Donald McRae in running to be first writer to win William Hill Sports Book of the Year for third time as 2015 longlist is unveiled

Donald McRae, the Guardian writer who is one of only two authors to have won the William Hill Sports Book of the Year award twice, is in contention to take sports writing's richest literary prize for a third time.

A Man's World: The Double Life of Emile Griffith (Simon & Schuster) is named on a longlist of 14 titles for the 2015 edition of the award, the winner of which will be revealed in November.

In A Man's World, McRae tells the story of the American boxer who became world champion in both welterweight and middleweight divisions during a 19-year career but was also gay at a time when homosexuality was a crime in all but one of the American states and still classified by the American Medical Association as a 'psychiatric disorder'.

McRae's ability to draw the reader into the story is particularly strong in his recounting of the rivalry between Griffith and Benny "Kid" Paret, the Cuban fighter against whom he battled for the world welterweight crown three times, winning once and losing once in 1961 but winning again in April of the following year when Paret used the Hispanic term for 'faggot' to insult Griffith at the weigh-in, then took such a hammering in the ring that he died in hospital 10 days later.

The South African-born McRae won the William Hill prize in 1996 with Dark Trade, the journey into the murky world of professional boxing that established him as a writer of note, and again in 2002 with In Black and White, about the friendship between Olympic champion Jesse Owens and another boxing world champion, Joe Louis, two black American icons who rose above poverty and racial divisions.

Also on the list is another boxing writer, Mark Turley, whose intriguing book, Journeymen: The Other Side of the Boxing Business (Pitch Publishing), is deservedly recognised.  Turley's subjects are not the headline-making winners but the considerable cast of fighters who make their living from losing, the men whose job is simply to be in the opposite corner to potential future stars, well paid but with no purpose other than to be beaten as latest box-office prospect sharpens his skills on the way to the top of the bill.

The longlist, which will be whittled down further before the shortlist is announced on October 27, has a strong football content, as is to be expected.

These include Living on the Volcano: The Secrets of Surviving as a Football Manager (Century), which is based on a series of interviews conducted by award-winning journalist Michael Calvin, which reveal how even the fierce heat of the media spotlight does not always reveal the full, devastating effect of trying to handle the pressures of being the man in charge.

The Ugly Game: The Qatari Plot to Buy the World Cup (Simon & Schuster), by Heidi Blake and Jonathan Calvert, makes the list, deservedly so after the fine work painstakingly carried out by the authors in exposing corruption at the highest level of football.

There is a place, too, for Fifty-Six: The Story of the Bradford Fire (Bloomsbury), in which survivor Martin Fletcher, who lost several family members in the Valley Parade inferno in 1985, not only recalls the horror of that May afternoon but raises many unanswered questions about what happened and why.

David Goldblatt, whose global history of football, The Ball is Round, won enormous acclaim when it was published in 2006, can expect to be in the running with The Game of Our Lives: The Meaning and Making of English Football (Viking), in which the football writer and sociologist turns his analytical attention to the last two decades at home and how football has developed in time with the social, economic and political changes of the post-Thatcherite era.

A diverse field this year includes titles on cycling, bobsleigh, running, cricket and even chess.

Another Guardian regular, Andy Bull, makes the list with Speed Kings (Bantam Press), his the story of the disparate group of outsiders who formed the United States team that became bobsleigh champions at the 1932 Winter Olympics.

My Fight/Your Fight (Century) is the hard-hitting autobiography of MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) champion Ronda Rousey, while A King in Hiding (Icon) tells the story of Fahim, an eight year old refugee who became a world chess champion after settling in his new home of Paris.

Runner: A Short Story About a Long Run (Aurum Press) is endurance athlete Lizzy Hawker's tale about the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc, a grueling 8,600 metres of ascent and descent over 158 kilometres of the most challenging terrain, which the London-born runner has won an incredible five times.

Chess has rarely been in the public eye since the great rivalry between the Russian giants Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov in the 1980s and 90s and before that through the political symbolism attached to American Bobby Fischer's defeat of Russia's Boris Spassky to win the world championship in 1972.  It has caught the attention now through the story of Mohammad Fahim, a child refugee from Bangladesh who lived as an illegal immigrant in Paris yet despite all the barriers before him became world under-13 student chess champion.  A King in Hiding (Icon), translated from the French publication written by author Sophie le Callannec and chess coach Xavier Parmentier, tells Fahim's story.

