Hornby / PHOTO: GERMÁN PARGA / FCB

This Tuesday afternoon the ninth Vázquez Montalbán International Journalism Award was awarded at the Palau de la Genralitat de Catalunya. FC Barcelona President Sandro Rosell, the Minister of Culture of the Generalitat de Catalunya, Ferran Mascarell were in attendance, in addition to high-profile athletic and cultural figures. FC Barcelona directors Ramon Pont and Manel Arroyo were also in attendance.

The jury of the ninth Vázquez Montalbán International Journalism Award has named the winner of the sportswriter category as Britain’s Nick Hornby, highlighting him as “a magnificent journalist and writer, an author who has been able to interpret sport as one of the great social phenomena of our time, showing style, grandeur and creativity, just like Vázquez Montalbán himself”.

Hornby: “It’s a true honour. I don’t know of any football clubs that reward writers for their work”

In his acceptance speech, Hornby joked that he came to Barcelona with the intention of “bringing Fàbregas” and other Arsenal players who signed for the Blaugrana back to London with him. The Englishman went on to say that winning the award “is a true honour” and that he “doesn’t know of other football clubs that reward writers for their work.” He humbly added that “football doesn’t need” people like him and that the fact that this award was given to an author who openly criticised the Club shows that  that Barça “are unique in the sport.”

The sportswriter category of this award is decided by the FC Barcelona Foundation and the Journalism College of Catalonia and the presentation will take place in the first quarter of 2013. This year’s jury was formed by Sandro Rosell, Ramon Pont, Carles Vilarrubí, Josep Cortada, Daniel Vázquez, Mònica Terribas, Joaquim Maria Puyal, Borja de Riquer, Jordi Basté, Anton M. Espadaler, Jaume Pujol-Galcerán, Ramon Besa, Santiago Segurola and Xavier Folch.

Nick Hornby, a leader in English journalism

Born in Redhill, England, in 1957, Nick Hornby started out as a writer for ‘The Sunday Times’ and ‘The Independent’, as well as being a teacher of English literature, author and film scriptwriter.

In 1992 he published ‘Fever Pitch’, a groundbreaking book in terms of explaining the relationship between football, its supporters and all other aspects of life. In explaining his passionate relationship with Arsenal, which started like that of so many other fans when his father took him to the local stadium to watch a match, Hornby explains the universal bond between supporters and the teams they follow. In ‘Fever Pitch’ the British writer reveals his insuperable ability to paint the portrait of the typical supporter through his own personal experiences with the Gunners of Highbury.

Following his breakthrough publication, Nick Hornby went on to become one of the most cherished British novelists of his era. Books such as ‘High Fidelity’, ‘About a Boy’, ‘How to Be Good’, ‘A Long Way Down’ and ‘Juliet, Naked’ have all been massive hits, as have his essays, such as ‘31 Songs’, a book that many music lovers consider the pinnacle of excellence.

Twenty years have passed since the release of ‘Fever Pitch’, but Hornby has always remained associated to football. The editor of ‘My Favourite Year: A Collection Of Football Writing’ and ‘The Picador Book Of Sportswriting’, Nick Hornby maintains his passionate relationship with Arsenal and his witty slant on the football world and what it means in these times of globalisation.