2012 winner:


As a teenage boxer in the 1950s, John Tarrant had been paid £17 expenses. When he wanted to run, he was banned, his amateur status compromised. Forever. But he would fight back, becoming a record-breaker, one of the greatest long-distance runners the world has ever seen. This is his incredible story






2012 shortlist:


The relationship between athlete and fan is dramatically different these days – no longer the silent, distant veneration of yesteryear. Patrick Collins records a year spent observing a variety of sports and their fans and gives us a wonderfully wry, intelligent view of the modern sporting world.







Can’t Swim, Ride, Run follows Andy’s epic, life changing journey to become an Ironman. Most blokes wouldn’t entertain a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and a full 26.2 mile marathon on their stag weekend, Andy isn’t most blokes. A love story featuring more rubber and lycra than is healthy.







The first full biography of one of England’s greatest cricketers, this balanced yet unflinching portrait of Fred Trueman draws on dozens of new interviews with his fellow players, broadcasters, family and friends. ‘The greatest living Yorkshireman’ couldn’t help excelling at everything he did, yet behind his exuberant mask lay a far less self-assured man.







Alastair Hignell had three highly successful careers in sport: as an England rugby player, a county cricketer and a sports broadcaster. A much-loved figure in the sporting world, he retired after being diagnosed with MS. This book is his warm and inspirational story – from his early days through to his current struggle with a debilitating illness.







Out of work and out of luck, Ed Hawkins decides to seek fame and fortune by becoming a Sporting Chancer. Attempting to wager his way around the world, he wins and loses with hilarious self-deprecation. In Singapore he visits a psychic to find out whether his luck is in, loses so heavily in Melbourne he is forced to sell his possessions and ends up at an illegal cockfight in Louisiana with Britney Spears’ babysitter. Among other jaunts he embarrasses himself playing poker at the World Series, has a knock-up of tennis with John McEnroe and plays darts against Phil Taylor before trying for a life-changing win at Glasgow’s luckiest bingo hall.