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enCounter Culture

Paul Kimmage wins British Sports Book of the Year

18th June 2012 - 1:36pm

Paul Kimmage has won the overall Sports Book of the Year prize for Engage: The Fall and Rise of Matt Hampson at the 2012 British Sports Book Awards (BSBA).

The book documents the life of Matt Hampson, a former England under-21 rugby player who was paralysed in an accident during scrummaging practice in 2005, and the way in which he has adapted to live with quadriplegia.

Kimmage beat off stiff competition from a strong shortlist to win the award, which is voted for online by members of the public after nine category victors are announced at the BSBA ceremony in late May.

The contenders included the 2011 William Hill Sports Book of the Year Ronald Reng's A Life Too Short: The Tragedy of Robert Enke, which had triumphed in the BSBA football category, and the cricket category winner Fred Trueman: The Authorised Biography by Chris Waters.

Mick Dennis, chair of the BSBA sports biography of the year judging panel, commented: 'At the heart of Engage is a remarkable and inspiring story. You have to overcome that thought of "Do I really want to read that?" Yes you do! It's outstandingly written and a life-affirming book.'

Kimmage added that writing the book was the most difficult thing he has ever done, but also the most satisfying.

'It's a great honour to win from such a strong shortlist of books but the real buzz is being able to share this award with Matt, a great friend and the most courageous and inspiring person I've ever met,' he added.

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