Vote for your favourite sports book and win £50 in book tokens

Times is running out for the chance to win £50 in National Book Tokens by voting for your favourite sports book from among the winners at the British Sports Book Awards, announced earlier this month.  Follow the link to an online form to register your vote an be entered automatically into a draw. The closing date is next Sunday, June 12th.
To help you chose, The Sports Bookshelf is highlighting each of the eight contenders to be named the overall British Sports Book of the Year. Today's category winner:


The Grudge is Scotland on Sunday journalist Tom English’s gripping account of a rugby match that became the focal point for a clash of political cultures, brought to a head when Scotland was identified as the testing ground for the introduction of the most notorious piece of taxation legislation in living memory, the Community Charge, otherwise known as the Poll Tax.

Poll Tax was Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's baby and was universally unpopular.  The view that it was inherently unfair was widespread but took on an extra dimension north of the border, where it was seen as an English tax.

Given that rugby, with its roots in the public school system, had maintained its place as the sport of the privately-educated, Conservative-voting, wealthier classes in the English social pyramid, it is not hard to grasp see why the England rugby team was seen as Thatcher’s team in the eyes of aggrieved Scots, with Will Carling -- himself an ex-public schoolboy and a City type -- her figurehead.

The when the two nations met in 1990, with the Calcutta Cup and the Five Nations Grand Slam at stake, the match was portrayed also as a snarling, brutish and all-conquering England against a downtrodden Scotland bent on revenge.

In the event, Scotland won 13-7 and English has told the story with astounding insight and unprecedented access to key players, coaches and supporters on both sides.

If (Martin) Johnson really wants to crank things up, he need only read aloud a few extracts from The Grudge, a quite outstanding new book by Tom English about the epic 1990 grand slam showdown. There was nothing remotely phoney about the antagonism between Scotland and England then – in Will Carling, Brian Moore and Margaret Thatcher the Scots had some choice pantomime villains. 
--- Robert Kitson, The Guardian. Read more…

Buy The Grudge: Scotland vs. England, 1990

Winners in the other categories were
Best Autobiography -- Beware of the Dog, by Brian Moore
Best Cricket Book  -- Slipless in Settle, by Harry Pearson
Best Football Book -- Promised Land, by Anthony Clavane
Best Biography -- Trautmann's Journey, by Catrine Clay
Best New Writer -- Bounce, by Matthew Syed
Best Racing Book -- The Story of Your Life, by James Lambie
Best Illustrated Title -- '61 The Spurs Double, by Doug Cheeseman, Martin Cloake and Adam Powley

Vote HERE for your favourite book from the winners of each of the award categories at the British Sports Book Awards at and you'll be entered -- free of charge -- in a draw to win £50 of National Book Tokens. Closing date June 12th. Full terms and conditions on the voting form.


To browse more books on rugby, visit The Sports Bookshelf Shop.

Read about the other award winners.



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