LONDON – The six-title shortlist for the 30,000 pound ($41,241.00) William Hill Sports Book of the Year prize was published on Thursday with soccer conspicuous by its absence for the second year in a row.
Football-related books have won the world’s richest and oldest sports literary prize seven times in 32 editions, more than any other sport although boxing and cricket come close with five each.
None of this year’s finalists, selected by a panel of judges from 143 entries, were previous winners.
“We have a splendidly diverse shortlist that encompasses brain trauma and racism, two of the problems sport is grappling with right now, an iconic moment in rugby, the pull of Everest, an unsung female hero and the fight against adversity,” said panel chair Alyson Rudd.
The winner will be announced on Dec. 2. Shortlisted authors receive 3,000 pounds in cash and a leather-bound copy of their book.
Last year’s prize was won by Grigory Rodchenkov, former head of Russia’s national anti-doping laboratory, for his account of the country’s state-sponsored doping scandal: “The Rodchenkov Affair: How I Brought Down Putin’s Secret Doping Empire.”
The six shortlisted books are:
* Little Wonder – Sasha Abramsky, a biography of five-times Wimbledon women’s singles winner and multi-sport athlete Lottie Dod.
* Too Many Reasons To Live – Rob Burrow, the rugby league player’s account of his battle with motor neurone disease.
* The Moth and The Mountain – Ed Caesar, the story of World War One veteran Maurice Wilson’s obsession with Everest.
* Damage – Tris Dixon, addressing brain trauma in boxing.
* This Is Your Everest – Tom English and Peter Burns, chronicling the 1997 British Lions rugby tour of South Africa.
* Why We Kneel, How We Rise – Michael Holding, the former West Indies cricketer’s look at racism and discrimination in sport.
($1 = 0.7274 pounds)
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Pritha Sarkar)