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David Thompson 10th Oct 2012 - 13:12

Longlist of 'Bookie Prize' revealed





British cycling's golden girl Victoria Pendleton has been longlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award 2012 - the most prestigious prize of its kind - for Between The Lines, an autobiography co-authored by Donald McRae, already a two-time winner of the award (in 1996 and 2002).


Another William Hill veteran on the longlist is Duncan Hamilton, winner of the award in 2007 and 2009, who has been nominated again this year for The Footballer Who Could Fly, which charts the progress of post-war British football and explores the bond between father and son forged through the Beautiful Game. If either McRae or Hamilton go on to win, they will make history by becoming the first writer to win the award three times.


Other longlist titles include: Fibber in the Heat by comedian Miles Jupp, which follows The Thick of It star as he bluffs his way into the press corps during England's Test series in India; Jonny: My Autobiography, in which rugby star Jonny Wilkinson reveals the extraordinary psychology that he learned to tame in order to dominate his sport; and Be Careful What You Wish For, the story of Simon Jordan, the life-long Crystal Palace fan who bought the club with his self-made millions, only to lose nigh on everything when it went into administration in 2010.


Now in its 24th year, this year's 14-strong longlist covers a range of sports, including running, football, cycling, rugby, TT racing and cricket. This year also sees the inclusion of the first ever titles about squash, swimming and Iron Man races.


The longlist in full:

  • That Near-Death Thing - Inside the TT: The World's Most Dangerous Race by Rick Broadbent (Orion)
  • Running with the Kenyans - Discovering The Secrets of the Fastest People on Earth by Adharanand Finn (Faber)
  • Iron War - Dave Scott, Mark Allen & the Greatest Race Ever Run by Matt Fitzgerald (Velo Press)
  • The Footballer Who Could Fly by Duncan Hamilton (Century)
  • The Secret Race - Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France: Doping, Cover-ups, and Winning at All Costs by Tyler Hamilton and Daniel Coyle (Bantam Press)
  • A Weight Off My Mind - My Autobiography by Richard Hughes, with Lee Mottershead (Racing Post)
  • Be Careful What You Wish For by Simon Jordan (Yellow Jersey)
  • Fibber in the Heat by Miles Jupp (Ebury Press)
  • The Dirtiest Race in History - Ben Johnson, Carl Lewis and the 1988 Olympic 100m Final by Richard Moore (Wisden Sports Writing)
  • Between the Lines - The Autobiography by Victoria Pendleton, with Donald McRae (HarperSport)
  • Swimming Studies by Leanne Shapton (Particular Books)
  • A Life Without Limits - A World Champion's Journey by Chrissie Wellington, with Michael Aylwin (Constable & Robinson)
  • Jonny: My Autobiography by Jonny Wilkinson, with Owen Slot (Headline)
  • Shot and a Ghost: A Year in the Brutal World of Professional Squash by James Willstrop (Rod Gilmour)


"2012 was a memorable sporting year thanks to the Olympics and the Paralympics, the Ryder Cup and the US Open to name but a few of the highlights, and it is a year which has also produced a strong crop of memorable sporting books. It has been difficult enough to narrow the contenders down to a manageable longlist of fourteen titles, and with sports like squash, swimming and Ironman racing represented for the first time, this is the most diverse longlist we have yet seen" said William Hill spokesman and founder of the Award, Graham Sharpe.


The William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award is the world's longest established and most valuable literary sports-writing prize. As well as a £24,000 cash prize, the winning author will receive a £2,000 William Hill bet, a specially-commissioned hand-bound copy of their book, and a day at the races.


The judging panel for this year's award consists of broadcaster and writer John Inverdale; footballer and chairman of the Professional Footballer's Association, Clarke Carlisle, who joins the judging panel for the first time; broadcaster Danny Kelly; award-winning journalist Hugh McIlvanney; and columnist and author, Alyson Rudd. Chairman of the judging panel is John Gaustad, co-creator of the award and founder of the Sportspages bookshop.


The shortlist is scheduled to be announced on 26th October. The winner will be announced at a lunchtime reception at Waterstone's Piccadilly (London), Europe's largest bookstore, on Monday 26th November.




For further information please contact Anwen Hooson or Ceri Maxwell at Riot Communications on

020 3174 0118 / anwen@riotcommunications.com / ceri@riotcommunications.com or

Graham Sharpe, William Hill Media Relations Director, on 020 8918 3731 / 07803 233702.




  • This year's prize was open to any full-length book, providing the subject was predominantly sporting, published for the first time in the UK between 30th September 2011 and 29th September 2012.


  • Shortlisted authors will receive £3,000 cash, a leather-bound copy of their book, and a free £1,000 bet. Longlisted authors will receive a free £500 bet and a certificate.



2011 - A Life Too Short: The Tragedy of Robert Enke by Ronald Reng

2010 - Beware of the Dog: Rugby's Hardman Reveals All by Brian Moore

2009 - Harold Larwood: The Authorized Biography of the World's Fastest Bowler by Duncan Hamilton

2008 - Coming Back to Me: The Autobiography by Marcus Trescothick

2007 - Provided You Don't Kiss Me: 20 Years With Brian Clough by Duncan Hamilton

2006 - Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson by Geoffrey Ward

2005 - My Father and Other Working-Class Football Heroes by Gary Imlach

2004 - Basil D'Oliveira: Cricket and Controversy by Peter Oborne

2003 - Broken Dreams: Vanity, Greed and the Souring of British Football by Tom Bower

2002 - In Black and White: The Untold Story of Joe Louis and Jesse Owens by Donald McRae

2001 - Seabiscuit: The True Story of Three Men and a Racehorse by Laura Hillenbrand

2000 - It's Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life by Lance Armstrong

1999 - A Social History of English Cricket by Derek Birley

1998 - Angry White Pyjamas: An Oxford Poet Trains with the Tokyo Riot Police by Robert Twigger

1997 - A Lot of Hard Yakka: Triumph and Torment - A County Cricketer's Life by Simon Hughes

1996 - Dark Trade: Lost in Boxing by Donald McRae

1995 - A Good Walk Spoiled: Days and Nights on the PGA Tour by John Feinstein

1994 - Football Against the Enemy by Simon Kuper

1993 - Endless Winter: The Inside Story of the Rugby Revolution by Stephen Jones

1992 - Fever Pitch; A Fan's Life by Nick Hornby

1991 - Muhammad Ali: His Life and Times by Thomas Hauser

1990 - Rough Ride: An Insight Into Pro Cycling by Paul Kimmage

1989 - True Blue: The Oxford Boat Race Mutiny by Daniel Topolski and Patrick Robinson




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