01 December 2022
We are incredibly proud to announce that Beryl: In Search of Britain’s Greatest Athlete by Jeremy Wilson has won the William Hill Sports Book of the Year 2022. Out of 158 entries, the judges chose to crown Jeremy Wilson’s remarkable biography of champion cyclist Beryl Burton as the winner of their 34th annual awards. Long ignored by sporting history, Burton’s life story is finally getting the recognition she deserves, and we are thrilled.
Cyclist Beryl Burton – also known as BB – dominated her sport much as her male contemporary Eddy Merckx, but with a longevity that surpasses even sporting legends like Muhammad Ali, Serena Williams and Sir Steve Redgrave.
She was practically invincible in time trials, finishing as Best All-Rounder for 25 consecutive years and setting a world record in 1967 for the distance covered in 12 hours that beat the men. She won multiple world titles, even when the distances didn’t play to her strengths. But her achievements were limited by discrimination from the cycling authorities, and by her strictly amateur status against state-sponsored rivals from Eastern Bloc nations.
With access to previously unseen correspondence and photographs, and through extensive interviews with family, friends, rivals and fellow giants from across sport, acclaimed journalist Jeremy Wilson peels back the layers to reveal one of the most complex, enigmatic and compelling characters in cycling history.