British Society of Sports History

Promoting the Study of the History of Sport

Previous BSSH Prizewinners

Lord Aberdare Literary Prize for Sports History

Each year the British Society of Sports History awards the Lord Aberdare Literary Prize to the best book in sports history on a British topic or by a British author. The winners from the award's inaugration in 1994 are as follows:



Eric Chaline Strokes of Genius: A History of Swimming


Richard Haynes BBC Sport in Black and White


Tony Collins The Oval World: A Global History of Rugby (Bloomsbury)


Rob Lake A Social History of Tennis in Britain
2014 David Snowdon

Writing the Prizefight: Pierce Egan’s Boxiana World

2013 Kevin Jefferys Sport and Politics in Modern Britain: The Road to 2012
2012 Simon Martin Sport Italia: The Italian Love Affair with Sport (London: I B Tauris)
2011 Kay Schiller and Christopher Young
The 1972 Munich Olympics and the Making of Modern Germany (Berkeley: University of California Press)
2010 Tony Collins A Social History of English Rugby Union (Abingdon: Routledge)
2009 Kasia Boddy  Boxing: A Cultural History (London: Reaktion Books)
2008 Paul Dimeo / Emma Griffin  A History of Drug Use in Sport: 1876–1976: Beyond Good and Evil (London: Routledge) / Blood Sport: Hunting in Britain Since 1066 (New Haven: Yale University Press)
2007 Tony Collins Rugby League in the Twentieth Century: A Social and Cultural History (London: Routledge)
2006 Emma Griffin England’s Revelry: A History of Popular Sports and Pastimes 1660 (Oxford: Oxford University/The British Academy)
2005 Simon Martin Football and Fascism (Oxford: Berg)
2004 Prize not awarded  
2003 Martin Johnes Soccer and Society: South Wales 1900-1939 (Cardiff: University of Wales Press)
2002 Jack Williams Cricket and Race (Oxford: Berg)
2001 David Underdown Start of Play: Cricket and Culture in Eighteenth Century England (London: Allen Lane)
2000 (Joint) Mike Cronin Sport and Nationalism in Ireland: Gaelic Games, Soccer and Irish Identity Since 1884 (Dublin: Four Courts Press)
2000 (Joint) Jack Williams Cricket Between the Wars: A Social History (London: Frank Cass)
1999 Tony Collins Rugby's Great Split: Class, Culture and the Origins of Rugby League Football (London: Frank Cass)
1998 Dave Russell Football and the English (Preston: Carnegie)
1997 John Bale and Joe Sang Kenyan Running (London: Frank Cass)
1996 Sir Derek Birley Sport and the Making of Britain (Manchester: Manchester University Press)
1995 Mark Marquesse Anyone but England: Cricket and the National Malaise (London: Verso)
1994 John P. Sugden and Alan Bairner Sport, Sectarianism and Society in a Divided Ireland in a Divided Ireland (London: Leicester University Press)

Sport in History Best Article Prize Winners

An annual award for the best Sport in History article

2014 Angela Schattner "For the Recreation of Gentlemen and Other Fit Persons of the Better": Tennis Courts and Bowling Greens as Early Leisure Venues in Sixteenth- to Eighteenth-Century London and Bath
2013 Ben Anderson Partnership or Co-operation? Family, Politics and Strenuousness in the pre-First World War Co-operative Holidays Association
2012 Gareth Stockey

Sport and Gibralter: Problematizing a Supposed “Problem”, 1713-1954

2011 Ruti Ungar The Construction of the Body Politic and the Politics of the Body: Boxing as Battleground for Conservatives and Radicals in Late Georgian England
2010 Mary Louise Adams

From Mixed-Sex Sport to Sport for Girls: The Feminization of Figure Skating

2009 Kevin Jefferys

Fred Perry and British Tennis: Fifty Years to Honour a Winner

2008 Vanessa Heggie (Joint)           "Only the British Appear to be Making a Fuss": The Science of Success and the Myth of Amateurism at the Mexico Olympiad, 1968
2008 Jonty Winch (Joint) "There Were a Fine Manly Lot of Fellows": Cricket, Rugby and Rhodesian Society during William Milton's Administration, 1896–1914