It’s not just autobiographies that make up the burgeoning football book market, with the annual Cross British Sports Book Awards deciding the top sports writing of the year. The list of the last winners since the inception of the football category are in 2007 are:
Best Football Book:
2007 Sir Alf by Leo McKinstry
2008 Provided You Don’t Kiss Me by Duncan Hamilton
2009 Inverting the Pyramid by Jonathan Wilson
2010 Cantona by Philippe Auclair
2011 Promised Land by Anthony Clavane
2012 A Life Too Short by Ronald Reng
2013 Barca: The Making of the Greatest Team in the World by Graham Hunter
2014 The Nowhere Men by Michael Calvin
2015 Thirty-One Nil by James Piotr Montague
Best Football Autobiography
Football has been heavily featured in the autobiography section of the Cross Book Awards too – with Niall Quinn, he of Sunderland, Manchester City and Sky Sports fame taking the award in its debut season. There hasn’t been a winner from football in this category since 2009, with Paul Canoville’s powerful tale of being the first black player to play for Chelsea. There are a few football autobiographies 2017 slated for over the coming year, so hopefully the 2017 Cross British Sports Book Awards will have a football based book bring home the trophy this season.
2003 Niall Quinn: The Autobiography – Niall Quinn and Tom Humphries
2004 Woody and Nord – Gareth Southgate and Andy Woodman
2007 Back from the Brink – Paul McGrath
2008 My Manchester United Years – Bobby Charlton
2009 Black and Blue – Paul Canoville
Best Football Biography
Of course, a great story of someone’s football career doesn’t need to be written in the first person. Again, a football biography won in the debut season of 2003, and in fact, football went on to three-peat. Matt Dickinson of the Times last made football the winner in this category in 2015 with his story of the life of Bobby Moore.
2003 Jack & Bobby: Story of Brothers in Conflict – Leo McKinstry
2004 Keeper of Dreams – Ronald Reng
2005 Basil D’Oliveira – Peter Oborne
2007 The Death of Marco Pantani – Matt Rendell
2011 Trautmann’s Journey – Catrine Clay
2015 Bobby Moore: The Man in Full – Matt Dickinson
Best Illustrated Book:
2004 Football Days: Classic Photos – Peter Robinson
An intimate view of football, this title not only represents a chronological record of the whole football experience, but also brings together all the strands of the game by providing a visual gallery of players, coaches, fans, grounds, personalities, media and politics – not to mention socio-cultural issues. The chapters are divided into key subjects, each representing a distinctive element of the sport, from the football strip to the effect of the media. The book explores how football has changed and developed, including personalities who contributed to the profile of the industry.
2007 1966 Uncovered: The Unseen Story of the World Cup in England – Peter Robinson and Doug Cheeseman
This is a collection of unique and often unseen archive photographs from the 1966 World Cup, commemorating English football’s finest hour and capturing the curious charm of the tournament both on and off the pitch.
2008 Goodbye Gay Meadow – Mathew Ashton
Goodbye Gay Meadow is a new amazing coffee table book containing memories from loyal and faithful fans which complement striking images to remember the old home of Shrewsbury Town
2011 61 The Spurs Double
This stunning officially endorsed coffee table book commemorates the 50th anniversary of Tottenham Hotspur’s famous League and Cup Double in 1961 the first ‘Double’ achieved in the modern era of football.
2015 The Age Of Innocence – ed. Reuel Golden
The Age of Innocence is a book that tackles the global and cultural impact of football, the memorable fashions, the girlfriends, the cars, the politics, the fans, the hooligans, the passion, the thrills and, of course, the sideburns. It s a joint celebration of the world s most popular sport and the sizzling 70s including the 1970 World Cup in Mexico, the first football championship televised in colour, and won by the legendary Brazilian side led by Pelé; the 1974 World Cup, dominated by the intense rivalry between the powerful West German side and the Total Football of the Dutch team; the 1978 World Cup, hosted and won by Argentina; and the extraordinary club sides such as Ajax, Liverpool, Bayern Munich, and the New York Cosmos.
All of these are a great starting point if you’re looking for a classic football book (as much as something from 2015 can be a classic!).
However, we’re looking to put more of a focus on the newest football books and the best football books of 2017. Each week, we’ll be adding the latest releases, ensuring that only the quality reads are covered.