Home Features The William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award—longlist announced

The William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award—longlist announced

Longlist Revealed For The William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award

The longlist for the 34th William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award has been revealed today.

A record 158 books were entered into this year’s Award, the world’s most valuable sports-writing prize, with a first prize of £30,000. It features a mix of authors from across a wide range of sports including, tennis, football, athletics, golf, rugby and cycling.

Following a rigorous judging process from a panel including The Athletics’ Nancy Frostick, sports presenter Matt Williams, and William Hill’s Neil Foggin, 15 authors have been selected for this year’s longlist. 

Range of topics

The 15-book longlist features an array of topics including hard-hitting autobiographies and heart-breaking memories, along with harrowing accounts of racism and sexism in sport and never-been-heard before encounters of some of the most compelling figures within the sporting industry.

With the Lionesses winning the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 in July and the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 taking place at the end of the year, it’s no surprise that topics around football dominate this year’s longlist, with eight books making the list. 

Anyika Onuora, The Guardian’s football writer, Suzanne Wrack, and former Irish international footballer Clare Shine are all in the running for the Award. The story of athlete Beryl Burton, who dominated the world of cycling, also features in the longlist.

Former sports stars, and first-time authors, Patrice Evra and Steve Thompson have also made the list for the Award which has a £30,000 cash prize for the winner.

The William Hill Sports Book of the Year 2022 Longlist:

Be Good, Love Brian: Growing Up with Brian Clough by Craig Bromfield

The Master: The Brilliant Career of Roger Federer by Christopher Clarey

1999: Manchester United, the Treble and All That by Matt Dickinson  

Le Fric: Family, Power and Money: The Business of the Tour de France by Alex Duff 

I Love This Game by Patrice Evra

England Football: The Biography: 1872-2022 by Paul Hayward

God is Dead: The Rise and Fall of Frank Vandenbroucke, Cycling’s Great Wasted Talent by Andy McGrath 

My Hidden Race by Anyika Onuora

Scoring Goals in the Dark by Clare Shine with Gareth Maher

Phil: The Rip-Roaring (and Unauthorised) Biography of Golf’s Most Colourful Superstar by Alan Shipnuck 

Expected Goals: The Story of how Data Conquered Football and Changed the Game Forever by Rory Smith 

Unforgettable: Rugby, Dementia and the Fight of My Life by Steve Thompson 

Beryl: In Search of Britain’s Greatest Athlete, Beryl Burton by Jeremy Wilson

Two Brothers: The Life and Times of Bobby and Jackie Charlton by Jonathan Wilson 

A Woman’s Game: The Rise, Fall and Rise Again of Women’s Football by Suzanne Wrack 


Book review panellist and renowned sports broadcaster, Matt Williams said: “This year, we received an unprecedented number of great entries from talented authors and publishers, and whittling these down to our top 15 was no small feat.

“There were many fantastic books which I would pick up and re-read over and over again that didn’t make the cut, which highlights just how impressive and well-written the books that made the longlist are.  

“Racism and discrimination in sport, women’s football and the devastating effects of early onset dementia are just some of the diverse themes our longlist authors have covered, and are all huge topics in today’s sporting industry.

“It’s been truly an honour to have been part of the judging team for this year’s William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award and be able to read so many inspirational books from the most talented authors, which all should be recognised for their great literature. I look forward to seeing which of our longlist comes out on top.” 

The award

Now in its 34th year, the award is dedicated to rewarding excellence in sports writing and provides authors and publishers a platform to showcase and promote their book.

The first William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award took place in 1989, earning it the title of the longest-established competition in the industry, and since launching, has attracted thousands of authors and publishers including Nick Hornby, Marcus Trescothick and Brian Moore, as well as last year’s winner Michael Holding and three-time winner Duncan Hamilton. 

The shortlist will be unveiled on 27th October, with the winner declared on 1st December 2022 at an official award ceremony at BAFTA 195 Piccadilly, London. The Award has a £30,000 cash prize for the winner and the shortlisted authors will each receive £3,000 and a leather-bound copy of their book.

Find out more information about the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award and enter here.