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Five individuals from the worlds of sports and journalism follow a rigorous judging process and read their way through the five shortlisted books to find this year’s winner, who will be crowned among the 34e William Hill Sports Book of the Year at the official awards ceremony at the 1st of December at BAFTA, 195 Piccadilly, London.

Alyson Rudd will serve as Chairman of the Judging Panel for the William Hill Sports Book of The Year Award (WHSBOTY) for the fourth consecutive year. She is the author of two sports books: a biography of Matthew Harding, the former manager of Chelsea football club; and Astroturf Blond, an account of her playing career on men’s and women’s soccer teams. She is also an award-winning sports journalist with The Times.

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

Longest serving member of the jury, sports presenter John Inverdale will participate in his 25e and final year as a judge. During his illustrious career as one of the country’s leading sports presenters, John’s awards include Broadcaster of the Year and Sports Broadcaster of the Year.

Brighton and Hove Albion FC Non-Executive Board Member and Chairman of Brighton & Hove Albion Women’s FC, Michelle Walder, will be part of the jury for the first time this year. She said, “I am both delighted and honored to be joining the William Hill Sports Book of the Year judging panel this year.”

Former professional football player Clark Carlisle is no stranger to the Award, his autobiography The life of a footballer reached the 2014 longlist. Clarke’s thought-provoking BBC3 documentary, The suicide secret of football was shortlisted for the prestigious 2014 MIND Media Awards and was a first-time SBOTY judge in 2012.

President of the jury, Alyson Rudd, said: “As a jury, we have the almost impossible task of finding the 34e William Hill Sports Book of the Year winner. After a record year in terms of entries, the bar has been set unprecedentedly high.

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

The 34e William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award to be announced on 1st December at BAFTA, 195 Piccadilly, London. The event will be streamed live on the @BookiePrize Twitter feed starting at 1:30 p.m. Read more about the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award here: https://news.williamhill.com/sport/sports-book-of-the-year/

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