Martine Wright wins Autobiography of the Year Award at The 2018 Sports Book Awards

June 7, 2018

Billy Vunipola awarded Rugby Book of the Year, as Kieren Fallon wins International Autobiography of the Year.

Martine Wright’s book Unbroken has been named Sports Autobiography of the Year at the 16th Sports Book Awards. Unbroken is the remarkable story of a woman who turned trauma and tragedy into hope. The courageous 7/7 bombings survivor who became a GB Paralympian, recounts her inspirational journey in a truly outstanding autobiography.

The 2018 winner was presented with her award by Dame Katherine Grainger, who headed up a judging panel that included 2017 Autobiography winner Joey Barton, Chairman of European Rugby Simon Halliday, Sport Editor of for the Mail on Sunday Alison Kervin & the decorated Olympian Christine Ohuruogu. The category was fiercely contested, with outstanding books by Former F1 World Champion Jenson Button, Yorkshire and England Cricketer Jonny Bairstow, leading tennis coach Judy Murray, footballer Adebayo Akinfenwa and 13 time TT Racing World Champion Michael Dunlop.

Dame Katherine Grainger in her role as Head Judge of the category said “yet again all the authors on the short list gave us an incredibly tough challenge to select just one winner. The standard was very impressive and after much discussion, debate, and healthy argument we have settled on the inspirational and thought provoking story by Martine Wright.”

Billy Vunipola, Saracens and England’s explosive Number 8 was awarded the London Sporting Club Rugby Book of the Year as judged by The Rugby Writers, whilst James Montague’s probe into footballs super rich owners The Billionaires Club won the Coutts Football Book of the Year, judged and sponsored by The Football Writers Association and Coutts respectively. Montague’s book triumphed over a list of past and present managerial greats, including Sir Matt Busby, Mauricio Pochettino and Bob Paisley. The award was presented to him by former Chelsea Captain & Kick it Out ambassador, Paul Elliott.

A special award recognising Outstanding Contribution to Sports Writing was given to 92-year-old cricket writer John Woodcock. The esteemed writers career included 35 years as a cricket correspondent for The Times, and 7 years as editor of the Wisden Almanack. The tribute included words from Sky Sports and The Times cricket writer Michael Atherton and Channel 5 cricket broadcaster Mark Nicholas, with his award collected by former England Captain and Sky Sports pundit Bob Willis.

Henry Blofeld, the former Test Match Special Commentator and good friend of Woodcocks also gave his thoughts in the tribute, “John Woodcock is the most thorough watcher of a day’s cricket I’ve ever known. He is quite simply an exceptional writer who deserves this wonderful award after a brilliant career in cricket.”

Steve Neal’s book Over and Out, Albert Trott won The Heartaches Cricket Book of the Year, with Andy McGrath’s Tom Simpson: Bird on the Wire picking up The Full Time Cover Cycling Book of the Year award from David Millar, the 4 times Tour de France stage-winning cyclist.

In a great night for Horse Racing, the six-time champion jockey and three-time Derby Winner Kieren Fallon received the Cross International Autobiography of the Year. Fallon was one of the world’s greatest jockeys, but his career was not without controversy, and his award-winning book is a brutally honest account of his life on and off the track. Centaur collected the Right To Play General Outstanding Sports Book of the Year, with Ami Rao & jockey Declan Murphy recounting his heart-breaking, yet inspirational story. The award was presented by Elise Christie who is an Ambassador of our charity of choice, Right To Play.

The Times Biography of the Year award was awarded to Jonathan Eig’s comprehensive account of arguably the greatest ever sportsman, Muhammed Ali.

The Thomson Reuters Illustrated Book of the Year was awarded to The History Makers. The story of the incredible Olympic Gold medal success for GB women’s Hockey team, a winning-run that gripped the nation.

The 16th 2018 Sports Book Awards were hosted by Sky Sports presenter Jacquie Beltrao.

Each of the nine winning titles is now put to an online public vote to determine the overall Sports Book of the Year in association with The Times. Everyone who votes at www.sportsbookawards.com is entered into a prize draw to win £100 of National Book Tokens. The public vote is open until midday on Friday 15th June, with the winner announced shortly afterwards.

The Sports Book Awards winners in full:

 

Book title Author Publisher
Cross International Autobiography of the Year
Form Kieren Fallon Simon & Schuster
Thomson Reuters Illustrated Book of the Year
The History Makers Sarah Juggins and Richard Stainthorpe Pitch Publishing
The Times Biography of the Year
Ali: A Life Jonathan Eig Simon & Schuster
Right To Play General Outstanding Sports Book of the Year
Centaur Declan Murphy & Ami Rao Black Swan, Transworld Publishers
The Heartaches Cricket Book of the Year
Over and Out, Albert Trott Steve Neal Pitch Publishing
Outstanding Contribution to Sports Writing
John Woodcock
 Coutts Football Book of the Year
The Billionaires Club James Montague Bloomsbury
Full Time Cover Cycling Book of the Year
Tom Simpson: Bird on the Wire Andy McGrath Rapha
The London Sporting Club Rugby Book of the Year
Wrecking Ball Billy Vunipola with Gershon Portnoi Headline
Autobiography of the Year
Unbroken Martine Wright with Sue Mott Simon & Schuster

For more information about the 2018 Sports Book Awards visit http://sportsbookawards.com/

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