William Hill Sports Book of the Year announced

Australian writer Anna Krien collected a £26,000 cheque for her win with Night Games at the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award. Her book beat a memoir by the former rugby star Gareth Thomas and biographies of Bobby Moore and John Curry.

Described as a “balanced yet fearless” investigation into the darkest recesses of sporting culture, the judges said it was a “painstaking, intelligent, but above all, open-minded examination of an immensely complicated area”

Night Games follows the controversial rape trial of an Aussie Rules player, focusing on what Krien – only the second woman to take the award following Laura Hillenbrand for Seabiscuit: The True Story of Three Men and a Racehorse in 2001 – describes as the “grey area” of sexual consent.

William Hill’s spokesman Graham Sharpe said: “Despite the challenging nature of its subject matter, Anna Krien’s book is balanced yet fearless, and as compelling and involving as any previous winner. Quite possibly only a woman could have written it in as personal and perceptive a manner. Anna is the second woman to have won the award and she had to beat one of the strongest, most varied line-ups in our 26-year history. It remains disappointing that on average, under 10% of the books submitted each year are written by females, and we hope that Anna’s success will encourage many more women to write about sport.”

William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award 2014 longlist.

The breakawayEx boxer Mike Tyson, retired Welsh rugby star Gareth Thomas and Olympic gold-medallist Nicole Cooke are among those who have been longlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award 2014.

Mike Tyson makes it for his “no-holds-barred” autobiography Undisputed Truth written with Larry Sloman. Gareth Thomas, the high-profile sportsman who came out recently, has been longlisted for his autobiography Proud. Nicole Cooke, the first British cyclist to have been ranked world number one, is listed for her autobiography The Breakaway.

Matt Dickinson’s Bobby Moore: The Man in Full

Love game: a history of tennis, from Victorian pastime to global phenomenonOliver Horowitz’s An American Caddie in St. AndrewsGrowing Up, Girls, and Looping on the Old Course

Love Game: A History of Tennis, from Victorian Pastime to Global Phenomenon by Elizabeth Wilson

Anna Krien’s Night Games: Sex, Power and Sport.

Mountaineer and long distance runner Kilian Jornet’s memoir Run or Die

Stuck in a Moment: The Ballad of Paul Vaessen by Stewart Taylor

Other contenders are (please reserve them if you fancy reading them):

Floodlights and Touchlines: A History of Spectator Sport by Rob Steen 

Alone, a biography of figure skater John Curry by Bill Jones