Walsh book heads shortlist for Sports Book of Year

By Anton Rippon

As if he had not scooped up enough prizes already, David Walsh last night was presented with another at the 11th annual British Sports Book Awards staged at Lord’s.

Book him: Terry Venables presents the award for Best Sports Book Retailer to Foyle's chief executive, Sam Husain. This year is the Charing Cross store's 110th anniversary
Book him: Terry Venables presents the award for Best Sports Book Retailer to Foyle’s chief executive, Sam Husain. This year is the Charing Cross store’s 110th anniversary

Walsh’s Seven Deadly Sins, the account of his relentless effort to expose Lance Armstrong as one of the biggest cheats in the history of sport, was named the best autobiography or biography from an impressive eight-title shortlist (a sign of the times: three were cycling books) that included multi-award winning author Duncan Hamilton’s The Footballer Who Could Fly, Seb Coe’s Running For My Life (at least the third autobiography from Lord Olympics), and Simon Jordan’s Be Careful What You Wish For.

Other winners were:
Cricket Book of the Year: On Warne by Gideon Haigh
Football Book of the Year: Barca: The Making of the Greatest Team in the World by Graham Hunter
Golf Book of the Year: Bobby’s Open – Mr Jones and the Golf Shot That Defined a Legend by Steven Reid
Horse Racing Book of the Year: Her Majesty’s Pleasure by Julian Muscat
Motorsport Book of the Year: That Near Death Thing by Rick Broadbent
Rugby Book of the Year: The Final Whistle – The Great War in Fifteen Players by Stephen Cooper
Illustrated Book of the Year: 21 Days To Glory by Team Sky and Dave Brailsford

New Writer of the Year: Adharan Finn for Running With The Kenyans
Best Publicity Campaign: Bethan Jones, publicity director of Yellow Jersey Press for Be Careful What You Wish For
Best Sports Bookseller: Foyles, which celebrates its 110th birthday this year

The British Sports Books Awards, originally part of the National Sporting Club’s banqueting programme, now sees all the book category winners become the shortlist for the overall Sports Book of the Year, voted for by the public and to be announced next month.

Sports writer and commentator Christopher Martin-Jenkins was honoured with a posthumous award for Outstanding Contribution to Sports Writing. During a distinguished career, CMJ held some of the biggest posts in the game, including cricket correspondent of the BBC, cricket correspondent of The Daily Telegraph and The Times, and president of MCC.

David Willis, the chairman of the BSBA, said: “CMJ was a colossus of the cricket world. He was the ultimate writer and commentator, a professional whose passion for the game earned him an unrivalled respect by his peers and an admiration from cricketers at all levels and fans around the world. We are delighted to be able to honour him.”

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