William Hill announces long-list for 30th SBOTY award

Graham Sharpe – William Hill

William Hill has announced the long-list of contenders for its 30thSports Book of the Year Award’, considered the most prestigious prize in English sports literature.

The UK bookmaker announces the 17 sports books and authors that have made its ‘2018 SBOTY long list’, a diverse mix which includes novels, diaries, autobiographies, exposes of sports biggest stars and gonzo journalism.

Announcing the long-list, Graham Sharpe Chairman of Judges and co-founder of the Award, said:

“Over the last 30 years, this award has been responsible for raising the quality and breadth of the subject matter of books about sport, which was the aim from day one. Since our first year, in 1989, over 3000 books have been entered for the award and, including this year, well over half a million pounds of prize money has been handed out to longlisted, shortlisted and winning authors, making this the biggest and longest-running commitment ever given to promoting sports books.

The SBOTY 2018 long list is as follows

  • Fear and Loathing on the Oche by King Adz (Yellow Jersey, Penguin Random House)
  • Tiger Woods by Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian (Simon & Schuster)
  • Life to the Limit: My Autobiography by Jenson Button (Blink, Bonnier Books)
  • State of Play: Under the Skin of the Modern Game by Michael Calvin (Century, Penguin Random House)
  • This Girl Ran: Tales of a Party Girl Turned Triathlete by Helen Croydon (Summersdale Publishers)
  • The Boy on the Shed by Paul Ferris (Hodder & Stoughton) The Lost Soul of Eamon Magee by Paul D. Gibson (Mercier Press)
  • You’ll Never Walk by Andy Grant (deCoubertin Books)
  • A Boy in the Water by Tom Gregory (Particular Books, Penguin Random House)
  • The Card: Every Match, Every Mile by Steve Hill (Ockley Books)
  • Berlin 1936 Sixteen Days in August by Oliver Hilmes (The Bodley Head, Penguin Random House)
  • Chasing Points: A Season on the Pro Tennis Circuit by Gregory Howe (Pitch Publishing)
  • The Test by Nathan Leamon (Constable, Little Brown)
  • The Mountains Are Calling: Running in the High Places of Scotland by Jonny Muir (Sandstone Press)
  • Bump, Bike & Baby: Mummy’s Gone Adventure Racing by Moire O’Sullivan (Sandstone Press)
  • Sevens Heaven: The Beautiful Chaos of Fiji’s Olympic Dream by Ben Ryan (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, The Orion Publishing Group)
  • Heads Up: My Life Story by Alan Smith (Constable, Little, Brown)

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 the late John Gaustad, founder of the Sportspages bookshop, who passed away in 2016.


William Hill will announce its SBOTY finalists on 23 October, with the eventual winner announced at BAFTA London on Tuesday 27 November.

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