Simon Lister does a fine job in Fire in Babylon (Yellow Jersey) of describing and understanding the dominance of the West Indies cricket team in the 1970s and 1980s and the effect it had on the people of the region, while Richard Moore delves into another great sporting passion of the Caribbean in The Bolt Supremacy: Inside the Jamaican Sprint Factory (Yellow Jersey).

In King's of the Road: A Journey into the Heart of British Cycling (Aurum Press), cycling journalist Robert Dineen delivers a personal take on the ups and downs in the history of British cycling, interviewing many of the most influential figures in the evolution of the sport in this country and interweaving his own experiences on the club cycling scene.

Finally, John Carlin, who has written some fine books about sport and politics in Spain and South Africa, makes the line-up with Chase Your Shadow: The Trials of Oscar Pistorius, a superb account of the complexities and contradictions not only in the character of the champion paralympic athlete convicted of killing his girlfriend but in the South African nation.

The full William Hill Sports Book of the Year 2015 longlist is as follows:

  • The Ugly Game: The Qatari Plot to Buy the World Cup, by Heidi Blake and Jonathan Calvert (Simon & Schuster) Buy from: Amazon  Waterstones  WHSmith
  • Speed Kings, by Andy Bull (Bantam Press) Buy from: Amazon  Waterstones  WHSmith
  • Living on the Volcano: The Secrets of Surviving as a Football Manager, by Michael Calvin (Century) Buy from: Amazon  Waterstones  WHSmith
  • Chase Your Shadow: The Trials of Oscar Pistorius, by John Carlin (Atlantic Books) Buy from: Amazon  Waterstones  WHSmith
  • Kings of the Road: A Journey into the Heart of British Cycling, by Robert Dineen (Aurum Press) Buy from: Amazon  Waterstones  WHSmith
  • A King in Hiding: How a Child Refugee Became a World Chess Champion, by Fahim, Sophie Le Callennec, Xavier Parmentier and Barbara Mellor (translator) (Icon) Buy from: Amazon  Waterstones  WHSmith
  • Fifty-Six: The Story of the Bradford Fire, by Martin Fletcher (Bloomsbury) Buy from: Amazon  Waterstones  WHSmith
  • The Game of Our Lives: The Meaning and Making of English Football, by David Goldblatt (Viking) Buy from: Amazon  Waterstones  WHSmith
  • Runner: A Short Story About A Long Run, by Lizzy Hawker (Aurum Press) Buy from: Amazon  Waterstones  WHSmith
  • Fire in Babylon, by Simon Lister (Yellow Jersey) Buy from: Amazon  Waterstones  WHSmith
  • A Man’s World: The Double Life of Emile Griffith, by Donald McRae (Simon & Schuster) Buy from: Amazon  Waterstones  WHSmith
  • The Bolt Supremacy, by Richard Moore (Yellow Jersey) Buy from: Amazon  Waterstones  WHSmith
  • My Fight/Your Fight: The Official Ronda Rousey Autobiography, by Ronda Rousey and Maria Burns Ortiz (Century) Buy from: Amazon  Waterstones  WHSmith
  • Journeymen: The Other Side of the Boxing Business, by Mark Turley (Pitch) Buy from: Amazon  Waterstones  WHSmith



A wonderful appreciation of the quintessential English summer game

Summer's Crown: The Story of Cricket's County Championship, by Stephen Chalke (Fairfield Books) £20.00

Available from Amazon, Waterstones and other retailers

Academic and cricket lover Stephen Chalke, the man behind Fairfield Books, has written some 16 books on his favourite subject.  Most - if not all of them - have won critical acclaim; four have won awards. Summer's Crown might be his best yet. 

Chalke's latest work is a history of the County Championship, the competition conceived in 1890 to serve the interests of eight founder members and, 125 years later, somehow still going, repeatedly defying the odds against its survival. It is a weighty volume, some 352 pages long.  As such, it might have been a pretty dull affair, a catalogue of facts and figures and turgid chronology.  But not in the hands of Stephen Chalke.

Beautifully written, as you might expect, it is also superbly well organised.  After an introductory chapter, there are a couple of pages on each of the counties, providing a brief history, a table showing Championship placings for each season, a list of grounds used and some basic statistics (most runs, most wickets, most appearances).  Then comes the history of the Championship, broken down into decades, with some statistics, but mainly stories, and wonderfully told stories, which enable the reader to delve into each decade and emerge with a real appreciation of how the game was.  There are stories of matches and of players, of events on the field and off it, all set in the context of the times; there are serious stories and quirky stories, recounting developments of significance as well as moments that capture the joy and pleasure that county cricket has provided throughout its existence. 

