Proud named Sports Book of the Year

June 19, 2015

PROUD, the autobiography of former Welsh rugby international, Gareth Thomas, published by Ebury, has won SPORTS BOOK OF THE YEAR at the Cross British Sports Book Awards.   Selected by public vote Thomas’ inspirational story of coming out as gay in the macho world of rugby fought off strong competition from nine other category winners to win the overall title.

Written with journalist and sportswriter, Michael Calvin, who also won last year’s overall prize for his book, The Nowhere Men, PROUD is a story that transcends the world of sport to tell a universal truth about feeling like an outsider, and facing up to who you really are.

Gareth Thomas said of his win, “I’m proud, in so many ways, to win this award. The book means so much to me because I have discovered that it means so much to others.” He went onto dedicate the award to the memory of sportsman, Danny Jones, who died suddenly last month. Thomas described him as ‘a fabulous friend and a wonderful rugby league player. ‘

Michael Calvin said, “Being named as Sports Book of the Year at the Cross British Sports Book Awards is a huge honour for us. It is uniquely important since it involves recognition from not just an eminent panel of judges, but also the support of our readers. From a personal point of view, winning for the second successive year is pretty humbling. But Gareth deserves greater credit for having the moral courage to tell his story with such fearlessness and emotional intelligence. We laughed and we cried in writing the book, and will probably do the same when we meet up to celebrate this win. Thanks to everyone involved.” 

Nicola Shepherd, Director of Trade /Shopper Marketing at A.T. Cross Company, commenting on Gareth’s success, added, “We’re delighted to sponsor the Cross British Sports Book Awards, and thrilled that Gareth won not only the Autobiography of the year, sponsored by Cross, but this publicly voted award too. We hope that Gareth’s win inspires people to write their own stories to share with others” 

The other category winners announced at the star-studded awards ceremony held earlier this month at Lord’s, were:
ALONE: The Triumph & Tragedy of John Curry by Bill Jones,
(Outstanding Sports Writing);
BOBBY MOORE: The Man in Full by Matt Dickinson (Biography of the Year);
WOUNDED TIGER: The History of Cricket in Pakistan by Peter Oborne
, (Cricket Book of the Year);
THIRTY-ONE NIL by James Montague (Football Book of the Year);
Richard Parks’ BEYOND THE HORIZON, (Rugby Book of the Year);
CHELTENHAM ET AL – The Best of Alastair Down by Alastair Down, (
Horse Racing Book of the Year);
Cycling Book of the Year);
Anna Krein’s NIGHT GAMES
(New Writer of the Year);
and THE AGE OF INNOCENCE, edited by Reuel Golden, (Best Illustrated Book of the Year).