The Telegraph Sports Book Awards 2019 shortlists announced

May 7, 2019

All time sporting greats do battle at The Telegraph Sports Book Awards 2019: Tiger Woods, Dame Kelly Holmes, Sir Chris Hoy, Lionel Messi, Shane Warne, George Best and Kevin Keegan all vying for gongs.

The full list of nominations for the 17th Telegraph Sports Book Awards have been announced this morning.

The prestigious Sports Autobiography of the Year Award, includes a diverse group of sportsmen and women; Charlotte Dujardin, Team GB’s outstanding Dressage rider who captivated the world at the London 2012 Olympic Games with her horse Valegro, Worcestershire, Rajastan Royals and England all-rounder Moeen Ali, 5-time World Superbike Champion Jonathan Rea, footballer and podcast star Peter Crouch with the bestselling sports book of 2018, former Man City and England Manager and twice European player of the year Kevin Keegan, as well as Paul Ferris, whose book features a foreword from fellow former Newcastle footballer and BBC pundit Alan Shearer.

Chairman of the Sports Book Awards, David Willis said, “We look forward to finding out who the winners of the awards will be on June 4th at Lord’s Cricket Ground. It is a great list of sporting books, which includes Shane Warne, George Best, Sir Chris Hoy, Geraint Thomas, Dame Kelly Holmes, Lionel Messi, Tiger Woods and many others.”

The shortlist for the Rugby Book of the Year, as judged by The Rugby Writers, will be sponsored for the first time by long-time Rugby supporters, Heineken. The shortlist features an autobiography by Ian Robertson, the radio voice of BBC rugby for many years, Peter Bill’s book about the iconic All Blacks, Ben Ryan’s account of his roller-coaster ride with the Fijian Sevens team, as well as Doddie Weir’s extraordinary, life affirming autobiography of a true rugby legend. Jonathan Bradley recounts the story of the first Irish champions of Europe in The Last Amateurs, and finally, Michael Aylwin’s takes an altogether different look at Rugby and the wider sporting world in his dystopian thriller about the future of Sport, Ivon.

Shane Warne’s collaboration with Mark Nicholas is shortlisted for The Cricket Book of the Year, once again supported by Sir Tim Rice and the Heartaches in an ICC Cricket World Cup year. Stephen Fay and David Kynaston’s portrayal of John Arlott and E.W. Swanton outlines the contrasting broadcasting and journalistic talents. Geoff Lemon’s outstanding dissection of one of cricket’s most notorious controversies lines up alongside Simon Wilde’s Biography of England cricket, Mark Peel’s evaluation of Cricket’s belief in its higher morality, with Derek Pringle’s insightful first-hand account of one of English cricket’s most tumultuous periods.

The Football Book of the Year, once again judged by the Football Writers’ Association, includes eight outstanding books, including Jonathan Wilson’s analysis of the far-reaching on and off field implications of The Barcelona Legacy, and Uli Hesse’s account of the importance of the humble fan, as told through the remarkable rise of Borussia Dortmund. Ken Bensinger’s Red Card shines a light on footballs dark side in a thrilling account of FIFA’s downfall, whereas Michael Calvin covers the darkest and brightest sides of the beautiful game as he assesses the State of Play of the world’s most popular sport. Jon Henderson looks back at a forgotten age in When Footballers Were Skint, and Joshua Robinson and Jonathan Clegg’s The Club tackles a different era in their analysis of how the Premier League became the richest in sport. Our final two shortlistees are Sebastian Abbot’s The Away Game, a deeply moving look at an audacious African recruitment program led by Qatar and Rob Smyth’s Kaiser, an unbelievable biography of the star striker to have never kicked a ball in anger.

Chairman of the judging panel, leading football journalist, Philippe Auclair said “As has been the case for several years, the 2019 shortlist shows how astonishingly broad and diverse the range of writing on football has become, and how it’s been accompanied by a dramatic increase in quality in the whole of the field. This truly is a golden age of football writing. But I’d go even further this year, and say there are a couple of books in our list that are bound to become part of the canon of great football titles.”

A whole host of current and sporting greats will feature across an intriguing list of shortlists, none more so than our new category reflecting the growth of books published in the Sport, Health and Fitness genre. Sir Chris Hoy’s How to Ride a Bike, Dame Kelly Holmes’s Running Life and England Rugby’s back row forward James Haskell’s Cooking for Fitness all feature in the inaugural Sports Health and Fitness category. BBC Breakfast presenter and Age-Group GB triathlete Louise Minchin’s book Dare to Tri is also included, as is Virgin Radio Host Vassos Alexander with his celebration of running outrageous distances in Running Up That Hill, and Bella Mackie’s inspirational book on the mental health benefits of running, Jog On.

Nominated for the Biography of the Year are arguably two of the biggest sporting names of this generation. Following a remarkable triumph at the Augusta Masters last month, Tiger Woods by Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian explores how a golfer groomed for stardom was left adrift as a man, whilst Jordi Punti’s stunning tribute to Lionel Messi suggests his subjects skills require a new narrative discourse to do justice to his innovative style of play. The Tour according to G, the story of 2018 Tour De France winner is nominated in a strong Cycling category. Sir Michael Parkinson’s unique memoir of football icon George Best is shortlisted for the General Outstanding Award, 50 years on from Manchester United winning the European Cup and George being crowned European Player of the Year. The Getty Images Illustrated Book of the Year includes books from across the sporting spectrum, with the outspoken footballer Zlatan Ibrahimovic nominated with his photographic autobiography. For the full list of shortlists across 9 categories please see below.