Finally, for the things that needed to be recorded but which did not fit neatly into the tale of each decade there is an appendix; and like the rest of the book it is a treasure trove of facts and figures, features and stories, crafted portraits and fascinating discourse.   And throughout there are some superb illustrations, contemporary and historic.

Chalke's strength has always been his ability to convey the character and personality of individual players, adding real colour to the facts and statistics of a career. A history of a monolith  institution such as the County Championship must have tested him yet Summer's Crown is a triumph, bringing out all the eccentric charm of a game that occupies a unique place in English social history.  For anyone who loves county cricket, and not only those who find pleasure in the warm glow of nostalgia, this book will be a joy. More awards await.


Usain Bolt, Kevin Keegan, Ingemar Johansson and English Leg Spin come under the spotlight in a quartet of new titles


A selection of new sports books

The Bolt Supremacy: Inside Jamaica's Sprint Factory, by Richard Moore (Yellow Jersey) £18.99

Available from Amazon, Waterstones, WHSmith and other retailers

In nine of the last 11 years, the fastest time of the year for the men's 100m has been set by a Jamaican; seven times in the same period, the fastest time for the women's 100m has also been set by a Jamaican.  The latest phenomenon, Usain Bolt, is not only the fastest of them all but possibly the most recognisable sportsman or woman on the planet.

Sprinters define Jamaica. So what is the secret of this one island's incredible success?  Genetics? Diet? The island's love of athletics that sees crowds of 35,000 turn up for high school championships? Or something more sinister?

Richard Moore, who learned a good deal about success achieved by unfair means in previous books about cyclist Robert Millar and the banned Olympic 100m champion Ben Johnson, does not shy away from awkward questions in his quest to discover what lies behind Jamaica's extraordinary ability to produce the fastest human beings on the planet.

He is right to do so.  Since the 2008 Olympics, more than 20 Jamaican runners have tested positive for banned substances, including Bolt's training partner, Johan Blake, and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Price, the double Olympic 100m champion.  Bolt, it should be stressed, has been tested more than 100 times and always been clean.

Moore does not reveal any vast scandal, although inevitably there are not many willing to talk about such a possibility. Moreover, he does find is a history of chaotic drug testing procedures, which does not help in quelling suspicions.

However, this highly readable book should not be disparaged for the lack of career-ending evidence of the kind that some recent cycling books have been able to present.  Success on the track is not all about cheating and Moore outlines many quite plausible and yet entirely innocent possibilities behind the Jamaican phenomenon.

Touching Distance: Kevin Keegan, The Entertainers and Newcastle's Impossible Dream, by Martin Hardy (de Coubertin) £18.99.

Available from Amazon, Waterstones, WHSmith and other retailers

In February, 1992, facing relegation to the third tier of English football for the first time in their history, Newcastle United were also on the point of financial collapse.  Were they to go down, the club would probably go out of business.  Sir John Hall, whose Magpie Group were gradually winning a long battle to take control of the club, took an enormous gamble by appointing Kevin Keegan as manager.

Keegan, twice European Footballer of the Year, had played for the club between 1982 and 1984, during which time he had become a talismanic figure for Newcastle fans, helping them win promotion in his second season.  Yet he had been out of football since and was completely new to management.

Incredibly, Keegan saved them from relegation, Newcastle beating Leicester City away on the final day of the season to ensure their survival.  Yet it was only the beginning of an incredible era in the club's history. Exactly four years after Keegan's return to the north east,  Newcastle were top of the Premier League, nine points clear of Manchester United, having played a game less.

Now they were on the brink of a fairytale.  Keegan's team had thrilled the crowds with wonderful, exuberant attacking football.  Sky TV dubbed them The Entertainers.  They would take part in a game at Anfield that became widely recognised as the best the Premier League has ever seen.  Yet they lost that game and the season too would end in glorious failure as Manchester United, winning 13 of their last 15 games in that 1995-96 season, relentlessly chased them down.

Yet should such a memorable season really be recalled in terms of failure?  Martin Hardy, a north-east journalist, does not think so.  He believes some of the comments made about Keegan in the last 20 years, that his teams could not defend or that he crumbled in the face of Sir Alex Ferguson's mind games, are harsh and that going so close deserves to be celebrated.

