Professor scores prestigious literary prize with sports history book

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A University of Stirling academic has won a prestigious literary prize for his book which details the early years of televised sport in Britain.

Richard Haynes receiving the Lord Aberdare Literary Prize

Richard Haynes, Professor of Media Sport, was awarded the Lord Aberdare Literary Prize by the British Society of Sports History (BSSH) for his book, BBC Sport in Black and White published by Palgrave Macmillan. The BSSH awards the annual prize to the best book on any aspect of the history of British sport or sports history book by a British author.

Professor Haynes’ latest book provides the first detailed account of the formative decades of BBC televised sport, providing insight into the launch of its flagship programmes Sportsview, Grandstand and Match of the Day. Through extensive research of the BBC’s archives and interviews with leading producers, editors and commentators from the time, many of whom have since past away, the book provides a behind-the-scenes history of a major British cultural institution.

BBC Sport in Black and White tells the story of those responsible for helping the BBC develop the techniques of televised sport, drawing on material collected from over a decade of research.

Professor Haynes, from the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, said: “It’s an honour to receive an award which recognises the quality of my book and the many years of research which went in to producing it. Sport has provided some of our nation’s most memorable televised events and this book investigates and celebrates the pioneers who made these possible.

“It’s as much a media as a sport history text and I hope it proves an enlightening and entertaining read for a diverse audience.”

The book was very well received by the BSSH’s three person judging panel, who described it as: ‘An engaging, indeed a refreshing, subject that is presented in a well written and well-structured way. Covering a range of sports, it forwards a convincing thesis on the pivotal role of broadcasting in the development, management and perception of sport, and vice versa.’

The BSSH promotes the study of the history of sport through a variety of activities including encouraging research, preserving sporting records, collaborating with museums, and engaging with the media.

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