Cross Sports Book Awards winners announced
June 2, 2016
Sky Sports Guillem Balague and Ronda Rousey both collected awards at the Cross Sports Book Awards as winners across 10 categories were announced.
Ronaldo and My Fight, Your Fight won Barclays Football Book of the Year and Cross International Autobiography of the Year respectively. The ceremony, which took place at Lord’s on June 1, capped a successful week for the Real Madrid forward following his nail-biting win in the Champions League on Saturday. Balague’s behind-the- scenes biography charts Ronaldo’s career from a young winger at Sporting Lisbon and Manchester United before his £80m record-breaking transfer in 2009.
The former UFC Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey won the Cross International Autobiography of the Year in its debut year. Although Rousey couldn’t attend the ceremony itself, her co-writer and sister Maria Burns Ortiz attended the awards on her behalf.
“I, Ronda and the team are so excited and honoured that this book resonated across Britain and we’re proud to win the award.
“We wanted to write a book that would make an impression with a wide audience and we’re so happy it achieved that.”
A.T. Cross CEO Robert Baird, who helped judge the inaugural Cross International Autobiography of the Year, said that choosing Rousey as the eventual winner was an easy task:
“Rousey was the unanimous victor. Her narrative is as turbulent as [Rousey’s] life. It felt like being hit by one of her deadly left hooks.”
The Sky Sports contingent was completed by Balague’s colleague and Cross Sports Book Awards host Mike Wedderburn, who presented awards to all ten categories winners and was joined by Alison Mitchell.
Alongside Rousey and Balague, Max Mosley was crowned the Cross Autobiography of the Year winner for his book Formula One and Beyond, following in the footsteps of 2015 Autobiography of the Year winner Gareth Thomas.
The former FIA president was selected by judges Brian and Belinda Moore, Lawrence Dallaglio, Beth Tweddle, Manish Bhasin and Alison Kervin as the winner and finished ahead of five other nominees, including world champions Nigel Mansell and Steve Davis, Steven Gerrard, David Lloyd and Sir Anthony McCoy.
Mosley, who revolutionised safety in motorsport, was thrilled to collect the prestigious prize. Mosley was joined by Commonwealth Gold Medallist David Millar, who won the Cycling Book of the Year prize in its second year. David Millar’s autobiography gives a rarely seen view of a pro-cyclist on the road and was commended by judges Martin Johnson, Tao Geohegan Hart, Christian Vande Velde, Simon Brotherton, Jill Douglas, Nick Rusling and panel chairman Andrew Croker, for its “frank and honest account of the ins and outs of day-to- day life of a pro-cyclist.” Millar, who rode in twelve Tour de France races and won a Commonwealth gold medal, beat former teammate and Team Sky rider Geraint Thomas to the prize.
A special award for Outstanding Contribution to Sports Writing was presented to irreproducible football journalist and lifelong Arsenal fan Brian Glanville by Bob Wilson, who played 308 first-team matches for the North London club. The goalkeeper’s charity Willow was the 2016 charity partner.
Elsewhere, Tim Lane and Elliot Cartledge won Littlehampton Book Services Cricket Book of the Year for Chasing Shadows: The Life and Death of Peter Roebuck whilst BBC reporter Tom English won Rugby Book of the Year for No Borders: Playing Rugby for Ireland which followed superstars of Irish rugby.
The hotly contested Times Biography of the Year prize went to Andy Bull’s Speed Kings, the story of four fearless men and their search for Winter Olympic Gold in 1932. The Freshtime New Writer of the Year award was collected by Ed Caesar for Two Hours: The Quest to Run the Impossible Marathon as William Finnegan went the distance to win the Blink Publishing Outstanding Sports Writing Award for Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life. Illustrated Book of the Year went to Bob Martin for his impressive sporting snapshots in 1/1000th: The Sports Photography of Bob Martin.
The complete list of winners are:
Cross Autobiography of the Year
Max Mosley Formula One and Beyond (Simon and Schuster)
The Times Biography of the Year
Andy Bull Speed Kings (Bantam Press)
Littlehampton Book Services Cricket Book of the Year
Tim Lane and Elliot Cartledge Chasing Shadows: The Life and Death of Peter Roebuck (Hardie Grant)
Cycling Book of the Year
David Millar The Racer (Yellow Jersey Press)
Barclays Football Book of the Year
Guillem Balague Cristiano Ronaldo (Orion)
Illustrated Book of the Year
Bob Martin 1/1000th : The Sports Photography of Bob Martin (Vision Sports Publishing)
Cross International Autobiography of the Year
Ronda Rousey My Fight, Your Fight (Arrow)
Freshtime New Writer of the Year
Ed Caesar Two Hours: The Quest to Run the Impossible Marathon (Viking)
Outstanding Sports Writing of the Year
William Finnegan Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life (Little, Brown)
Rugby Book of the Year
Tom English No Borders: Playing Rugby for Ireland (Arena Sport)
Outstanding Contribution to Sports Writing