Samuel and Stelling at the double

Ian Cole reports on a glittering awards evening at The Brewery, where it was doubles all round for Martin Samuel, Jeff Stelling and Doug Gillon

Martin Samuel of The Times has been named the SJA’s Sports Writer of the Year for the second successive year in the British Sports Journalism Awards. Samuel topped a poll of national newspaper sports editors to win the John Bromley Trophy for his writing during 2006.

The annual awards, sponsored by UK Sport and organised by the Sports Journalists’ Association of Great Britain, were presented at a gala dinner in the City of London. The SJA Sports Photographer of the Year is Stu Forster of Getty Images, who impressed the judges to win the Sports Portfolio picture category, while Alex Livesey won Sports News Picture for capturing the moment that England effectively exited the World Cup (picture above).

Sky television’s Jeff Stelling was acclaimed Broadcaster of the Year for the second time for his anchoring of the marathon Saturday afternoon show Soccer Saturday.

Samuel is the first to retain Britain’s top sports journalism award since Patrick Collins (Mail on Sunday) in 1990 and, before that, Ian Wooldridge (Daily Mail) in 1987. Wooldridge, who died earlier this month, was represented at the event by his widow, Sarah, and was remembered by the 400 assembled journalists and photographers in the drinking of a toast.

In addition to Samuel and Stelling, Paul Kimmage of the Sunday Times kept hold of the Sports Interviewer award, while James Lawton of The Independent was named Sports Feature Writer, having 12 months previously taken the Sports Columnist title.

Alan Hubbard (Independent on Sunday) regained the Sports Diarist crown from Charles Sale (Daily Mail). In the four-year existence of this category, Hubbard and Sale are level 2-2.

The awards also recognise the work of regional and specialist writers and photographers. There was a notable double by Doug Gillon of The Herald, Glasgow, who not only won the Regional Sports Writer title – which he had won previously in 2002 – but also took home the Specialist Correspondent prize.

Edward Whitaker of the Racing Post won the photographic category for Specialist Sports Portfolio (an example of his work pictured left).

Full list of award winners

Sports Writer of the Year: Martin Samuel (The Times)
Sports Photographer of the Year: Stu Forster (Getty Images)
Sports Broadcaster of the Year: Jeff Stelling (Sky Sports)
Sports Programme of the Year: SportsWeek (BBC Radio 5 Live)

Sports News Picture: Alex Livesey (Getty Images)
Specialist Sports Portfolio: Edward Whitaker (Racing Post)
Sports Portfolio: Stu Forster (Getty Images)
Young Sports Photographer of the Year: Julian Finney (Getty Images)

Sports Cartoonist: Kerber & Black (Daily Mirror)

Sports Feature Writer: James Lawton (Independent)
Sports News Reporter: Adrian Warner (Evening Standard)
Sports Columnist: Patrick Collins (Mail on Sunday)
Sports Story: Stephen Jones (Sunday Times)
Specialist Correspondent: Doug Gillon (The Herald, Glasgow)
Sports Interviewer: Paul Kimmage (Sunday Times)
Sports Diarist: Alan Hubbard (Independent on Sunday)
Sports Team: The Times – football World Cup coverage
Regional Sports Writer: Doug Gillon (The Herald, Glasgow)

For more on the SJA Sports Photography Awards, and some of the winning pictures, click here.