20160117

Steven Gerrard autobiography puts Donald McRae in line for another award

Donald McRae, twice winner of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year prize, is an early favourite to be among the winners at the 2016 Cross Sports Book Awards.

The South African-born writer, whose interviews in The Guardian newspaper are always worth reading, collaborated with former Liverpool and England captain Steven Gerrard on his autobiography, My Story.

The book is notable for some frank opinions on colleagues and opponents, referees and managers, but also for Gerrard's ability to look inside himself and describe how he was affected by the ups and downs of his career.

After completing the book, published after the player said his farewells to Liverpool before moving to conclude his career in America, McRae commented: "Gerrard leads us through every exhilarating high and bruising low of his 27 years at Liverpool. It is a career full of contrast and drama.

“There is depth and pathos, too, because Steven Gerrard is a one-club man who joined the Liverpool academy at the age of eight. While English football has turned itself inside out, undergoing enormous upheaval, often fuelled by greed and selfishness, Gerrard has stayed constant.

“Many of the goals are incredible while the biggest games are riveting. His very public long goodbye is often painful, always moving. But the grittier, far more private details are the most powerful."

My Story has been installed 5-2 favourite with bookmakers Bet365 to take the prize in the autobiography section after the release of a longlist in this category.

Second favourite at 3-1 is Winner: My Racing Life, the autobiography of just-retired 20-times champion jockey, AP McCoy, written with the help of best-selling writer and broadcaster, Charlie Connelly.

Last in the Tin Bath, the autobiography of former cricketer, umpire and England coach David 'Bumble' Lloyd, which was ghosted by sports journalist Richard Gibson, is third favourite at 7-2.

Also among the contenders are Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce's Big Sam, former Formula One world champion Nigel Mansell's Staying on Track and another life story from the world of motor racing, Formula One and Beyond, by controversial administrator Max Mosley, the former president of the sport's governing body, the FIA.

The list will be reduced to a shortlist of six titles in the spring and the winner announced on 1 June, along with the other winners in 12 categories, including football, rugby, cricket and cycling books of the year.

The full longlist for Autobiography of the Year 2016:

My Story, by Steven Gerrard (Penguin)
Staying on Track: The Autobiography,  by Nigel Mansell (Simon & Schuster)
Last in the Tin Bath: The Autobiography, by David ‘Bumble’ Lloyd (Simon & Schuster)
Where Am I?: My Autobiography, by Phil Tufnell (Headline)
Bomb: My Autobiography, by Adam Jones (Headline)
Big Sam: My Autobiography, by Sam Allardyce (Headline)
Formula One and Beyond: The Autobiography, by Max Mosley (Simon & Schuster)
Second Innings: My Sporting Life, by Andrew Flintoff (Hodder & Stoughton)
Carry Me Home: My Autobiography, by Ben Cohen (Ebury)
Interesting: My Autobiography, by Steve Davis (Ebury)
Winner: My Racing Life, by A.P. McCoy (Orion)
The World of Cycling According to G, by Geraint Thomas (Quercus)

All these titles are also available from Waterstones and WHSmith

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