Paul Kimmage in line for second 'bookie prize' after judges add Engage to shortlist

Paul Kimmage, who won the William Hill Sports Book of the Year award in 1990 with the cycling claasic, Rough Ride, has been shortlisted for this year’s prize for Engage: The Fall and Rise of Matt Hampson, even though the acclaimed story of the paralysed England Under-21 rugby player was not originally submitted for the prize.

This means the shortlist for this year’s ‘bookie prize’, the richest award of its type in the world, will consist of seven titles rather than six.

William Hill spokesman Graham Sharpe explained: “Although the book had not been submitted for the prize at the time our longlist was announced, the members of our judging panel nevertheless agreed to consider it once it was brought to their attention.

“We would normally have selected six titles for the shortlist but the addition of Engage means there will be a magnificent seven titles this year, so no other author has been denied a place by its inclusion. This decision takes into account the feeling that it would be unfair to penalise a blameless author and subject.”

Read more: Engage -- a harrowing story brilliantly told

Also shortlisted is A Life Too Short, by Ronald Reng, which tells the tragic story of German national goalkeeper Robert Enke, who took his own life at just 32 years of age, as well as Racing Through the Dark, the controversial autobiography of British cyclist David Millar, and Among The Fans, award-winning sportswriter Patrick Collins's account of a year observing a range of different sports and their many and varied supporters.

Now in its 23rd year, and with a prize worth £27,500 for the winner, the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award 2011 shortlist covers a range of sports, including football, rugby, cycling, running and – more unusually – bullfighting.

The shortlist in full:
1. Among the Fans: From Ashes to the Arrows, a Year of Watching the Watchers by Patrick Collins (Wisden Sports Writing)
2. Into The Arena: The World of the Spanish Bullfight by Alexander Fiske-Harrison (Profile Books)
3. The Ghost Runner: The Tragedy of the Man They Couldn't Stop by Bill Jones (Mainstream Publishing)
4. Engage: The Fall and Rise of Matt Hampson by Paul Kimmage (Simon & Schuster)
5. Racing Through the Dark: The Fall and Rise of David Millar by David Millar (Orion)
6. A Life Too Short: The Tragedy of Robert Enke by Ronald Reng (Yellow Jersey Press)
7. 32 Programmes by Dave Roberts (Bantam Press)

The William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award is the world's longest established and most valuable literary sports-writing prize. As well as a £23,000 cash prize, the winning author will receive a £2,000 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 of broadcaster and writer John Inverdale; award-winning journalist Hugh McIlvanney; broadcaster Danny Kelly; and columnist and author, Alyson Rudd. Chairman of the panel is John Gaustad, co-creator of the award and founder of the Sportspages bookshop.

The winner will be announced at a lunchtime reception at Waterstone’s Piccadilly (London), Europe’s largest bookstore, on Monday 28th November.


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