Writers shortlist: Tough decisions for judges as standards continue to rise

The SJA can today name the shortlists in our sports writing categories after another bumper record of entries.

Winners and highly commended entries will be revealed at the 41st staging of the British Sports Journalism Awards, sponsored by the National Lottery, at the Westminster Bridge Park Plaza on Monday February 26. 

We are delighted to have new partners for the rugby union and football writers of the year.

UEFA will support the Football Journalist category via their campaign Together #WePlayStrong, which is aimed at transforming perceptions of women’s football and encouraging girls to take up and continue playing the game.

European Professional Club Rugby will back Rugby Union Journalist of the Year. Stephen Jones of The Times and Sunday Times has won this award twice in the three years it has been running.

The John Bromley Sports Writer of the Year will be announced by SJA President Patrick Collins, at a ceremony hosted by Jim Rosenthal. Paul Hayward of the Daily Telegraph was the recipient last year, the fourth time in 21 years.

This coveted award is decided on a vote by senior figures in the world of sports media, including sports editors from national and regional newspapers. A panel of experts also chooses the Sports Newspaper of the Year, won for the last four years by the Daily Mail.

Peter Jackson, chairman of the SJA awards panel of judges, said: “Every year we keep thinking that the standard of sports journalism cannot possibly be as high as the previous year – and every year we are proved wrong. The quality has always been there but never on a broader spectrum. Almost 30 newspapers and websites are represented in the various categories.

“Making the short-list has become an achievement in itself. I congratulate them all, especially those from publications nominated for the first time. That some outstanding journalists have not made the cut reflects the ferocity of the competition.

“Tough decisions, many of the agonising split-decision kind, have had to be made. For that and so much more, I cannot thank the judges enough. They have given their time and expertise free of charge, a labour of love without which there wouldn’t be any shortlists.

“They have devoted days of their own time, reading and re-reading often until the early hours. On behalf of the SJA, I thank each and every one. My admiration for them knows no bounds as it does for those who have been nominated as a result of their painstaking judgement.”

The 2016 awards were memorable because they featured five first-time winners of their respective categories, four from national dailies.

Matt Dickinson of The Times was Sports Columnist, Sean Ingle of The Guardian and Observer was Specialist Correspondent, Daniel Taylor of The Guardian/Observer won Sports Scoop of the Year and The Telegraph’s Oliver Brown was Sports Feature Writer. Taylor also won the Football Journalist award for the second year in succession.

Past winners of the British Sports Journalism Awards

Tickets for the event, at the Westminster Bridge Park Plaza hotel, are available here.


Cricket Journalist
Michael Atherton – The Times
Scyld Berry – The Telegraph
Lawrence Booth – Daily Mail / The Mail on Sunday
Peter Hayter – The Cricket Paper
Nick Hoult – The Telegraph
Paul Newman – Daily Mail

Football Journalist sponsored by UEFA Together #WePlayStrong
Jason Burt – The Telegraph
James Ducker – The Telegraph
Matt Hughes – The Times
Oliver Kay – The Times
Rory Smith – The New York Times
Daniel Taylor – The Guardian and Observer

Investigative Sports Reporter
David Conn – The Guardian and Observer
Rob Draper & Nick Harris – The Mail on Sunday
Danielle Rossingh – CNN
The Telegraph Investigations Team – The Telegraph
Jeremy Wilson – The Telegraph
Martyn Ziegler – The Times

Regional Sports Journalist
Neil Allen – Portsmouth News
Jon Colman – Cumbrian Newspapers
Mark Douglas – The Journal
Danny Hall – Sheffield Star
Simon Walter – Southern Daily Echo
Chris Wathan – Media Wales


Rugby Journalist, sponsored by European Professional Club Rugby
Mick Cleary – The Telegraph
Brendan Gallagher – The Rugby Paper
Stephen Jones – The Sunday Times
Alex Lowe – The Times
Gavin Mairs – The Telegraph
Kate Rowan – The Telegraph
Daniel Schofield- The Telegraph
Owen Slot – The Times

Special Sports Edition
Boxing News – 100 Greatest British Boxers
Daily Mirror – Cheltenham Festival
Rugby World – Inside The Lions
The Independent – The Premier League at 25
The Sun – London 2017 World Athletics Championships Guide
The Telegraph – The Ashes

Specialist Correspondent
Matt Christie – Boxing News
Gareth A Davies – The Telegraph
Sean Ingle – The Guardian and Observer
Vikki Orvice – The Sun
Jeff Powell – Daily Mail
David Yates – Daily Mirror

Sports Columnist
Matt Dickinson – The Times
Matthew Engel – Freelance
Paul Hayward – Telegraph
Oliver Holt – Mail on Sunday
Brian Reade – Daily Mirror
Martin Samuel – Daily Mail

Sports Feature Writer
Murad Ahmed – The Financial Times
James Gheerbrant – The Times
Oliver Holt – The Mail on Sunday
Donald McRae – The Guardian and Observer
Alyson Rudd – The Times
Rory Smith – The New York Times

Sports News Reporter
Elizabeth Ammon – The Times
Ian Herbert – Daily Mail / The Independent
Martha Kelner – The Guardian & Observer
Matt Law – The Telegraph
Matt Lawton – Daily Mail
Mike Rowbottom –
Ben Rumsby – The Telegraph

Sports Scoop
Martha Kelner & Sean Ingle – The Guardian & Observer – Chris Froome failed drugs test
Matt Lawton – Daily Mail – Ranieri sacked
Warren Manger – Daily Mirror – Dementia: rich game refuses to help struggling ex-stars
Vikki Orvice – The Sun – Farah leaving coach and coming home
Daniel Taylor – The Guardian & Observer – Eni Aluko accuses England manager Mark Sampson of ‘racist’ Ebola remark
Telegraph Investigations Team – Gatlin embroiled in new athletics doping scandal

Sports Website
Daily Mail
Sport 500
The Telegraph
The Guardian
Training Ground Guru

Young Sports Writer – the Ian Wooldridge Trophy
Adam Crafton – Daily Mail / The Mail on Sunday
Ben Fisher – The Guardian and Observer
Amy Lofthouse – BBC Sports News
Hugo Lowell – The i Newspaper
Liam Morgan –
Tom Roddy – Newsweek
Amitai Winehouse – Daily Mail / MailOnline

The SJA charity partner for the British Sports and British Sports Journalism Awards is Alzheimer’s Society.  Unite now – text UNITE to 70677 to donate £3 a month or visit


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