William Hill Announce Longlist for Sports Book of The Year

Date IconLast Updated: 28 Sep 2022
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William Hill Announce Longlist for Sports Book of The Year

An autobiography by retired Formula 1 driver Jenson Button and a biography about rejuvenated golf legend Tiger Woods are among the contenders on the longlist for the William Hill Sports Book of The Year Award for 2018.

In its 30th year, the annual honour is handed out to mark prestige in the field of sports publishing, with former winners including Gary Imlach’s My Father and Other Working Class Heroes (2005) and Paul Kimmage’s ground-breaking Rough Ride (1990).

Life To The Limit, Button’s autobiography, documents the 2009 F1 World Champion’s ‘euphoric highs and devastating lows’ from childhood to the back end of a 17-year motorsport career, while Tiger Woods by Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian is the second collaboration from the bestselling co-authors.

Other longlist nominees for this year’s award include Heads Up: My Life Story by former Arsenal striker Alan Smith and The Test by Nathan Leamon, a novel which depicts the on and off field life of fictional Test cricketers.

SBOTY Judging Panel Confirmed

The judging panel from the 2017 accolade – which was won by Tom Simpson: Bird on the Wire by author Andy McGrath – remains in place for the 2018 edition. It consists of journalist and broadcaster Mark Lawson, former chairman of the Professional Footballer’s Association Clarke Carlisle, broadcaster and writer John Inverdale, broadcaster Danny Kelly, veteran journalist Hugh McIlvanney and The Times’ Alyson Rudd.

Announcing the latest longlist, Chairman of Judges Graham Sharpe – who co-created the award along with the late John Gaustad, who passed away in 2016 – spoke proudly of the William Hill Sports Book of The Year Award as it reaches its 30th instalment.

He said: “Over the last 30 years, this award has been responsible for raising the quality and breadth of the subject matter of books about sport, which was the aim from day one. Since our first year, in 1989, over 3000 books have been entered for the award and, including this year, well over half a million pounds of prize money has been handed out to longlisted, shortlisted and winning authors, making this the biggest and longest-running commitment ever given to promoting sports books.”

Free Bets For Nominees

All longlisted authors are to receive a free £500 bet with William Hill one of the UK's largest brands in both the land-based and online sports betting markets, while those who make the shortlist – to be revealed next month – will collect a further £1,000 free bet, £3,000 in cash and a leather-bound copy of their book.

The 2018 winner of the richest sports book prize in the world – which will be announced on November 27 – will receive a £30,000 prize, with the author of the book also picking up a £2,000 free bet with William Hill and a day at the races.

The 2018 SBOTY longlist

  • Fear and Loathing on the Oche by King Adz (Yellow Jersey, Penguin Random House)
  • Tiger Woods by Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian (Simon & Schuster)
  • Life to the Limit: My Autobiography by Jenson Button (Blink, Bonnier Books)
  • State of Play: Under the Skin of the Modern Game by Michael Calvin (Century, Penguin Random House)
  • This Girl Ran: Tales of a Party Girl Turned Triathlete by Helen Croydon (Summersdale Publishers)
  • The Boy on the Shed by Paul Ferris (Hodder & Stoughton)
  • The Lost Soul of Eamon Magee by Paul D. Gibson (Mercier Press)
  • You’ll Never Walk by Andy Grant (deCoubertin Books)
  • A Boy in the Water by Tom Gregory (Particular Books, Penguin Random House)
  • The Card: Every Match, Every Mile by Steve Hill (Ockley Books)<
  • Berlin 1936 Sixteen Days in August by Oliver Hilmes (The Bodley Head, Penguin Random House)
  • Chasing Points: A Season on the Pro Tennis Circuit by Gregory Howe (Pitch Publishing)
  • The Test by Nathan Leamon (Constable, Little Brown)
  • The Mountains Are Calling: Running in the High Places of Scotland by Jonny Muir (Sandstone Press)
  • Bump, Bike & Baby: Mummy’s Gone Adventure Racing by Moire O’Sullivan (Sandstone Press)
  • Sevens Heaven: The Beautiful Chaos of Fiji’s Olympic Dream by Ben Ryan (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, The Orion Publishing Group)/li>
  • Heads Up: My Life Story by Alan Smith (Constable, Little, Brown)