Touching Distance, based on extensive interviews with Sir John Hall, with Keegan and other members of his coaching staff, and with many of the players, sets out to do that.   Hardy sets their recollections within a clever framework, with each chapter, more or less, based on a significant match, some historical -- it opens, for example, with Kevin Keegan's debut as a player in 1982 -- others providing a background narrative to the 1995-96 campaign.  For Black and White fans it will make compelling reading.

The Strange Death of English Leg Spin: How Cricket's Finest Art Was Given Away, by Justin Parkinson (Pitch Publishing) £12.99

Available from Amazon, WaterstonesWHSmith and other retailers

From the moment he delivered That Ball to Mike Gatting at Old Trafford in 1993, in every Test he played in thereafter it took only the announcement of his name over the public address to set off a murmur of anticipation: Shane Warne, the leg spinner, was coming on to bowl and anything could happen.

List the top 10 leg spinners of all time and, as well as being Australian or Asian, the majority are players from the last 20 or 30 years. Yet in the last half-century, England have used only seven specialist leg-spin bowlers, who have made just 24 Test appearances between them, even though, as Justin Parkinson explains, leg spin was originally the invention of an Englishman.

Between the wars, Yorkshire apart, every county had at least one proficient leg spinner, some more than one.  Parkinson theorises on what happened to change all that -- much of it down to lack of trust on the part of modern captains and coaches -- and comes up with some suggestions of his own as to how the trend might be reversed.  These include, intriguingly, compulsory participation in a game called twisti-twosti, without which the googly, it transpires, might never have been invented.

Ingemar Johansson: Swedish Heavyweight Boxing Champion, by Ken Brooks (McFarland) £27.50

Available from Amazon, Waterstones and other retailers

Ingemar Johansson’s right hand - dubbed “The Hammer of Thor” - was the most fearsome in boxing, and Johansson’s three fights with Floyd Patterson rank among the sport’s classic rivalries.

Yet most fans know little about the Swedish playboy who won the world heavyweight championship in 1959 with a shocking third round knock-out of Patterson.  He held the title for six days short of a year but during his brief reign he became a familiar figure in fashionable nightspots in New York and back at home.  He had a romance with Elizabeth Taylor and refused to kowtow to the mobsters who controlled boxing.

Ken Brooks's biography chronicles Johansson's rise to fame as a teenage prodigy in Gothenburg and how he had to be persuaded not to give up boxing after his humiliating disqualification in front of home fans at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics, when his tactics in a match against the American Ed Sanders were interpreted as not putting up sufficient fight.  It charts his professional career and his life after boxing, which suffered when he began to develop dementia in his early 60s, almost certainly the consequence of blows to the head.



Gareth Thomas autobiography Proud is Sports Book of the Year after winning public vote

Proud, the book in which Welsh rugby star Gareth Thomas describes the anguish that drove him close to suicide before he decided to end years of deceit and admit to his homosexuality, has been voted Sports Book of the Year for 2015 in an online poll.

Published by Ebury, Proud won Best Autobiography at the Cross British Sports Book Awards 2015 before all 10 category winners at the annual prizegiving event were thrown open to readers to name their choice for the overall top sports title of the last 12 months.

Written with journalist and sportswriter Michael Calvin, who also won last year’s overall prize for his book, The Nowhere Men, Proud has been described as a breathtakingly moving and inspirational story.

Thomas for many years seemed to epitomise the macho culture of rugby. Known by his nickname 'Alfie', Thomas had cultivated the image of hard-drinking hellraiser to which rugby players were almost expected to conform.  Ironically, the publicity accompanying his first biography, entitled Alfie described how he had reached the top of his profession 'simply by being himself'.

In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Thomas was leading a double life.  Aware of being gay from his late teens, he kept it a secret for years, even marrying Jemma, the pretty girl from a neighbouring village whose mail he would deliver when he worked as a postman. But after growing weary of the lies and cover-ups, of the moments of intolerable despair, he came out.  His bravery in doing so has led to Thomas being contacted for advice and support by many people within sport and beyond who have found themselves grappling with similar conflicts in their personal lives.

Thomas, who dedicated the award to the memory of his friend, Danny Jones, the rugby league player who died suddenly after collapsing on the field last month, said: “I’m proud, in so many ways, to win this award. The book means so much to me because I have discovered that it means so much to others.”

