Broadbent, Haigh and Finn among eight writers honoured at British Sports Book Awards - and how you can vote for the best of the best

Congratulations to Rick Broadbent, Gideon Haigh, David Walsh, Julian Muscat, Graham Hunter, Adharanand Finn, Steven Reid and Stephen Cooper -- eight fine authors who scooped the writing prizes at the British Sports Book Awards.

Broadbent, best known as the athletics correspondent of The Times (and the ghost of Jessica Ennis's autobiography), won the motorsports category for That Near-Death Thing, his excellent work on the Isle of Man TT Races seen through the eyes of four riders.  Murray Walker's accolade says it all: "Nobody has succeeded in capturing the spirit of the greatest Motor Sport event with a fraction of the success that Broadbent has."

No surprise that the Australian writer Haigh claimed the cricket category prize for On Warne, his analysis of Australia's great leg spinner as a cricketer and a person.  Haigh rarely seems to write a duff sentence, let alone an ordinary book.  This one is a series of beautifully crafted essays examining Warne's life from different angles.

After Tyler Hamilton won the William Hill Sports Book of the Year award last autumn partly on the basis that his book The Secret Race changed the sport of cycling, detailing his role in the downfall of his former teammate, Lance Armstrong, it is no surprise that Sunday Times journalist David Walsh should win the autobiography/biography prize for Seven Deadly Sins, the full chronicle of his quest to establish the truth about the disgraced American rider's cheating.

Graham Hunter, the Scottish journalist based in Spain, took the best football book award for Barca: The Making of the Greatest Team in the World, which goes behind the success of Messi, Iniesta, Xavi and the rest of Barcelona's brilliant team to reveal how the Catalan side evolved into one of the best the world has seen.

The best horseracing book was judged to be Julian Muscat's Her Majesty's Pleasure, in which the Racing Post journalist paints a revealing portrait of The Queen via the company in which she is said to feel most at ease, among the racing community.   Members of what might be termed the royal circle tend to be guarded about what they reveal but Muscat's interviewees offered some candid anecdotes.

Stephen Cooper took the award for best rugby book for The Final Whistle, his fascinating story of 15 Rosslyn Park rugby players killed in the First World War, while Adharanand Finn was named best new writer for his entertaining Running With the Kenyans, in which he sought to discover the secrets of the world's greatest distance runners.

The golf prize was won by Steven Reid, the historian of Royal Lytham and St Anne's golf club for Bobby's Open, the story of the American golfer Bobby Jones, who played as an amateur and is the only player to have won the Grand Slam of US and British amateur championships, the Open and the US Open in the same calendar year (1930).

One of the winning titles will be named as The Times Sports Book of the Year, to be determined by a public online vote, which closes at midnight on June 7, 2013.  You can vote by visiting 

The awards presentations at Lord's cricket ground also featured a special tribute to the late Christopher Martin-Jenkins, the journalist, author and commentator, whose widow, Judy, accepted an award for Outstanding Contribution to Sports Writing on his CMJ's behalf.

The full list of winners is as follows:

Best New Writer

Running with the Kenyans: Discovering the Secrets of the Fastest People on Earth, by Adharanand Finn (Faber and Faber)

Best Autobiography / Biography (in association with The Times)

Seven Deadly Sins: My Pursuit of Lance Armstrong, by David Walsh (Simon & Schuster)

Best Cricket Book (in association with Littlehampton Book Services)

On Warne, by Gideon Haigh (Simon & Schuster)

Best Football Book (in association with Lycamobile)

Barca: The Making of the Greatest Team in the World, by Graham Hunter (BackPage Press)

Best Golf Book (in association with St Andrews – Old Course Hotel Golf Resort & Spa and Hamilton Grand)

Bobby's Open: Mr. Jones and the Golf Shot That Defined a Legend, by Steven Reid (Icon Books)

Best Horseracing Book (in association with Ladbrokes)

Her Majesty's Pleasure: How Horseracing Enthrals the Queen, by Julian Muscat (Racing Post Books)

Best Rugby Book (in association with BT Sport)

The Final Whistle: The Great War in Fifteen Players, by Stephen Cooper (The History Press)

Best Motorsports Book (in association with Arbuthnot Latham)

That Near Death Thing: Inside the TT - Most Dangerous Race in the World, by Rick Broadbent (Orion)

Best Illustrated Book (in association with Getty Images)

21 Days to Glory: The Official Team Sky Book of the 2012 Tour de France, by Team Sky and Dave Brailsford (HarperCollins)

Outstanding Contribution to Sports Writing

Christopher Martin-Jenkins

Best Publicity Award (in association with PPC)

Be Careful What You Wish For, by Simon Jordan – Bethan Jones (Yellow Jersey Press)

Sports Book Retailer of the Year (in association with Simon & Schuster)


For more information and to buy, click on the links.



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