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William Hill announces 2017 ‘Sports Book of the Year’ award longlist

3rd October 2017 / lee
William Hill

William Hill have released details of the long list of contenders for their prestigious William Hill 2017 ‘Sports Book of the Year’ award. The award will be announced on November 28th and this is a celebration of sports writing and the list comprises of established, renowned sports writers, as well as first-timers and the top prize in the William Hill 2017 ‘Sports Book of the Year’ is £29,000.

The bookmaker was happy to announce that this year’s shortlist featured the highest ratio of female authors, with five books. Among those are Helen Butters, Niki Doeg, Frances Davies and Janette Benaddi who captured the heart of a nation as they took to rowing 3,000 miles across the Atlantic for charity. Their book is ‘Four Mums in a Boat’. Judy Murray’s ‘Knowing the Score: My family and Our Tennis Story’ (penned by Alexandra Heminsley).

The diversity in the list extensive as it highlights how sport affects people’s lives in so many different ways. There is ‘Redemption: From Iron Bars to Iron Man’, which tells the story of John McAvoy’s transformation from criminal to a professional endurance sport athletes. Expanding on the diversity is Neil Harman’s ‘Gambling for Life’ which tells the story of Harry Findlay, a professional gambler who even ended up serving a year in prison. There is former English cricket captain Mike Brearley with his book ‘On Form’, a journey of exploration on what makes a person perform at their very best.

The short list is expected to be released on October 24th.

The longlist in full (alphabetically by author’s surname):

The Greatest Comeback: From Genocide to Football Glory by David Bolchover (Biteback Publishing)
On Form by Mark Brearley (Little, Brown)
When Lions Roared: The Lions, the All Blacks & the Legendary Tour of 1971 by Tom English and Peter Burns (Polaris Publishing)
Four Mums in a Boat by Helen Butters, Niki Doeg, Frances Davies and Janette Benaddi (HQ, HarperCollins)
Ali: A Life by Jonathan Eig (Simon & Schuster)
Gambling for Life by Harry Findlay (Trinity Mirror Sport Media)
Quiet Genius: Bob Paisley, British Football’s Greatest Manager by Ian Herbert (Bloomsbury Sport, Bloomsbury)
Swell: A Waterbiography by Jenny Landreth (Bloomsbury Sport, Bloomsbury)
Redemption: From Iron Bars to Iron Man by John McAvoy and Mark Turley (Pitch Publishing)
Tom Simpson: Bird on the Wire by Andy McGrath (Rapha Editions)
Centaur by Declan Murphy and Ami Rao (Doubleday, Transworld)
Knowing the Score: My Family and Our Tennis Story by Judy Murray (Chatto & Windus, Penguin Random House)
Connie: The Marvellous Life of Learie Constantine by Harry Pearson (Little, Brown)
Feeling is the Thing that Happens in 1000th of a Second: A Season of Cricket Photographer Patrick Eager by Christian Ryan (riverrun, Quercus Books)
The Talent Lab: The secrets of creating and sustaining success by Owen Slot (Ebury Press, Penguin Random House)
Breaking Ground: Art, Archaeology and Mythology edited by Neville Gabie, Alan Ward and Jason Wood (Axis Projects)

Presenting William Hill’s initial longlist, Chairman of Judges and Co-founder of the Award, Graham Sharpe said:

“Judging the Award is a sport in itself. This year’s submissions were of an extremely high standard – excellent for the health of sports-writing, not necessarily so good for those of us embarking on the challenge of seriously considering, debating and ultimately deciding on which worthy titles will make our starting line-up. In any competition decided by opinions, there will be those who feel dismayed and disappointed. I have now been through this process 29 times. It never gets any easier or more enjoyable, I’m afraid! Congratulations to those who made the cut, commiserations to those who missed it.”

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