Co-author Calvin described winning the online vote as "a huge honour."

“It is uniquely important since it involves recognition from not just an eminent panel of judges, but also the support of our readers," he said. "Being named as Sports Book of the Year at the Cross British Sports Book Awards is a huge honour for us.

"From a personal point of view, winning for the second successive year is pretty humbling. But Gareth deserves greater credit for having the moral courage to tell his story with such fearlessness and emotional intelligence. We laughed and we cried in writing the book, and will probably do the same when we meet up to celebrate this win. Thanks to everyone involved.”

Buy Proud: My Autobiography, by Gareth Thomas from Amazon, Waterstones or WHSmith.

The other category winners announced at the awards ceremony at Lord’s earlier this month were:

Alone: The Triumph and Tragedy of John Curry, by Bill Jones, (Outstanding Sports Writing)

Bobby Moore: The Man in Full, by Matt Dickinson (Biography of the Year)

Wounded Tiger: A History of Cricket in Pakistan, by Peter Oborne, (Cricket Book of the Year)

Thirty-One Nil: On the Road With Football's Outsiders, by James Montague (Football Book of the Year)

Beyond the Horizon: Extreme Adventures at the Edge of the World, by Richard Parks with Michael Aylwin (Rugby Book of the Year)

Cheltenham et AL: The Best of Alastair Down, by Alastair Down, (Horse Racing Book of the Year).

The Race Against the Stasi: The Incredible Story of Dieter Wiedemann, the Iron Curtain and the Greatest Cycling Race on Earth, by Herbie Sykes (Cycling Book of the Year)

Night Games: Sex, Power and a Journey into the Dark Heart of Sport, by Anna Krien (New Writer of the Year)

The Age of Innocence: Football in the 1970s , edited by Reuel Golden (Illustrated Book of the Year)



Gareth Thomas's Proud and Bobby Moore biography head the line-up of winners at the 2015 Cross British Sports Book Awards

  • Bobby Moore: The Man in Full is Biography of the Year

  • Thirty-One Nil is best Football Book

  • Cricket Book award goes to Wounded Tiger

  • Gareth Thomas's Proud is Autobiography of the Year

Gareth Thomas, Matt Dickinson, James Montague, Richard Parks, Peter Oborne, Alastair Down, Herbie Sykes, Bill Jones and Anna Krien were recognised for their outstanding contributions to sports literature at the 2015 British Sports Book Awards, sponsored by pen makers Cross.

They were the headline winners at a ceremony hosted by broadcaster and former cricketer Jonathan Agnew at Lord's cricket ground in London.

Gareth Thomas, the former Wales and British and Irish Lions captain who played both Rugby Union and Rugby League in a glittering career, won the Autobiography of the Year prize for Proud (Ebury Press), written with the help of journalist and author Michael Calvin, which tells the story of how Thomas found the courage to admit to being gay in the macho world of rugby.

Thomas dedicated the award to Danny Jones, the Keighley Cougars rugby league player who last month died from cardiac arrest triggered by an undetected heart condition.

Available from: Amazon, Waterstones, WHSmith

Co-writer Calvin was himself a winner in 2014 with The Nowhere Men, his study of football's vast army of talent scouts, which was named as Football Book of the Year and won the public vote for overall Sports Book of the Year.

Publishers Yellow Jersey and Bloomsbury both scored two wins each.

The 2015 category winners all now go forward to a public online vote to determine the 2015 Cross Sports Book of the Year.  More details...

Football Book of the Year this time is Thirty-One Nil (Bloomsbury), written by James Montague, a freelance sports writer who set out to discover what the World Cup means in some of the world's most remote football outposts, in the nations whose quest for a place in the finals begins long before the major players have even thought about their route to the showcase event.  The title commemorates the record scoreline in a World Cup qualification match, when Australia beat American Samoa 31-0 in April 2001.

Available from: Amazon, Waterstones, WHSmith

Montague beat a strong field that included Bobby Moore: The Man in Full (Yellow Jersey), which instead won Biography of the Year for Matt Dickinson, chief sports writer at The Times.

Dickinson's portrait of the 1966 World Cup winning captain was notable not only for the depth of research but for its lack of sentimentality, delving behind the golden boy image to discover the true identity of one of football's greatest icons, not with any malevolent intent but simply to find the real person behind the caricature.

