British cycling’s golden girl Victoria Pendleton has been longlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award 2012 – the most prestigious prize of its kind – for Between The Lines, an autobiography co-authored by Donald McRae, already a two-time winner of the award (in 1996 and 2002).

Another William Hill veteran on the longlist is Duncan Hamilton, winner of the award in 2007 and 2009, who has been nominated again this year for The Footballer Who Could Fly, which charts the progress of post-war British football and explores the bond between father and son forged through the Beautiful Game. If either McRae or Hamilton go on to win, they will make history by becoming the first writer to win the award three times.

Other longlist titles include: Fibber in the Heat by comedian Miles Jupp, which follows The Thick of It star as he bluffs his way into the press corps during England’s Test series in India; Jonny: My Autobiography, in which rugby star Jonny Wilkinson reveals the extraordinary psychology that he learned to tame in order to dominate his sport; and Be Careful What You Wish For, the story of Simon Jordan, the life-long Crystal Palace fan who bought the club with his self-made millions, only to lose nigh on everything when it went into administration in 2010.

Now in its 24th year, this year’s 14-strong longlist covers a range of sports, including running, football, cycling, rugby, TT racing and cricket. This year also sees the inclusion of the first ever titles about squash, swimming and Iron Man races.

The longlist in full :

That Near-Death Thing – Inside the TT : The World’s Most Dangerous Race
by Rick Broadbent (Orion)
Running with the Kenyans – Discovering The Secrets of the Fastest People on Earth
by Adharanand Finn (Faber)
Iron War – Dave Scott, Mark Allen & the Greatest Race Ever Run
by Matt Fitzgerald (Quercus Press)
The Footballer Who Could Fly
by Duncan Hamilton (Century)
The Secret Race – Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France:
Doping, Cover-ups, and Winning at All Costs
by Tyler Hamilton and Daniel Coyle (Bantam Press)
A Weight Off My Mind – My Autobiography
by Richard Hughes, with Lee Mottershead (Racing Post)
Be Careful What You Wish For
by Simon Jordan (Yellow Jersey)
Fibber in the Heat
by Miles Jupp (Ebury Press)
The Dirtiest Race in History – Ben Johnson, Carl Lewis and the 1988 Olympic 100m Final
by Richard Moore (Wisden Sports Writing)
Between the Lines – The Autobiography
by Victoria Pendleton, with Donald McRae (HarperSport)
Swimming Studies
by Leanne Shapton (Particular Books)
A Life Without Limits – A World Champion’s Journey
by Chrissie Wellington, with Michael Aylwin (Constable & Robinson)
Jonny: My Autobiography
by Jonny Wilkinson, with Owen Slot (Headline)
Shot and a Ghost: A Year in the Brutal World of Professional Squash
by James Willstrop (Rod Gilmour)

“2012 was a memorable sporting year thanks to the Olympics and the Paralympics, the Ryder Cup and the US Open to name but a few of the highlights, and it is a year which has also produced a strong crop of memorable sporting books. It has been difficult enough to narrow the contenders down to a manageable longlist of fourteen titles, and with sports like squash, swimming and Ironman racing represented for the first time, this is the most diverse longlist we have yet seen” said William Hill spokesman and founder of the Award, Graham Sharpe.

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 £24,000 cash prize, the winning author will receive a £2,000 William Hill bet, a specially-commissioned hand-bound copy of their book, and a day at the races.

The judging panel for this year’s award consists of broadcaster and writer John Inverdale; footballer and chairman of the Professional Footballer’s Association, Clarke Carlisle, who joins the judging panel for the first time; broadcaster Danny Kelly; award-winning journalist Hugh McIlvanney; and columnist and author, Alyson Rudd. Chairman of the judging panel is John Gaustad, co-creator of the award and founder of the Sportspages bookshop.

The shortlist is scheduled to be announced on 26th October. The winner will be announced at a lunchtime reception at Waterstones Piccadilly (London), Europe’s largest bookstore, on Monday 26th November.

For further information please contact Anwen Hooson or Ceri Maxwell at Riot Communications on 020 3174 0118 / / or Graham Sharpe, William Hill Media Relations Director, on 020 8918 3731 / 07803 233702.