New award as Fever Pitch hits 20

The 2012 British Sports Book Awards will include three new categories to mark the 10th anniversary of the annual prize.

One of these -- under the title ‘Outstanding Contribution to Sports Writing’ -- is being launched with the winner decided already.  Amazingly, it is 20 years since Nick Hornby’s groundbreaking Fever Pitch first appeared on the shelves and the BSBA organisers felt there was no author more deserving of the inaugural award.

David Willis, chairman of the BSBA in 2012, said: "The 10th anniversary of the British Sports Book Awards in 2012 also marks the 20th anniversary of Nick Hornby's Fever Pitch, which altered perceptions about the value and importance of sport in relationships and within society as a whole."

Hornby has already spoken of his honour at being chosen as the first winner of the new prize.

He said: "When you write a book, you can only really hope that people read it and like it, and that it stays around for as long as possible. Fever Pitch is now 20 years old, and it means a lot to me that those who care about sports literature want to recognise it in this way."

Fever Pitch, an autobiographical work that cleverly intertwined Hornby’s devotion to Arsenal football club with events in his personal life, was a landmark book in several ways, most significantly for its part in reclaiming football for the respectable, law-abiding majority after the hooligan-dominated 1980s.

It was the the William Hill Sports Book of the Year in 1992 and helped Hornby launch a career as a best-selling novelist.

The other new prizes will go to the best golf and motorsport books of the year, joining football, cricket, rugby and horse-racing as single sport categories.  There are also awards for best biography, best autobiography and best new writer, plus best illustrated title, best publicity campaign and best sports retailer.

The shortlists for all the 2012 awards will be revealed on May 3rd, with the winners announced on May 21st.

More information about Fever Pitch from

Buy Fever Pitch the movie on DVD

Read more about Nick Hornby books