham: Bernard Hinault and the Fall and Rise of French Cycling(Yellow Jersey Press)
Ian MacGregor: To Hell on a Bike (Bantam Press)
David Millar: The Racer (Yellow Jersey Press)
Edward Pickering: The Yellow Jersey Club (Bantam Press)
Geraint Thomas: The World of Cycling According to G (Quercus)

Barclays Football Book of the Year

Guillem Balague: Cristiano Ronaldo (Orion)
Michael Calvin: Living on the Volcano (Century)
John Cross: Arsene Wenger (Simon & Schuster)
Andrew Jennings: The Dirty Game: Uncovering the Scandal at FIFA (Century)
James Lawton: Forever Boys (Wisden)
Ronald Reng: Matchdays: The Hidden Story of the Bundesliga (Simon & Schuster)

Blink Publishing General Outstanding Sports Writing Award

Darren Barker with Ian Ridley: A Dazzling Darkness: The Darren Barker Story (Floodlit Dreams)
Ed Caesar: Two Hours: The Quest to Run the Impossible Marathon (Viking)
John Daniell: The Fixer (Saltway)
Willie Finnegan: Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life (Little, Brown)
Richard Moore: The Bolt Supremacy (Yellow Jersey Press)
William Skidelsky: Federer and Me: A Story of Obsession (Yellow Jersey Press)

Illustrated Book of the Year

Matthew Baird: Triathlon!: A tribute to the world's greatest triathletes, courses and gear (Aurum Press)
Paul Connolly: Richie Benaud: Those Summers of Cricket 1930-2015 (Hardie Grant Books)
Tour de France 2015:The Official Review (Vision Sports Publishing)
Bob Martin: 1/1000th: The Sports Photography of Bob Martin (Vision Sports Publishing)
Roger McStravick: St Andrews in the Footsteps of Old Tom Morris (St Andrews Press)
Mark Platt: This is Anfield (Carlton Books)

Cross International Autobiography of the Year Award

Dan Carter: Dan Carter: The Autobiography of an All Blacks Legend (Headline)
Didier Drogba: Commitment: My Autobiography (Hodder & Stoughton)
Michael Lynagh and Mark Eglinton: Blindsided (HarperSport)
Marco Negri with Jeff Holmes: Moody Blue: The Story of Mysterious Marco (Pitch Publishing)
Ronda Rousey: My Fight Your Fight (Arrow)
Mark Webber: Aussie Grit: My Formula One Journey (Pan Macmillan)

Freshtime New Writer of the Year

Emily Bullock: The Longest Fight (Myriad Editions)
Ed Caesar: Two Hours: The Quest to Run the Impossible Marathon (Viking)
Lucy Fry: Run, Ride, Sink or Swim: A Rookie's Year in Women's Triathlon (Faber & Faber)
Martin Hardy: Touching Distance (DeCoubertin Books)
Lizzy Hawker: Runner: A Short Story About a Long Run (Aurum Press)
Anne Lauppe-Dunbar: Dark Mermaids (Seren Books)

Arbuthnot Latham Rugby Book of the Year

Tony Collins: The Oval World: A Global History of Rugby (Bloomsbury)
Stephen Cooper: After the Final Whistle (History Press)
Tom English: No Borders: Playing Rugby for Ireland (Arena Sport)
Stephen Ferris: Man and Ball (Transworld Ireland)
Adam Jones: Bomb: My Autobiography (Headline)
Phil Larder with Nicholas Bishop: The Iron Curtain: My Rugby Journey from League to Union (Pitch Publishing)