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”.
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.
The winner: Nick Hornby
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.
Winners of previous editions
This award was created in 2004 to permanently honour the life and works of Manuel Vázquez Montalbán, a journalist whose career was always marked by rigour, ethics, social commitment and self-criticism.
The winners of previous editions of the sportswriter award were:
2004: Patrick Mignon
2005: Joaquim Maria Puyal
2006: Juan Villoro
2007: Simon Kuper
2008: Candido Cannavò
2009: Ramon Besa
2010: Eduardo Galeano
2011: Santiago Segurola