Football dominates £30000 William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award longlist – The Bookseller

  • September 29, 2022

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Books about football dominate the longlist year for this year’s William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award, in a record breaking year for entries. 
Now in its 34th year, the award is dedicated to rewarding excellence in sports writing and provides authors and publishers a platform to showcase and promote their book. This year, 158 books were entered, with books exploring tennis, football, athletics, golf, rugby and cycling making the longlist. The 15-book longlist features an array of autobiographies along with accounts of racism and sexism in sport, with eight books exploring football making the cut. 
Andy McGrath, the former editor of professional cycling magazine Rouleur and previous winner of the award, has been longlisted this year for his deepdive into the life of former Belgian professional road racer Frank Vandenbroucke. Former sports stars, and first-time authors Patrice Evra and Steve Thompson have also made the list.
Three female authors made the cut with retired track and field athlete Anyika Onuora, the Guardian’’s football writer Suzanne Wrack, and former Irish international footballer Clare Shine in the running for the award. The story of female athlete Beryl Burton, who dominated the world of cycling, also features in the longlist.
The award has a £30,000 cash prize for the winner and the shortlisted authors will each receive £3,000 and a leather-bound copy of their book.
Book review panellist and renowned sports broadcaster Matt Williams said: “This year, we received an unprecedented number of great entries from talented authors and publishers, and whittling these down to our top 15 was no small feat.
“There were many fantastic books which I would pick up and re-read over and over again that didn’t make the cut, which highlights just how impressive and well-written the books that made the longlist are. 
“Racism and discrimination in sport, women’s football and the devastating effects of early onset dementia are just some of the diverse themes our longlist authors have covered, and are all huge topics in today’s sporting industry.
“It’s been truly an honour to have been part of the judging team for this year’s William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award and be able to read so many inspirational books from the most talented authors, which all should be recognised for their great literature. I look forward to seeing which of our longlist comes out on top.”
The shortlist will be unveiled on 27th October, with the winner declared on 1st December at an official award ceremony at 195 Piccadilly, London. 
Be Good, Love Brian: Growing Up with Brian Clough by Craig Bromfield (Mudlark) 
The Master: The Brilliant Career of Roger Federer by Christopher Clarey (John Murray)
1999: Manchester United, the Treble and All That by Matt Dickinson (Simon & Schuster)
Le Fric: Family, Power and Money: The Business of the Tour de France by Alex Duff (Constable)
I Love This Game by Patrice Evra (Simon & Schuster) 
England Football: The Biography: 1872-2022 by Paul Hayward (Simon & Schuster) 
God is Dead: The Rise and Fall of Frank Vandenbroucke, Cycling’s Great Wasted Talent by Andy McGrath (Transworld Books)
My Hidden Race by Anyika Onuora (Mirror Books)
Scoring Goals in the Dark by Clare Shine with Gareth Maher (Pitch Publishing) 
Phil: The Rip-Roaring (and Unauthorised) Biography of Golf’s Most Colourful Superstar by Alan Shipnuck (Simon & Schuster)
Expected Goals: The Story of how Data Conquered Football and Changed the Game Forever by Rory Smith (Mudlark)
Unforgettable: Rugby, Dementia and the Fight of My Life by Steve Thompson (Blink Publishing) 
Beryl: In Search of Britain’s Greatest Athlete, Beryl Burton by Jeremy Wilson (Pursuit Books)
Two Brothers: The Life and Times of Bobby and Jackie Charlton by Jonathan Wilson (Little, Brown)
A Woman’s Game: The Rise, Fall and Rise Again of Women’s Football by Suzanne Wrack (Guardian Faber Publishing)