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Duncan Hamilton wins prestigious William Hill Sports Book of the Year award for record third time

The Great Romantic, a biography of legendary sports writer Neville Cardus, scooped this year’s prize.

Duncan Hamilton is announced as this year's winner.
Duncan Hamilton is announced as this year's winner.
Image: STEVE WELSH

BRITISH AUTHOR AND journalist Duncan Hamilton has today won the prestigious William Hill Sports Book of the Year award for a record third time. 

Hamilton earned this year’s prize for The Great Romantic, a biography of venerated sports writer and music journalist Neville Cardus, having previously won in 2007 (Provided You Don’t Kiss Me) and 2009 (Harold Larwood: The Authorized Biography).

He was presented with a leather-bound copy of his book along with a £30,000 prize earlier today.

Chair of the judging panel Alyson Rudd said “the judges were bowled over by the quality of the writing and the way in which Hamilton brings to life the characters that defined cricket between the two world wars. The author explains that Neville Cardus was unknowable but this book does a very fine job indeed of guiding us through his career and motivations.”

Hamilton wins the award ahead of five other shortlisted works, which include Donald McRae’s In Sunshine or in Shadow: How Boxing Brought Hope in the Troubles and Rick Reilly’s Commander in Cheat: How Golf Explains Trump.

The six books were whittled down from a larger list of nominated books, which included books written by Richie Sadlier and Andy Lee, the latter of which was ghostwritten by The42‘s deputy editor Niall Kelly. 

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The Great Romantic becomes the sixth cricket book to win the award and the first to do so since Hamilton’s book Harold Larwood won in 2009.

Previous winners of the prestigious award include Nick Hornby, Brian Moore, and Marcus Trescothick. Football is the most successful topic having won seven awards followed by cricket (six) and boxing (five).

The prize was first awarded in 1989 to True Blue: The Oxford Boat Race Mutiny by Daniel Topolski and Patrick Robinson.

About the author:

Gavin Cooney

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