How did the sports book of the year fail to select a winner? | Mark Lawson


Literary prizes aren’t meant to split decisions, but as a judge I felt it made sense for Paul Gibson and Tom Gregory to draw, just as it had when I helped decide the Booker

Cricket and football matches often end as draws, and individual sporting events sometimes finish in a dead heat. The women’s 100m freestyle in the 2016 summer Olympics, for example, awarded two gold medals and no silver as the first and second swimmers finished in identical times.

It has taken 30 years, though, for shared spoils to occur in the William Hill sports book of the year, with the un-splittable 2018 decision between Paul Gibson’s The Lost Soul of Eamonn Magee, a biography of a troubled Ulster boxer, and A Boy in the Water, Tom Gregory’s memoir of swimming the Channel at the age of 11 in 1988, the youngest person to have done so.

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