2012 winner:

On 10 November 2009 the German national goalkeeper, Robert Enke, stepped in front of a passing train. He was thirty-two years old, and appeared to have it all.

Ronald Reng here pieces together the puzzle of his lost friend’s life, shedding light on the demands and fears faced by those who play top-level sport.






 2012 shortlist:


Football used to be better in the past… and here’s the proof. Got, Not  Got is an A-Z of British football’s apparent lost utopia of the 1960s, 70s  and 80s. Perfect for retro junkies, it details all those things we loved from the golden age of mudbaths and cloggers, of miniature, carpet-level football  games and imaginary, comic-book worlds. Big, beautiful nostalgia that is a  passionate fans’ blueprint to help restore the game to its former glories!






The highs and lows of an astonishing life, set against a turning point in English football, Paul Lake’s memoir, I’m Not Really Here, written with the help of his wife Joanne, is the powerful story of love and loss and the cruel, irreparable damage of injury; of determination, spirit and resilience; and of unfulfilled potential and shattered dreams.







Based on exclusive interviews with the men themselves – including Alex McLeish and Sir Alex Ferguson – and those closest to them, The Management: Scotland’s Great Football Bosses is a brilliantly-realised analysis of how one small country can produce so many of the best football managers in the world.







The Smell of Football is the brutally honest and utterly compelling story of how Mick ‘Baz’ Rathbone conquered his personal demons to carve out an eventful 30 year career in professional football – from the terrified teenager who purposely tried to gget injured in training rather than get picked for the first team, to the experienced pro who became Head of Medicine at Premier League Everton FC in charge of the treatment of the likes of Wayne Rooney, Louis Saha and Tim Cahill.






The Premier League marked its 20th anniversary in 2011. Ian Ridley portrays how both the game itself and society’s relationship with it have changed over those two decades. Seeking to discover if the soul of the game still exists, he has woven together a rich and fascinating story of football’s metamorphosis from social outcast to favourite child.