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More honours for Hamilton's Harold Larwood book


Duncan Hamilton has added a top prize at the British Sports Book Awards to his William Hill Sports Book of the Year award for his brilliant study of cricketer Harold Larwood (Quercus).

His authorised life story of the England fast bowler notorious for his role in the Bodyline tour of 1932-33 was named 'best biography' at a dinner at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel in London.

Hamilton, who spent 32 years as a journalist in Nottingham and Leeds, won wider recognition two years ago with Provided You Don't Kiss Me, his portrait of Brian Clough, which also won the William Hill prize.

Inspired by a fascination he can trace back to his days growing up in a Nottinghamshire mining community, where Larwood was a revered figure, Hamilton spent six weeks in Australia in his researching of Larwood's story, being granted access to family archives by the player's daughters.

The work that resulted has been compared favourably with Gideon Haigh's life of the Australian spin bowler, Jack Iverson, David Foot's portrait of Wally Hammond and Leo McKinstry's balanced account of the Geoff Boycott story among acclaimed cricket biographies.

Hamilton beat off competition from Observer journalists Jon Henderson (Last Champion: Life of Fred Perry) and Kevin Mitchell (Jacob's Beach: The Mob, the Garden and the Golden Age of Boxing), whose books were both published by Yellow Jersey, in a strong field for his category.

Andre Agassi's soul-baring Open: An Autobiography (HarperCollins) was judged the best autobiography, while the judges could not decide between Cantona by Philippe Auclair (Macmillan) and Feet of the Chameleon by Ian Hawkey (Anova) for the best football book.

The awards were organised and hosted for the eighth year by the National Sporting Club.

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