The Telegraph Sports Book Awards Autobiography of the Year Longlist Unveiled

December 6, 2018

Geraint Thomas leading the chase to win the 2019 Autobiography of the Year Award at The Telegraph Sports Book Awards.

The Sports Book Awards will have a headline sponsor for 2019, with The Telegraph securing a partnership deal for the next three years. The partnership will allow The Telegraph to announce the Best Sports Book of the Year Award at a gala dinner staged in early June at Lord’s Cricket Ground.  

Geraint Thomas’ book The Tour According to G leads yet another strong list of nominees for the Best Autobiography of the Year category to be awarded at the 17th The Telegraph Sports Book Awards, June 2019.  For years Geraint Thomas appeared blessed with extraordinary talent but jinxed at the Tour De France; a victim of crashes, bad luck and his own willingness to sacrifice himself for his team mates. However in the summer of 2018, across twenty one stages and three weeks under constant attack from his rivals he made the Tour De France his own.  Geraint Thomas commenting on the news said: ‘It’s an honour to be included in the list for the 2019 The Telegraph Sports Book Awards. I feel privileged to be nominated alongside some true sporting greats.’ 

Fresh from England’s overseas triumph in Sri Lanka Moeen by Moeen Ali traces his journey from street cricket to the county game, eventual first class inclusion and his international debut at the relatively late age of 26. Moeen’s book tells of his upbringing in the tough Sparkhill neighbourhood of Birmingham and the awakening at nineteen that led him to become a devout Muslim, which has given him a social conscience, unusual for an elite athlete, attracting controversy.

London 2012 Olympic dressage gold medallist Charlotte Dujardin The Girl on a Dancing Horse is the story of how an outsider and an unconventional horse changes the world of equestrian sport, whilst Sam Quek’s Hope and a Hockey Stick, tells of how Quek overcame the disappointment of being overlooked for two previous Olympics to win gold at the Rio Games in 2016.

Liverpool, Newcastle United and England legend Kevin Keegan My Life in Football leads a strong list of football titles. Paul Ferris’s William Hill shortlisted book, The Boy On The Shed, with a forward by Alan Shearer, tells the story of how Ferris became a professional footballer and at the age of 16 was the youngest ever to play in Newcastle United’s first team. Coming from Northern Ireland and being a skilful winger with dancing feet, he was inevitably hailed as ‘the new George Best’. But the story of his time in the game, particularly as a young player, is one of insecurity, injuries, uncertainty, fear and, ultimately, a failure to fulfil his hopes and dreams. 

Peter Crouch How to be a Footballer is a self-deprecating tale of his twenty years in the game, with Alan Smith’s Head Up: My Story a thoughtful and incisive tale of the former Leicester, Arsenal and England Centre Forward. Manchester United and England midfielder Michael Carrick’s Between The Lines completes the list of football nominated titles.

Doddie Weir’s My NameDoddie: My Autobiography chartsa rugby career which has had huge highs and shocking lows, Weir faced some of the greatest players in the game, from Jonny Wilkinson to Jonah Lomu, Brian O’Driscoll to Scott Quinnell and Martin Johnson to Joost van der Westhuizen and set stadiums alight when “on the charge like a mad giraffe”. Now, at the age of 48, Weir is facing an entirely different adversary: Motor Neurone Disease. Weir has never been one to shy away from a challenge, on or off the pitch, and he has faced up to MND with undaunted positivity, using his boundless energy to raise funds for MND research and support, with more than £1million already raised and committed in the first year.  

Weir’s fellow Scot, Stephen Hendry Me and the Table, accounts a rags to riches story of arguably the greatest snooker player ever and his domination of the sport in the 1990s when he won the World Championship seven times, a record in the modern era.  

To complete the outstanding list of nominees is Jonathan Rea’s book Dream. Believe. Achieve. My Autobiography which gives an insight into the man behind the visor who has so completely conquered the astonishingly dangerous sport of motorcycling.  

The Telegraph Sports Book Awards are judged by an outstanding group of sports celebrities, broadcasters and journalists. The judging panels for 2019 include: Dame Katherine Grainger, Christine Ohuruogu, Simon Halliday, Bob Willis, Sir Tim Rice, The Rugby Writers, David Millar, Jill Douglas, Simon Brotherton, Andrew Cotter, Jacuqie Beltrao, Clare Tomlinson, The Football Writers and Rishi Persad. 

David Willis, Chairman of The Telegraph Sports Book Awards said, “We are firstly delighted to welcome The Telegraph as our title sponsor for 2019 in what will be another great year for sport. Our 2019 longlist is once again packed with sporting greats and legendary sports stars from the UK. Any of these fantastic new books would make perfect Christmas gifts and I don’t envy the task of the judging panel to select the best sports Autobiography of the Year’. 

The winner of the Autobiography of the Year will be announced at the 17th The Telegraph Sports Book Awards, held in early June, which has taken place at Lord’s Cricket Ground for the last three years. The ceremony features ten award categories and is filmed for a highlights programme shown on Sky Sports channels 1, 2 and 3. 

The final shortlist for the award will be announced alongside those from all the other categories in The Telegraph Sports Book Awards in June 2019.

Autobiography of the Year Longlist 2019 

Kevin Keegan – My Life In Football  Macmillan 
Geraint Thomas – The Tour According to G  Quercus
Michael Carrick – Between The Lines  Blink Publishing
Peter Crouch – How to Be a Footballer  Ebury Press
Stephen Hendry – Me and The Table  John Blake
Moeen Ali – Moeen  Atlantic books 
Sam Quek – Hope and a Hockey Stick  White Owl
Doddie Weir – My Name’5 Doddie: The Autobiography  Black & White Publishing 
Charlotte Dujardin – The Girl on the Dancing Horse  Preface Publishing 
Jonathan Rea – Dream. Believe. Achieve. My Autobiography  HarperCollins 
Paul Ferris – The Boy On The Shed  Hodder & Stoughton  
Alan Smith – Heads Up: My Life Story  Constable  


The 2019 event is the 17th annual awards campaign, previous winners of the Autobiography award include

2018 – Martine Wright
2017 –  Joey Barton
2016 – Max Mosley
2015 – Gareth Thomas
2014 – Jimmy Connors
2013 – David Walsh (combined with biography award)
2012 – Matt Hampson (combined with biography award)
2011 – Brian Moore
2010 – Andre Agassi
2009 – Paul Canoville
2008 – Bobby Charlton
2007 – Paul McGrath
2006 – Frank Bruno
2005 – Nasser Hussain
2004 – Gareth Southgate & Andy Woodman
2003 – Niall Quinn

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