Australia Sports Book Of The Year By Tim Ashworth

William Hill Australian Sports Book of the Year Short List

The esteemed judging panel charged with judging the inaugural William Hill Australian Sports Book of the Year have narrowed the list down to five.

The five books that have been short-listed for the William Hill Australian Sports Book of the Year for 2015 are:

  • The Straight Dope by Chip Le Grand (Melbourne University Press)
  • Sonny Ball by Paul Kent (MacMillan)
  • The Short Long Book by Martin Flanagan (Random House)
  • Dangerous Games by Larry Writer (Allen & Unwin
  • Roy Higgins by Patrick Bartley (Penguin)

“The quality of the books submitted was just outstanding and whittling the long list of 12 to a short list of five was no easy task,” Judging Panel chairman Ben Ikin said.

“Australia has a long history of fantastic sports writing and it is wonderful that one such author will be recognised this year with the inaugural William Hill Australian Sports Book of the Year.”

Ikin heads a decorated panel that includes Jacquelin Magnay, Gerard Whateley, Charlie Happell and Robert Craddock.

“The William Hill Australian Sports Book of the Year is something we are really proud of and we could not have asked for a short list of such quality,” William Hill spokesman Tim Ashworth said.

The winner will be announced on December 2 at a function to be held at the Sydney Cricket Ground where the winner will be presented with a cheque for $20,000.

What Is The William Hill Australian Sports Book of the Year


By Chip Le Grand
Melbourne University Press

Respected journalist Chip Le Grand provides an inside account into Australian sport’s biggest ever drug scandal in The Straight Dope. Le Grand is meticulous in detailing the roles of clubs in both the AFL and NRL, sports administrators, government bodies, politicians and any number of others caught up in a tale of power, politics, greed and rivalry.

Author Biography
Chip Le Grand is a journalist who has written about sport, crime and politics for more than 20 years, primarily for The Australian. His coverage of the Essendon drugs scandal won awards from the Melbourne Press Club and the Australian Sports Commission and was short-listed by the Walkley Foundation. This is his first book.


By Paul Kent

An ambitious project from Daily Telegraph journalist Paul Kent, Sonny Ball examines not only the professional sporting career of Sonny Bill Williams that has crossed Rugby League, Rugby Union and boxing but the cultural legacy Williams and his constant code-defections have left on sporting culture in Australia and across the globe. It is a fascinating narrative  that covers some of sport’s most compelling – and mysterious – figures.

Author Biography
Paul Kent is a journalist who has primarily covered Rugby League and boxing for the Daily Telegraph. He played one first grade Rugby League match for the Parramatta Eels and has covered the biggest events in sport including the Super Bowl, FIFA World Cups and NRL Grand Finals. He is known for his hard hitting style. He is co-host of NRL360. This is his second book.


By Larry Writer
Allen & Unwin

In this beautifully written and extraordinarily well-researched book, Larry Writer examines the tale of 33 Australian Olympians who travelled across the world to participate at the Berlin Games in 1936. It is the story of sport and politics colliding, as well as the friendships that were formed during such a tumultuous journey.

Author Biography
Larry Writer is a highly regarded freelance writer and experienced journalist who has written for any number of publications including the Australian Financial Review, The Weekend Australian and The Bulletin. He has written the award-winning account of Sydney’s razor gangs in Razor as well as the magnificent Rugby League books Never Before, Never Again and Bumper: The Life and Times of Frank ‘Bumper’ Farrell.


By Martin Flanagan
Random House

A fascinating portrait of one of Australia’s most important sporting figures, The Short Long Book paints the picture of Michael Long: footballer and activist. A champion player, Long helped bring racism in Australian Rules to the forefront on Anzac Day in 1995 and since has become a celebrated Aboriginal leader confronting racism in both sport and society.

Author Biography
One of Australia’s most respected journalists, Martin Flanagan has written 13 books including novels, children’s books, poetry collections and non-fiction, including Richo and The Game In The Time of War. He is a regular columnist for the Saturday Age. He primarily writes about his love of Australian Rules.


By Patrick Bartley

A commemoration of arguably Australia’s greatest ever jockey, Patrick Bartley tells the extraordinary tale of ‘The Professor’ and his life in racing in Roy Higgins. During a remarkable 30-year career that saw him win 108 Group 1 races and the Grand Slam of racing, Higgins became a favourite of punters and industry insiders alike. This is his story as told by one of the country’s finest racing scribes.

Author Biography
 Patrick Bartley is the chief racing writer at The Age. In 2013 he won his second Bert Wolfe Award, the Victoria Racing Media Association (VRMA) award for Media Excellence in Victoria. Leading up to that award, Patrick had won three consecutive VRMA awards for Best News Story. On the Punt, a collection of Patrick’s columns, was published by Penguin in 2010.