FTSE bookmaker William Hill has announced the seven finalists that will compete for its 30th ‘Sports Book of the Year’ (SBOTY) award, hosted at BAFTA London on 27 November 2018.
The final seven examine the sports of boxing, darts, football, golf, rugby, swimming and competing at the Olympic Games.
The diverse shortlist sees a historian, a gonzo writer, two investigative journalists, two former youth prodigies, a rugby coach and two world-renowned sportsmen compete for the biggest prize in sports literature.
SBOTY is considered part of William Hill’s heritage, this year the bookmaker will reward the winning authour with a £30,000 cheque, a free £2,000 William Hill bet, and a day at the races.
William Hill confirms the following seven SBOTY 2018 finalists
- ‘Fear and Loathing on the Oche’: A Gonzo Journey Through the World of Championship Darts by King ADZ (Yellow Jersey)
- ‘Tiger Woods’ by Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian (Simon & Schuster)
- ‘The Boy on the Shed’ by Paul Ferris (Hodder & Stoughton)
- ‘The Lost Soul of Eamonn Magee’ by Paul D. Gibson (Mercier Press)
- ‘A Boy in the Water’ by Tom Gregory (Particular Books)
- ‘Berlin 1936: Sixteen Days in August’ by Oliver Hilmes (The Bodley Head)
- ‘Sevens Heaven: The Beautiful Chaos of Fiji’s Olympic Dream’ by Ben Ryan (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
Announcing the final SBOTY seven, Graham Sharpe, Chairman of Judges and co-founder of the Award, said:
“This has proved to be one of the most competitive renewals in the lengthy history of the Award, with 17 worthy titles vying for a place on the shortlist. We believe the resulting magnificent seven set an extraordinarily high standard, bringing a depth of insight and fresh perspective to areas of sport and sporting history so often misunderstood, misinterpreted, underestimated or overlooked in the headline-led, here today, gone tomorrow media culture. We believe readers will not only enjoy but also learn from these game-changing books as we have.
“At 30 years old, we’re in the unique position to look back over three decades of publishing and to see how some things have changed dramatically, and others have not – the notably small number of female authors being published in this field, for instance, across a range of sports. Whilst the breadth and scope of sports writing has undoubtedly improved, and its reception and recognition by the literary world is much changed, there are still some areas where there is significant work to be done.”