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Shortlist announced for William Hill Sports Book of the Year 2014

The shortlist for the 2014 William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award was announced today.

After deliberating over the 15 titles named on the longlist at the end of last month, the judges have whittled the field down to seven.  The winner will be announced on November 27.  The shortlisted titles are:

Bobby Moore: The Man in Full, by Matt Dickinson (Yellow Jersey Press), in which Times journalist Dickinson explores the sometimes dark personal story behind the sporting success of the World Cup captain.

Played in London: Charting the Heritage of a City at Play, by Simon Inglis (English Heritage), in which the author combines his rich knowledge of sport and architecture in a fascinating and wonderfully illustrated history of sport in the capital through the places it has been played.

Alone: The Triumph and Tragedy of John Curry, by Bill Jones (Bloomsbury). Writer and documentary maker Bill Jones charts the brilliant, troubled and tragically short life of Olympic skating champion John Curry.

Run or Die, by Kilian Jornet (Viking). The autobiography of Spanish endurance athlete and 2014 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year, Kilian Jornet, which began mountain hiking when he was only 18 months old and ultimately became the fastest person to run up and down Mt Kilimanjaro.

Night Games: Sex, Power and Sport, by Anna Krien (Yellow Jersey Press), in which the Australian writer takes the high-profile rape trial of a young Australian Rules player as the starting point for a wider examination of the murkier recesses of sport.

Floodlights and Touchlines: A History of Spectator Sport, by Rob Steen (Bloomsbury).  The writer, a sports journalist and university lecturer, explores the intrinsic place in culture occupied by spectator sports in a thematic history of professional sport.

Proud: My Autobiography, by Gareth Thomas and Michael Calvin (Ebury Press).  The story of Welsh rugby star Gareth Thomas, the first professional rugby player to declare himself to be gay while playing, sensitively ghosted by Independent on Sunday journalist Michael Calvin.

Calvin himself won the 2014 British Sports Book Awards book of the year title with The Nowhere Men, his journey into the world of football's hidden army of talent scouts.

Simon Inglis, Rob Steen and Bill Jones have previously been shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award.

William Hill spokesman and co-founder of the award, Graham Sharpe, said: “In this year’s rich and varied shortlist lie compelling explorations of the personal struggles and triumphs of some of our most esteemed sporting figures, an enquiry into the dark side of sporting culture and not one, but two fascinating social histories.

"The quality of writing speaks for itself – it’s an extremely exciting time in sports-writing.”

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 £26,000 cash prize, the winning author will receive a free £2,500 William Hill bet, a hand-bound copy of their book, and a day at the races.

The judging panel for this year’s award comprises: retired player and former chairman of the Professional Footballers’ Association, Clarke Carlisle; broadcaster and writer John Inverdale; broadcaster Danny Kelly; award-winning journalist Hugh McIlvanney; and columnist and author, Alyson Rudd.

The chairman of the judging panel is John Gaustad, co-creator of the award and founder of the Sportspages bookshop, the once much-loved haunt of sports book lovers.

The winner will be announced at an afternoon reception at BAFTA, in central London, on Thursday November 27.

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