The 2019 Sports Book Awards is now in its 17th year and features a host of brilliant sportsmen and sportswomen, writers and journalists. For the first time, the awards will be hosted by Sky Sports Cricket host and former England Cricket Captain David Gower. The awards will be presented at a star-studded ceremony, which takes place at Lord’s Cricket Ground on the evening of 4th June.

Each of the nine category winners will create one final shortlist for The Telegraph Sports Book of the Year, which will also be announced at the end of the ceremony.

Shortlist in full:

Autobiography of the Year
Dream. Believe. Achieve. Jonathan Rea (HarperCollins)
How to be a Footballer Peter Crouch (Ebury Press)
Moeen Moeen Ali with Mihir Bose (Allen & Unwin)
My Life in Football Kevin Keegan (Macmillan)
The Boy on the Shed Paul Ferris (Hodder & Stoughton)
The Girl on the Dancing Horse Charlotte Dujardin (Arrow)

Heineken Rugby Book of the Year
Ivon Michael Aylwin (Red Door)
My Name’5 Doddie Doddie Weir (Black & White Publishing)
Rugby: Talking a Good Game Ian Robertson (Hodder & Stoughton)
Sevens Heaven Ben Ryan (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
The Jersey Peter Bills (Macmillan)
The Last Amateurs Jonathan Bradley (Blackstaff Press)

The Heartaches Cricket Book of the Year
Arlott, Swanton and the Soul of English Cricket Stephen Fay & David Kynaston (Bloomsbury Publishing)
England: The Biography Simon Wilde (Simon & Schuster)
No Spin: My Autobiography Shane Warne with Mark Nicholas (Ebury Press)
Playing the Game? Mark Peel (Pitch Publishing)
Pushing the Boundaries Derek Pringle (Hodder & Stoughton)
Steve Smith’s Men Geoff Lemon (Hardie Grant Books)

Cycling Book of the Year
Around The World In 80 Days Mark Beaumont (Corgi)
Full Gas Peter Cossins (Yellow Jersey Press)
My World Peter Sagan (Yellow Jersey Press)
Sunday in Hell William Fotheringham (Yellow Jersey Press)
The Ronde Edward Pickering (Simon & Schuster)
The Tour According to G Geraint Thomas (Quercus)

Football Book of the Year
Building the Yellow Wall Uli Hesse (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
Kaiser Rob Smyth (Yellow Jersey Press)
Red Card Ken Bensinger (Profile Books)
State of Play Michael Calvin (Century)
The Away Game Sebastian Abbot (Arena)
The Barcelona Legacy Jonathan Wilson (Blink Publishing)
The Club Joshua Robinson & Jonathan Clegg (John Murray)
When Footballers were Skint Jon Henderson (Biteback Publishing)

Sports Health & Fitness Book of the Year
Cooking for Fitness James Haskell & Omar Meziane (Haskell Publishing)
Dare to Tri Louise Minchin (Bloomsbury Sport)
How to Ride a Bike Sir Chris Hoy (Hamlyn)
Jog On Bella Mackie (William Collins)
Running Life Dame Kelly Holmes (Kyle Books)
Running Up That Hill Vassos Alexander (Bloomsbury Sport)

Getty Images Illustrated Book of the Year
A Year In The Frame Edward Whitaker (Racing Post)
I Am Football Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Viking)
International Football Kits John Devlin (Bloomsbury Sport)
Jim Clark – The Best of the Best David Tremayne (Evro Publishing)
Leander Club – The First 200 Years Anthony Fiennes Trotman (Vision Sports Publishing)
The Beautiful Badge Martyn Routledge & Elspeth Wills (Pitch Publishing)
The Sporting Horse Nicola Jane Swinney & Bob Langrish MBE – Photographer (White Lion Publishing)
Waiting Richard Kelley (Pitch Publishing)

General Outstanding Sports Writing Award
A Boy in the Water Tom Gregory (Particular Books)
Berlin 1936: Sixteen Days in August Oliver Hilmes (The Bodley Head)
Epic Simon Barnes (Simon & Schuster)
George Best: A Memoir Sir Michael Parkinson (Hodder & Stoughton)
Sport Inc Ed Warner (Yellow Jersey Press)
The Ringmaster Toby Vintcent (Arcadia Books)

Biography of the Year
Messi: Lessons in Style Jordi Puntí (Short Books)
Monsieur X Jamie Reid (Bloomsbury Sport)
More Power Hugh Matheson & Christopher Dodd (HQ)
The Unknown Kimi Raikkonen Kari Hotakainen (Simon & Schuster)
Tiger Woods Jeff Benedict & Armen Keteyian (Simon & Schuster)
Unbeaten Mike Stanton (Macmillan)

Autobiography of the Year
Biography of the Year
The Heartaches Cricket Book of the Year
Football Book of the Year
Cycling Book of the Year
General Outstanding Sports Writing Award
Getty Images Illustrated Book of the Year
Sports Health & Fitness Book of the Year
Heineken Rugby Book of the Year

With thanks to our sponsors and partners, including The Telegraph, Sky Sports News, Heineken, Getty Images and the MCC.

To explore the 2019 shortlist in more detail click HERE