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Eden Jon 24th Oct 2014 - 10:00

William Hill Sports Book Of The Year

 

26TH WILLIAM HILL SPORTS BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD

Night Games by Anna Krien, a 'balanced yet fearless' investigation into the darkest recesses of sporting culture, has today (Thursday 27th November) been named the winner of the 26th William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award, the richest and most prestigious literary sports writing prize in the world.

Described by the judges as a 'painstaking, intelligent, but above all, open-minded examination of an immensely complicated area', Night Games follows the controversial rape trial of an Aussie Rules player, focusing on what Krien describes as the 'grey area' of sexual consent.

Journalist and William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award judge Alyson Rudd, said:
"Night Games is not about English football but its relevance to the game is all too clear in the context of the conviction for rape of Ched Evans. Anna Krien seeks to understand why some sportsmen treat sex as a warped kind of sport in itself and women with little or no respect. Hopefully, if such men read her book they would be horrified at the repercussions of such behaviour."

Krien was announced as the winner of the 2014 Award by judge and broadcaster John Inverdale, live on BBC Radio 5 Live, at a lunchtime ceremony at BAFTA in central London. A multiple award-winning journalist, born and living in Australia, Krien is only the second woman in the Award's history to scoop what is fondly referred to as the 'Bookie Prize'.

William Hill spokesman and co-founder of the Award, Graham Sharpe, said: "Despite the challenging nature of its subject matter, Anna Krien's book is balanced yet fearless, and as compelling and involving as any previous winner of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year. Quite possibly, only a woman could have written it in as personal and perceptive a manner. Anna is the second woman to have won the Award, following Laura Hillenbrand's Seabiscuit, and she had to beat one of the strongest, most varied line-ups in our 26 year history. It remains disappointing that on average, under ten per cent of the books submitted each year are written by females, and we hope that Anna's success will encourage many more women to write about sport."

As well as a £26,000 cheque, Krien was awarded a William Hill bet worth £2,500, a leather hand-bound copy of her book, and an exclusive day at the races. She now joins an illustrious list of past winners, including Nick Hornby, Duncan Hamilton, Donald McRae and Paul Kimmage.

In taking the winning prize, Krien triumphed over an esteemed and varied shortlist, including two other titles looking at the macho culture in sport: Gareth Thomas's autobiography, Proud, which documents the challenges he faced keeping his sexuality a secret while playing at the top of his profession; and Alone by Bill Jones, the biography of iconic figure skater John Curry, looking at the Olympian's battle to change the muscular face of men's skating through his sensual performances. Other titles on the shortlist included: Floodlights and Touchlines, a sweeping history of spectator sport, by academic Rob Steen; the autobiography of endurance runner Kilian Jornet, Run or Die; a sporting history of the capital, Played in London, by Simon Inglis; and Bobby Moore, a biography of the England footballing legend, by The Times chief sports writer Matt Dickinson.

The judging panel for this year's Award consisted of: retired professional footballer and former chairman of the Professional Footballers' Association, Clarke Carlisle; broadcaster and writer John Inverdale; broadcaster

Danny Kelly; award-winning journalist Hugh McIlvanney; and columnist and author, Alyson Rudd. Co-creator of the Award and founder of the Sportspages bookshop, John Gaustad, returned as chairman of the judging panel.

Night Games: Sex, Power and a Journey into the Dark Heart of Sport by Anna Krien is published by Yellow Jersey Press.

For further information, images, interview requests with the winner, please contact Alice Ingall, Katie Brown or Anwen Hooson at Riot Communications on
020 3174 0118 / alice@riotcommunications.com / katie@riotcommunications.com / anwen@riotcommunications.com

Notes to Editors

1. 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 2013 and 29th September 2014.
2. Shortlisted authors received £3,000 cash, a leather-bound copy of their book, and a free £1,000 bet. Longlisted authors received a free £500 bet and a certificate.
3. About the winner of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award 2014:
Night Games: Sex, Power and a Journey into the Dark Heart of Sport by Anna Krien (Yellow Jersey Press):
In Night Games, Anna Krien follows the rape trial of a young Australian Rules footballer, examining the dark side of sport culture - the world of Sam Newman, Ricky Nixon, Matty Johns and the Cronulla Sharks. Both a courtroom drama and a work of narrative journalism, this is a closely observed, controversial book about sex, consent and power.
Author biography:
Anna Krien's first book, Into the Woods, won the Queensland Premier's Literary Award for Non-Fiction and the Victorian Premier's People's Choice Award. Krien is also the author of the Quarterly Essay Us and Them: On the Importance of Animals, which won the 2012 Voiceless Writing Prize and was shortlisted for the John Button Prize and the Walkley Award for magazine feature writing. Her writing has been published in The Monthly, The Age, The Big Issue, The Best Australian Essays, The Best Australian Poems and The Best Australian Stories.
4. The William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award 2014 SHORTLIST:
 Bobby Moore: The Man in Full by Matt Dickinson (Yellow Jersey Press)
 Played in London: Charting the Heritage of a City at Play by Simon Inglis (English Heritage)
 Alone: The Triumph and Tragedy of John Curry by Bill Jones (Bloomsbury)
 Run or Die by Kilian Jornet (Viking)
 Night Games: Sex, Power and a Journey into the Dark Heart of Sport by Anna Krien (Yellow Jersey Press)
 Floodlights and Touchlines: A History of Spectator Sport by Rob Steen (Bloomsbury)
 Proud: My Autobiography by Gareth Thomas and Michael Calvin (Ebury Press)
5. The William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award 2014 LONGLIST:
 The Breakaway: My Story by Nicole Cooke (Simon & Schuster)
 Bobby Moore: The Man in Full by Matt Dickinson (Yellow Jersey Press)
 An American Caddie in St. Andrews: Growing Up, Girls and Looping on the Old Course by Oliver Horovitz (Elliott & Thompson)
 Played in London: Charting the Heritage of a City at Play by Simon Inglis (English Heritage)
 Alone: The Triumph and Tragedy of John Curry by Bill Jones (Bloomsbury)
 Run or Die by Kilian Jornet (Viking)
 Night Games: Sex, Power and a Journey into the Dark Heart of Sport by Anna Krien (Yellow Jersey Press)
 In Search of Duncan Ferguson: The Life and Crimes of a Footballing Enigma by Alan Pattullo (Mainstream Publishing)
 The Incredible Adventures of the Unstoppable Keeper by Lutz Pfannenstiel (Vision Sports Publishing Ltd)
 The Three Degrees: The Men Who Changed British Football Forever by Paul Rees (Constable)
 Floodlights and Touchlines: A History of Spectator Sport by Rob Steen (Bloomsbury)
 Stuck in a Moment: The Ballad of Paul Vaessen by Stewart Taylor (GCR Books Ltd)
 Proud: My Autobiography by Gareth Thomas and Michael Calvin (Ebury Press)
 Undisputed Truth: My Autobiography by Mike Tyson, with Larry Sloman (HarperSport)
 Love Game: A History of Tennis, from Victorian Pastime to Global Phenomenon by Elizabeth Wilson (Serpent's Tail)
6. PREVIOUS WINNERS of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award:
2013 - Doped: The Real Life Story of the 1960s Racehorse Doping Gang by Jamie Reid
2012 - The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France by Tyler Hamilton and Daniel Coyle
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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