Jenny Landreth's Swell makes the William Hill shortlist

We are thrilled to announce that Jenny Landreth's book Swell has made the William Hill shortlist.

"The stories behind sporting pioneers, legendary sporting figures and the secrets of Bradford Park Avenue football ground are all revealed on the shortlist for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award – the world’s richest and longest-running prize for sports writing. The diverse seven-strong shortlist encompasses swimming, football, cycling, boxing and horse racing and is united by the rich history running through its titles.

Extraordinary accounts of struggle, empowerment and indomitable spirit loom large in these narratives: Jenny Landreth’s Swell: A Waterbiography is both personal watery memoir and homage to the fearless ‘swimming suffragettes’ who fought for women to have equal rights and access to swim."


Chairman of Judges and co-founder of the Award, Graham Sharpe, said:

“Creating a shortlist from a Bookie Prize longlist has never been less than a mind-scrambling task. However, such is the nature of prizes that where there is delight there must elsewhere be disappointment, and the expert panel was enthralled by the final shortlist.

“Never have we created a list including a dead-man walking, let alone riding; never had we even heard of a ‘waterbiography’, let alone a tide-turning tale of swimming emancipation. Football archaeology ever featuring as the theme would have been at least a 50/1 shot. Then there’s the previously unknown, almost miraculous tale of Holocaust survival up against the now legendary story of a British cycling superstar who died during a race, and whose reputation is enhanced every time a Chris Boardman, Chris Hoy, or Chris Froome triumph comes along. And then there is perhaps the ultimate contrast, between one of British football's quietest and most modest over-achievers who virtually hid his light under a bushel, and world sport's loudest and greatest practitioner, whose finest, quietest moment was when he fought his body's unfamiliar frailty to light the Olympic flame.”

The William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award is the world's longest established and most valuable literary sports-writing prize. As well as a £29,000 cheque, this year’s winning author will receive a free £2,500 William Hill bet, and a day at the races*.

The winner of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award 2017 will be announced at an afternoon reception at BAFTA, in central London, on Tuesday 28th November.