Jeremy Wilson’s book, Beryl: In search of Britain’s greatest athlete, Beryl Burton, was crowned the winner of the William Hill Sportsbook of the Year Award at an official ceremony today (January 1). December), at the BAFTA, 195 Piccadilly, London.
Wilson, whose book pays tribute to the remarkable life of champion cyclist Beryl Burton, capturing her life through her family, friends and fellow riders to reveal an incredible story about one of the greatest cyclists of all time. , received the award trophy and a prize of £30,000.
A panel of judges drawn from the worlds of sports and journalism, chaired by author and journalist Alyson Rudd, concluded a four-month judging process, narrowing down a record 158 entries for the winning book.
The judges praised the book for its “extensive research” and “superb writing”, including its “rightful fury” introductory paragraph explaining why the public hasn’t heard more from Beryl Burton. . The cyclist has dominated her sport as much as her male contemporary Eddy Merckx, but with added longevity that surpasses sports legends like Muhammad Ali, Serena Williams and Sir Steve Redgrave.
On receiving the William Hill Sports Book of the Year award, Jeremy Wilson said: “I followed this award through the 1980s and 1990s and must have half of the previous winners on my book shelves. He made me want to read sports books and write one. I felt such a responsibility to tell this story, Beryl made the story and delivered this incredible story and I had the chance to tell it. I share this prize with her”.
Alyson Rudd, Chair of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award, said: “Too few biographies focus on female athletes, but this book helps shift the balance. It is simply a tour de force that leaves the reader emotionally drained but also lifted. Beryl deserved to have her story told in style and Jeremy Wilson achieves this while recounting the most controversial elements of her extraordinary life. »
“This year has been difficult for the judges, who received a record number of 158 applications. Five incredible books made the shortlist, and picking a winner was no small feat. Congratulations to our other shortlisted authors and to all who participated. »
The four shortlisted authors, plus Jeremy Wilson, receive £3,000 and a hardcover copy of their book. It is :
– Be Good, Love Brian: Growing Up with Brian Clough by Craig Bromfield.
– God Is Dead: The Rise and Fall of Frank Vandenbroucke, Cycling’s Great Wasted Talent, by Andy McGrath.
– My hidden race by Anyika Onuora
– Expected Goals: The story of how data conquered football that changed the game forever, by Rory Smith.
Jeremy Wilson is the 34the He joins an impressive list of past winners, including last year’s champion Michael Holding, three-time winner Duncan Hamilton, as well as the likes of Nick Hornby, Brian Moore and Marcus Trescothick.
The award, which was first awarded in 1989 and is now the oldest competition in the industry, aims to recognize excellence in sports writing, providing authors and publishers with a platform to present and promote their books.
Registration for the 35e The William Hill Sports Book of the Year competition is now open. For more information on this award and to enter, please visit https://news.williamhill.com/.
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Jeremy Wilson’s book about great cyclist Beryl Burton wins the world’s most prestigious literary sportswriting award. – Chatborgne