William Hill has announced the official longlist for its 2016 ‘William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award’, the most valuable and prestigious prize is sports writing.
Unveiling its longlist, William Hill presents seventeen sports books’ covering nine different sports, all vying to follow 2015 winner ‘The Game of Our Lives’ by David Goldblatt.
Making this year’s longlist is ‘No Nonsense’, the no-holds-barred autobiography by English footballer Joey Barton. Joining Barton is former English F1 World Champion Damon Hill for his autobiography ‘Watching the Wheels’.
Autobiographies feature strongly on the list, with Dan Waddell’s personal portrait of his father, ‘voice of darts’ Sid Waddell in ‘We Had Some Laughs’, and Mick Channon Jnr recounting tales of ‘grumpy old bastard’ and legendary horse trainer Michael Channon Snr in ‘How’s Your Dad?’
As expected, renowned sports journalists make this years list, with Oliver Kay chief football correspondent for The Times nominated for ‘Forever Young’ the story of ‘lost football genius’ Adrian Doherty.
Double William Hill ‘Bookie’ winner Duncan Hamilton takes on one of Britain’s greatest Olympians, Eric Liddell, in For the Glory. Continuing the Olympic theme, the Czech long-distance runner Emil Zátopek is the subject of not one but two books on the longlist: ‘Today We Die a Little’ by Richard Askwith
William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award – Longlist
Commenting on the longlist William Hill Media Relations Director and co-founder of the Award, Graham Sharpe, said: “I’ve heard it said that 2016 is shaping up to be one of sports’ most exciting years. I’d add to that – I think this year can claim to be one of sports writing’s greatest years: this longlist is truly exceptional. We received 140 entries – a record for the Award – and it was tougher than ever to get down to this selection. It’s clear that the era of the macho facts and stats sports memoir is over and the evolution of sports writing continues; more than ever, this Award proves that sports writing is great writing – revelatory, compelling and important.”
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 £28,000 cash prize, this year’s winning author will receive a free £2,500 William Hill bet, and a day at the races.
The judging panel for this year’s Award consists of: journalist and broadcaster Mark Lawson; retired professional footballer and former chairman of the Professional Footballer’s Association, Clarke Carlisle; broadcaster and writer John Inverdale; broadcaster Danny Kelly; award-winning journalist Hugh McIlvanney; and The Times columnist and author, Alyson Rudd. Chair of Judges is Graham Sharpe, co-creator of the Award alongside John Gaustad, founder of the Sportspages bookshop, who retired following the 2015 Award and passed away earlier this year.
The shortlist will be announced on 18 October. The winner will be announced at an afternoon reception at BAFTA, in central London, on Thursday 24 November.