A book about the Isle of Man TT is in the running for the 2013 William Hill sports Book Award.
That Near Death Thing, by Times journalist Rick Broadbent, focuses primarily on the experiences of four of the leading race contenders at the 2010 meeting and picks up with them as they prepare for the 2011 meeting. It also contains comment, thoughts and analysis from many of the event's officials, family, fans and ex-competitors as he presents a holistic view of this unique race.
It has been nominated for the prestigious award alongside 14 other books, including Victoria Pendleton's Between the Lines, Johnny Wilkinson's Autobiography and cyclist Tyler Hamilton's Tour de France expose The Secret Race.
The William Hill Sports Book of the Year award was introduced in 1989 and so far no motorcycle book has won the prize, although Broadbent’s previous work Ring of Fire, which featured MotoGP star Valentino Rossi and Mike Hailwood's 1978 TT comeback, was shortlisted in 2009.
The judging panel this year includes John Inverdale, Clarke Carlisle, Danny Kelly, Hugh McIlvanney and Alyson Rudd. Chairman of the judging panel is John Gaustad, co-creator of the award and founder of the Sportspages bookshop.
The shortlist announcement is scheduled for October 26 and the winner will be revealed at a lunchtime reception at Waterstones Piccadilly on November 26.
That Near Death Thing concentrates on Conor Cummins, John McGuiness, Guy Martin and Michael Dunlop, and includes detailed interviews and insights from the four as Cummins and Martin attempt to come back from injury and McGuinness and Dunlop cope with the disappointment of not winning in 2010.
Commenting on the book, Cummins said:
“Rick has managed to tell my story better than I could myself.” “The book is an honest account of what I went through following the accident. His writing is stunning and he has succeeded in really getting under the skin of this event.”
After reading That Near Death Thing, legendary motorsport commentator Murray Walker told Broadbent ‘no one has succeeded in capturing the spirit of what I regard as the greatest motorsport event in the world with a fraction of the success that you have’.
That Near Death Thing can be bought now at the official online TT shop.