20120417

Second award for Waters as MCC and Cricket Society give Trueman biography their vote

Chris Waters has completed a unique awards double with his widely praised book Fred Trueman: The Authorised Biography.


Having been named as Wisden Book of the Year 2012 only days ago, the painstakingly researched and thoughtfully written study of the great Yorkshire and England fast bowler and the man behind the myth has also won The Cricket Society and MCC Book of the Year for 2012.

It is the first time both awards have gone to the same title.  There might be more honours to come yet for Waters, cricket correspondent of the Yorkshire Post -- the book is shortlisted for both ‘Cricket Book of the Year’ and ‘New Writer of the Year’ at the British Sports Book Awards 2012, the winners of which will be announced next month.

The book was selected from an MCC-Cricket Society shortlist that also included F.R.Foster: The Fields Were Sudden Bare, by Robert Brooke (ACS Publications), Before the Lights Went Out: The 1912 Triangular Tournament, by Patrick Ferriday (Von Krumm Publishing), Half of the Human Race, by Anthony Quinn (Jonathan Cape) and Australia - Story of a Cricket Country, by Christian Ryan (Hardie Grant Books).

(Thanks to the Cricket Society)
For Waters, quietly spoken but forthright in his opinions, the awards are due recognition of his talent as a writer.  Yet the work that has earned him high acclaim among his contemporaries and beyond was not one that he had imagined himself undertaking.

An unassuming individual, he had no plans to write a book about Trueman or any other subject until the popular and prolific cricket writer, Gideon Haigh, aware that publishers Aurum Press were interested in a project with a strong Yorkshire theme, put forward his name.

Once he had agreed to the commission, however, Waters set about completing it with diligence and thoroughness, sensitively approaching members of the families involved and speaking to as many of Trueman's colleagues, friends and acquaintances as he could track down, in order to produce a balanced and honest biography that would identify truth and dismantle myth, so that readers would feel their understanding of the subject had been enhanced.

Aurum are releasing a paperback version edition in June, which will need to be in large format if it is to accommodate even a fraction of the glowing reviews attracted by the hardback.

Leo McKinstry, the author and Mail on Sunday columnist whose own study of Jack Hobbs will be judged alongside Waters's Trueman book at the 2012 British Sports Book Awards, described it as "one of the finest sports books of recent years: well-researched, highly readable and packed with anecdotes."

Writing in The Guardian, distinguished author and journalist Frank Keating said: "Chris Waters deserves extremely high marks for his welcome, authentically honest new biography."

Robert Low, in The Oldie, said that "one of the many virtues of Chris Waters's thoughtful and painstakingly researched biography is that he examines the Trueman myths and dismantles most of them, but leaves a vivid portrait of a complex and contradictory character who was at heart surprisingly insecure."

Order Fred Trueman: The Authorised Biography from amazon.co.uk

Further reading: Acclaimed Biography wins Wisden Book of Year Award

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