Shortlists announced for Telegraph Sports Book Awards 2019

Nine categories to be judged as new sponsor starts three-year backing

The shortlists have been announced for the annual Sports Book Awards, now sponsored by The Telegraph after the newspaper group signed up to a three-year partnership deal.

The Telegraph replaces Cross Pens as headline sponsor. The awards were launched by the National Sporting Club in 2003 and for many years were known simply as the British Sports Book Awards.

There are nine categories being judged this year, with the winners of each to be announced early in June.

In the autobiography category, former Newcastle physio Paul Ferris’s extraordinary memoir The Boy on the Shed is joined by equestrian Charlotte Dujardin’s The Girl on the Dancing Horse, Kevin Keegan’s My Life in Football, cricketer Moeen Ali’s Moeen, How to be a Footballer by Peter Crouch and superbike star Jonathan Rea’s Dream. Believe. Achieve.

The biography category sees boxing, golf, motor racing, rowing, gambling and football represented by Mike Stanton’s Unbeaten: The Triumph and Tragedy of Rocky Marciano, Tiger Woods by Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian, The Unknown Kimi Raikkonen by Kari Hotakainen, More Power: The Story of Jurgen Grobler by Hugh Matheson and Christopher Dodd, Jamie Reid’s Monsieur X and Messi: Lessons in Style by Jordi Punti.

The football category shortlist comprises When Footballers Were Skint by Jon Henderson, The Club: How the Premier League became the Richest, Most Disruptive Business in Sport by Joshua Robinson and Jonathon Clegg, Jonathan Wilson’s The Barcelona Legacy, The Away Game: The Epic Search for Football’s Next Superstars by Sebastian Abbot, Michael Calvin’s State of Play: Under the Skin of the Modern Game, Ken Bensinger’s Red Card: FIFA and the Fall of the Most Powerful Men in Sport, Kaiser: The Greatest Footballer Never to Play Football by Rob Smyth and Uli Hesse’s Building the Yellow Wall: The Incredible Rise and Cult Appeal of Borussia Dortmund.

On the shortlist for The Heartaches Cricket Book of the Year are Steve Smith’s Men by Geoff Lemon, Derek Pringle’s Pushing the Boundaries: Cricket in the Eighties, Mark Peel’s Playing the Game?: Cricket's Tarnished Ideals, No Spin: My Autobiography by Shane Warne, Simon Wilde’s England: The Biography and Arlott, Swanton and the Soul of English Cricket by Stephen Fay and David Kynaston.

In the running for Heineken Rugby Book of the Year are The Last Amateurs: The incredible story of Ulster's 1999 European champions by Jonathan Bradley, The Jersey: The Secrets Behind the World's Most Successful Team by Peter Bills, Ben Ryan’s Sevens Heaven: The Beautiful Chaos of Fiji’s Olympic Dream, Rugby: Talking a Good Game by Ian Robertson, Doddie Weir’s My Name’5 Doddie, and Ivon by Michael Aylwin.

The cycling category comprises The Tour According to G by Geraint Thomas, Edward Pickering’s The Ronde: Inside the World's Toughest Bike Race, Sunday in Hell by William Fotheringham, My World by Peter Sagan, Full Gas: How to Win a Bike Race – Tactics from Inside the Peloton by Peter Cossins and Mark Beaumont’s Around the World in 80 Days.

Listed in the general outstanding sports book category are Toby Vincent’s thriller set in the world of Formula One, The Ringmaster, Sport Inc. Why Money is the Winner in the Business of Sport by Ed Warner, Michael Parkinson’s George Best: A Memoir, Epic: In Search of the Soul of Sport and Why It Matters by Simon Barnes, Oliver Hilmes’s Berlin 1936: Sixteen Days in August and A Boy in the Water by Tom Gregory.

The sports health and fitness book of the year contenders are Running Up That Hill by Vassos Alexander, Dame Kelly Holmes’s Running Life: Mindset, fitness & nutrition for positive wellbeing, Bella Mackie's Jog On: How Running Saved My LifeSir Chris Hoy’s How to Ride a Bike, Dare to Tri: My Journey from the BBC Breakfast Sofa to GB Team Triathlete by Louise Minchin and Cooking for Fitness: Eat Smart, Train Better by James Haskell and Omar Meziane.

And finally, the Getty Images Illustrated Book of the Year candidates are Waiting by Richard Kelley, The Sporting Horse by Nicola Jane Swinney and  Bob Langrish MBE, The Beautiful Badge by Martyn Routledge and Elspeth Wills, Leander: The First 200 Years by Anthony Fiennes Trotman, David Tremayne’s Jim Clark: The Best of the Best, International Football Kits: The Illustrated Guide by John Devlin, Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s I Am Football and A Year in the Frame by Edward Whitaker.

Michael Calvin, Jonathan Wilson and Edward Whitaker are all past winners of awards. Michael Parkinson was the recipient of the 2015 award for outstanding contribution to sports writing.

Tom Gregory could pick up a second major award with A Boy in the Water, the story of how he became the youngest person to swim the English Channel, having already been the joint-winner of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year award last year.

The winners in all categories will be revealed at a dinner at Lord’s Cricket Ground in London on June 4.

More details at



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