Jun 05:15 Layla - The Cross British Sport Book Awards 2015 (4)

Layla Anna-Lee

View all my Blogs


Gareth Thomas beamed as he accepted his Autobiography of the Year award at the Cross British Sport Book Awards. In his intriguing book, Gareth openly told his story of being the first professional Rugby player to publicly come out as gay. He admits his ‘hideously unfair’ and ‘selfish’ behaviour towards his wife of 8 years and intricately describes the pain of the day she left him after he admitted that he’d known he was gay since he was 16. Thomas talks of the fans taunts that traumatised him in the aftermath and shares letters from those his honesty has helped.

James Montague’s ‘Thirty-One Nil’ was awarded Football book of the year. A true story about the real struggle of the outsiders to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brasil highlighted by Montague’s time with the American Samoa team who suffered football’s most harrowing defeat of 31-0 at the hands of Australia.



There were a whole host of deserving accolades which concluded when Sir Micheal Parkinson took to the stage to accept his Outstanding Contribution to Sports Writing trophy.

Witnessing these accomplished sports writers, journalists and athletes being celebrated in such an incredible atmosphere was truly an honour and inspires me to put pen to paper and continue to write.

In a world of short blogs and instant mobile phone updates I hope it also helps inspire many to keep reading books.

I highly recommend the books mentioned above and if you are keen read your way through the winners’ list that can be viewed here: http://www.britishsportsbookawards.co.uk/2015-shortlists/

Layla has been writing a sports blog for the Huffington Post and currently hosts Champions League show – Adidas Gameday Plus