Former Welsh rugby union captain, Gareth Thomas, and the England World Cup winning captain, Bobby Moore, are the star names that have made the 2014 William Hill Sports Book of the year shortlist.
The shortlist for the 26th Annual William Hill Sports Book of the Year has been announced, and once again, the greatest names in British sporting history loom large.
This year, the shortlist contains literary bursts of brilliance from the former England World Cup captain, Bobby Moore, the former Welsh rugby union captain, Gareth Thomas, and former Olympic and World figure skating champion, John Curry.
The early favorite for the prestigious award is Gareth Thomas’s autobiography Proud. The man everyone knows as “Alfie” represented Wales in both rugby union, and rugby league, and at one time was the most capped player in Welsh rugby union history. Thomas became the first world-renowned sportsman to come out whilst still playing professionally.
Thomas’s biography is also the subject of a stage play called Crouch, Touch, Pause, Engage, and Mickey Rourke is rumored to be playing him in a Hollywood biopic. If Thomas wins, he will be the second rugby star to take the prize, after the former England rugby union star, Brian Moore, won the award in 2010 for his book: Beware of the Dog: Rugby’s Hard Man Reveals All.
Here is the shortlist.
Proud by Gareth Thomas – The autobiography of the former Welsh rugby union captain Gareth Thomas.
Bobby Moore: The Man in Full by Matt Dickenson – An in-depth biography of the former England World Cup winning captain.
Alone by Bill Jones – The biography of the Olympic and World figure skating champion John Curry.
Night Games: Sex, Power and a Journey by Anna Kriens – A story of the rape trial brought against AFL Collingwood Football Club.
Run of Die by Kilian Journet – The diary of Kilian Journet’s attempt to become the fastest man to run up, and down, Mount Kilimanjaro.
Played in London by Simon Inglis – A look back at the history of sports played throughout London.
Floodlights and Touchlines: A History of Spectator Sport by Rob Steen – A social commentary on the cultural and social impacts that spectator sports have on society.
Speaking about the shortlist, the awards founder Graham Sharpe said: “It’s an extremely exciting time in sports-writing,” before stating it is made up of, “compelling explorations of the personal struggles and triumphs of some of our most esteemed sporting figures, an enquiry into the dark side of sporting culture and not one, but two fascinating social histories.”
The winner will be announced on Thursday 27th November where a first prize of £26,000 is up for grabs.
Last year saw the award go to Jamie Reid for Doped: The Real Life Story of the 1960s Racehorse Doping Gang.