Available from: Amazon, Waterstones, WHSmith

Richard Parks, another former Wales rugby player, won Rugby Book of the Year for Beyond the Horizon: Extreme Adventures at the Edge of the World (Sphere), in which Parks tells the story of how he moved on when injury ended his career prematurely to take on extreme challenges such as climbing the highest mountain in every continent and visiting both the North and South Poles, all in the space of seven months.

Available from: Amazon, Waterstones, WHSmith

Peter Oborne's expansive Wounded Tiger: The History of Cricket in Pakistan (Simon & Schuster) won the Cricket Book of the Year award, turning the tables on Dan Waddell's Field of Shadows, the story of an English cricket tour of Nazi Germany, by which it was pipped for the Cricket Society-MCC Book of the Year.

Available from: Amazon, Waterstones, WHSmith

Alastair Down, the horse racing writer and bon viveur, won the Horse Racing Book of the Year for Cheltenham Et Al (Racing Post Books), a collection of his witty and colourful journalism for the Racing Post.

Available from: Amazon, Waterstones, WHSmith

Cycling Book of the Year went to The Race Against the Stasi (Aurum Press), in which journalist and author Herbie Sykes tells the incredible story of Dieter Wiedemann, the East German cyclist and a poster boy for the athletic supremacists of the communist Eastern Bloc and the Peace Race, the cycling stage event dubbed the Tour de France of the East.  Wiedeman, though, abhorred his country's ideology, fell in love with a girl from the other side of the Berlin Wall and, in defiance of the Stasi secret police who sought to control his life, defected to the West.

Available from: Amazon, Waterstones, WHSmith

Bill Jones, the writer and television producer who was Best New Writer in 2012 for The Ghost Runner, won the Outstanding Sports Writing award for Alone: The Triumph and Tragedy of John Curry (Bloomsbury), which explores the troubled life and early death of the former Olympic figure skating champion.

Available from: Amazon, Waterstones, WHSmith

Anna Krien took the Best New Writer award this time for Night Games: Sex, Power and a Journey into the Dark Heart of Sport (Yellow Jersey) which began as the reporting of a rape case involving a young Australian rules football player and developed as an eye-opening expose of a culture of abuse towards women in Australian sports.  Night Games was the winner of the 2014 William Hill Sports Book of the Year award.

Available from: Amazon, Waterstones, WHSmith

Other awards went to Reuel Golden as editor of The Age of Innocence: Football in the 1970s (Taschen), a photographic history that won Illustrated Book of the Year, to Elizabeth Allen (Weidenfeld & Nicolson/Orion) and Jane Beaton (Kew Publicity), who co-ordinated the Publicity Campaign behind Roy Keane's The Second Half, and to Waterstones as Retailer of the Year.

Sir Michael Parkinson, the journalist and broadcaster, received a special award for his Outstanding Contribution to Sports Writing.

Each of the individual category winners will be entered into an online public vote to determine the overall Cross British Sports Book of the Year.

The winners:

Autobiography Proud: My Autobiography (Ebury Press), by Gareth Thomas with Michael Calvin.

Biography Bobby Moore: The Man in Full (Yellow Jersey), by Matt Dickinson.

Football Thirty-One Nil: On the Road with Football's Outsiders (Bloomsbury), by James Montague

Rugby Beyond the Horizon: Extreme Adventures at the Edge of the World (Sphere), by Richard Parks.

Cricket Wounded Tiger: The History of Cricket in Pakistan (Simon & Schuster), by Peter Oborne.

Horse Racing Cheltenham et AL: The Best of Alastair Down (Racing Post Books), by Alastair Down.

Cycling The Race Against the Stasi: The Incredible Story of Dieter Wiedemann, The Iron Curtain and The Greatest Cycling Race on Earth (Aurum Press), by Herbie Sykes.

Outstanding Writing Alone: The Triumph and Tragedy of John Curry (Bloomsbury) by Bill Jones.

New Writer Night Games: Sex, Power and a Journey into the Dark Heart of Sport (Yellow Jersey), by Anna Krien.

Illustrated The Age of Innocence. Football in the 1970s (Taschen), edited by Reuel Golden.

Publicity Campaign Elizabeth Allen (Weidenfeld & Nicolson/Orion) and Jane Beaton (Kew Publicity) for Roy Keane: The Second Half (W & N), by Roy Keane and Roddy Doyle.

Retailer of the Year Waterstones

Outstanding Contribution to Sports Writing Sir Michael Parkinson

More reading: The full shortlists for the Cross British Sports Book Awards