British Society of Sports History

Promoting the Study of the History of Sport

Lord Aberdare Literary Prize for Sports History

publication date: Jan 3, 2017

The Lord Aberdare Literary Prize is awarded each year by the British Society of Sports History for the best book on any aspect of the history of sport in Britain or for the best book on any aspect of sports history written by a British author.

The British Society of Sports History appoints a panel of three judges to consider submissions. The prize will be awarded at the Society’s conference (to be held in September 2017) and the winner will be invited to present a paper to the conference the following year (in 2018).

The Society would welcome submission of any books published in 2016 that meet the criteria outlined above. Please note that the book must have a 2016 publication. Reprints, new editions and paperback editions of books previously issued as hardbacks before 2016 are not eligible. Pre-released books with advance publications dates of 2017 that appeared in 2016 are ineligible until next year and will be held over. Edited collections and symposia do not qualify.

Should you wish to enter any books for the Aberdare prize this year, please confirm your intentions to the chair of the panel, Alison Goodrum, by email: Please use ‘ABERDARE PRIZE SUBMISSION’ as the subject title of your email. You will receive a response with the names and postal details of the three members of the judging panel and should forward a copy of your nominated title to each of them by the deadline given below.

The deadline for submissions is 30th April 2017 (late entries will not be considered).


In considering the suitability of a book for submission, it may help to know that recent winners have included:

  • 2015 – Tony Collins, The Oval World: A Global History of Rugby (Bloomsbury)
  • 2014 – Rob Lake, A Social History of Tennis In Britain (Routledge)
  • 2013 – David Snowdon, Writing the Prizefight: Pierce Egan’s Boxiana World (Peter Lang)
  • 2012 – Kevin Jefferys, Sport and Politics in Modern Britain. The Road to 2012 (Palgrave Macmillan)
  • 2011 – Simon Martin, Sport Italia: the Italian Love Affair with Sport (I.B. Tauris)
  • 2010 – Kay Schiller and Christopher Young, The 1972 Munich Olympics and the Making of Modern Germany (University of California Press)
  • 2009 – Tony Collins, A Social History of English Rugby Union (Routledge)
  • 2008 – Kasia Boddy, Boxing: A Cultural History (Reaktion Books)
  • 2007 – Emma Griffin, Blood Sport: Hunting in Britain since 1066 (Yale University Press)
  • 2006 – Paul Dimeo, A History of Drug Use in Sport, 1876 –1976: Beyond Good and Evil (Routledge)
  • 2005 – Tony Collins, Rugby League in Twentieth Century Britain: a Social and Cultural History (Routledge)
  • 2004 – Emma Griffin, England’s Revelry: A History of Popular Sports and Pastimes, 1660-1830 (The British Academy/Oxford University Press)
  • 2003 – Simon Martin, Football and Fascism: The National Game under Mussolini (Berg)
  • 2002 – Martin Johnes, Soccer and Society: South Wales 1900-1939 (University of Wales Press)