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Nic Ladds 28th Oct 2011 - 11:47

Unlisted title enters race for Hill's Sports Book Of The Year

Paul Kimmage, winner of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award back in 1990, has been shortlisted for this year's prize for his acclaimed book Engage: The Fall and Rise of Matt Hampson, despite it not being submitted for the prize.

This shortlist for this year's ‘Bookie Prize', the richest award of its type anywhere in the world, will consist of seven titles rather than six, to reflect the late addition of Kimmage's moving story of the England Under 21 rugby player left paralysed from the neck down after a collapsed scrum.

"Although the book had not been submitted for the prize at the time our longlist was announced, the members of our judging panel nevertheless agreed to consider it once it was brought to their attention, the outcome being that they have indicated they feel it merits inclusion on the shortlist", said Award spokesman Graham Sharpe of William Hill.

Hill continued, "We would normally have selected six titles for the shortlist but the addition of Engage means there will be a magnificent seven titles this year, so no other author has been denied a place by its inclusion. This decision takes into account the feeling that it would be unfair to penalise a blameless author and subject."

Also on this year's shortlist is: A Life Too Short by Ronald Reng, which tells the tragic story of German national goalkeeper Robert Enke, who took his own life at just 32 years of age; Racing Through the Dark, the autobiography of British cycling's pin-up boy David Millar; and Among The Fans, award-winning sportswriter Patrick Collins' account of a year observing a range of different sports and their many and varied supporters.

  1. Now in its 23rd year, and with a prize worth £27,500 for the winner, the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award 2011 shortlist covers a range of sports, including football, rugby, cycling, running and - rather more unusually - bullfighting.

The shortlist in full:
1. Among The Fans: From Ashes to the Arrows, a Year of Watching the Watchers by Patrick Collins (Wisden Sports Writing)
2. Into The Arena: The World of the Spanish Bullfight by Alexander Fiske-Harrison (Profile Books)
3. The Ghost Runner: The Tragedy of the Man They Couldn't Stop by Bill Jones (Mainstream Publishing)
4. Engage by Paul Kimmage (Simon & Schuster)
5. Racing Through The Dark: The Fall and Rise of David Millar by David Millar (Orion)
6. A Life Too Short: The Tragedy of Robert Enke by Ronald Reng (Yellow Jersey Press)
7. 32 Programmes by Dave Roberts (Bantam Press)

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 £23,000 cash prize, the winning author will receive a £2,000 William Hill bet, a 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; award-winning journalist Hugh McIlvanney; broadcaster Danny Kelly; 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 winner will be announced at a lunchtime reception at Waterstone's Piccadilly (London), Europe's largest bookstore, on Monday 28th November.







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