Meet the Panel of Judges Deciding this Year’s William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award Winner

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Five individuals from the world of sports and journalism will be following a rigorous judging process and reading their way through the five shortlisted books to find this year’s winner, who will be crowned the 34th William Hill Sports Book of the Year at the official award ceremony on the 1st of December at BAFTA, 195 Piccadilly, London.


Alyson Rudd will be taking up the role of Chair of the Judging Panel of William Hill Sports Book of The Year Award (WHSBOTY) for the fourth year running. She is the author of two sports books: a biography of Matthew Harding, the former Chelsea football club director; and Astroturf Blonde, an account of her playing career in men’s and women’s football teams. She is also an award-winning sportswriter at The Times.


Alongside Alyson will be broadcaster, writer and journalist Mark Lawson. In addition to being a critic and feature writer for The Guardian, Mark is a six-time author, and has recently completed his book The Judgements. He cited that becoming a WHSBOTY judge back in 2016 was “the fulfilment of one of his greatest ambitions in sport.”


Longest standing member of the judging panel, sports presenter John Inverdale will take part in his 25th and final year as judge. During his illustrious career as one of the country’s leading sports presenters, John has been named Broadcaster of the Year and Sports Broadcaster of the Year amongst other accolades.


Brighton and Hove Albion FC non-executive board member and chair of Brighton & Hove Albion Women’s FC, Michelle Walder, will be joining the judging panel for the first time this this year. She said: “I am both delighted and honoured to join the William Hill Sports Book of the Year judging panel this year.”


Former professional footballer Clarke Carlisle is no stranger to the Award, his autobiography A Footballer’s Life reached the 2014 longlist. Clarke’s thought-provoking BBC3 documentary, Football’s Suicide Secret was shortlisted for the 2014 prestigious MIND Media Awards, he was first a SBOTY judge back in 2012.


Chair of the Judging Panel, Alyson Rudd, said: “As the judging panel, we have the nearly impossible task of choosing the 34th William Hill Sports Book of the Year winner. Following a record-breaking year in terms of entries, the standard has been set incredibly high.


“Each judge will bring their own expertise as well as lived experiences in sports and literature to the table, and I am looking forward to chairing what will be a hotly contested panel meeting.”


The 34th William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award will be announced on 1st December at BAFTA, 195 Piccadilly ,London. The event will be streamed live from 1.30pm on the @BookiePrize Twitter feed. Find out more about the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award here:

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