Beryl – Winner of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award 2022 (Hardback)

In Search of Britain's Greatest Athlete, Beryl Burton

Jeremy Wilson

The remarkable life of champion cyclist Beryl Burton, one of the greatest cyclists of all time

Winner of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award 2022
WINNER OF THE TIMES SPORTS BOOK OF THE YEAR 2022
A TIMES BEST SPORTS BOOK OF 2022
A FINANCIAL TIMES BEST SPORTS BOOK OF 2022

A WATERSTONES BEST SPORTS BOOK OF 2022
A DAILY MAIL SPORTS BOOK OF 2022

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.
Yet she carried on winning, beating men and - infamously - competing against her own daughter, while working on a farm and running a household. Her motivation, sparked by appalling childhood illness, is as fascinating as her achievements are stunning.

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.

For the first time, he also provides the jaw-dropping answer to how fast she would still be on modern cycling technology. Long ignored by sporting history, Burton's life story - recently told by Maxine Peake in a stage and radio play - is finally getting the recognition she deserves.

Publication date: 07/07/2022

£20.00

ISBN: 9781788162920

Imprint: Pursuit Books

Subject: Biography & Memoir

Beryl – Winner of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award 2022 (Ebook)

In Search of Britain's Greatest Athlete, Beryl Burton

Jeremy Wilson

The remarkable life of champion cyclist Beryl Burton, one of the greatest cyclists of all time

Winner of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award 2022
WINNER OF THE TIMES SPORTS BOOK OF THE YEAR 2022
A TIMES BEST SPORTS BOOK OF 2022
A FINANCIAL TIMES BEST SPORTS BOOK OF 2022

A WATERSTONES BEST SPORTS BOOK OF 2022
A DAILY MAIL SPORTS BOOK OF 2022

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.
Yet she carried on winning, beating men and - infamously - competing against her own daughter, while working on a farm and running a household. Her motivation, sparked by appalling childhood illness, is as fascinating as her achievements are stunning.

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.

For the first time, he also provides the jaw-dropping answer to how fast she would still be on modern cycling technology. Long ignored by sporting history, Burton's life story - recently told by Maxine Peake in a stage and radio play - is finally getting the recognition she deserves.

Publication date: 07/07/2022

£15.99

ISBN: 9781782835745

ISBN 10 / ASIN: B09QXYFYZ7

Imprint: Pursuit Books

Subject: Biography & Memoir

Beryl – Winner of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award 2022 (Paperback)

In Search of Britain's Greatest Athlete, Beryl Burton

Jeremy Wilson

The remarkable life of champion Beryl Burton, one of the greatest cyclists of all time

Winner for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award 2022

WINNER OF THE TIMES SPORTS BOOK OF THE YEAR 2022

A FINANCIAL TIMES BEST SPORTS BOOK OF 2022

A WATERSTONES BEST SPORTS BOOK OF 2022

'A marvellous book' Maxine Peake

Cyclist Beryl Burton dominated her sport much as her male contemporary Eddy Merckx, with a longevity that surpasses sporting legends like Muhammad Ali and Serena Williams. Practically invincible in time trials, Burton - also known as BB - finished as Best All-Rounder for 25 years and broke the record for the '12-hour' endurance race; an achievement unrivalled to this day. She won multiple world titles, but her achievements were limited by discrimination from the cycling authorities. Yet she carried on winning, beating men and - infamously - competing against her own daughter, whilst working full-time on a Yorkshire farm and running a household.

With previously unseen material and through extensive interviews with family, friends, rivals and fellow sporting giants, Jeremy Wilson peels back the layers to reveal one of the most overlooked, yet compelling characters in cycling history.

Publication date: 20/04/2023

£9.99

ISBN: 9781788162937

Imprint: Pursuit Books

Subject: Biography & Memoir

Reviews for Beryl – Winner of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award 2022

'The most comprehensive chronicle of its kind'

 Yorkshire Post

'One of the greatest figures in the history of British sport.'

Matthew Syed 

'The least publicised, least rewarded great woman athlete ever to be disregarded by her own country.'

 The Times

'The DiMaggio, the Muhammad Ali ... of British cycling.'

Gordon Burn 

'A woman of thermonuclear levels of competitiveness ... what a story Wilson has uncovered.'

Jim White The Oldie

'An inspirational story that just had to be told. For too long her name has remained in the shadows, but no longer! This fabulous book brings the person and her ground breaking achievements to light - I couldn't put it down.'

Chrissie Wellington, four times world Ironman champion 

'The scale of unsung achievement is awe-inspiring'

Tanni Grey-Thompson, 11 times Paralympic champion 

'Jeremy Wilson finds the human heart of a story that gets more extraordinary as a unique athlete recedes into history. Very highly recommended.'

Richard Williams 

'Remarkable'

Ilkley Gazette 

'A marvellous book. Gives a real insight into Beryl and the times. For the first time I feel like I really know her and questions have been answered. So wonderfully researched, so many things I didn't know! It really puts her on the roster of legends.'

Maxine Peake 

'I had never realised the longevity and scale of achievement. I'm in awe.'

Dame Katherine Grainger 

'This is not a hagiography, and all the better for it. Wilson brings her personality to life, faults and all. Meticulously researched. Compelling'

Isabel Best, author of Queens of Pain 

'This is an inspirational story that just had to be told. There are few athletes, male or female, that had the success and longevity of Beryl Burton - but for too long her name and achievements have remained in the shadows. No longer! This fabulous book brings the person and her phenomenal, groundbreaking achievements to light - I couldn't put it down.'

Chrissie Wellington, four times world Ironman champion: 

'Ludicrously ahead of her time. Ruthless, relentless, brilliant, belligerent - and quite possibly the greatest Olympian Britain never had. What a story.'

Alistair Brownlee, author of Relentless: Secrets of the Sporting Elite and double Olympic champion 

'A beacon is a guiding light, or a warning signal... a fire in a high place. Beryl Burton was, and is, all of those things. Her flame burns all the brighter thanks to Jeremy's fine book.'

Carlton Kirby 

'A beautiful book that tells us not just what she did, but who she truly was.'

Michael Hutchinson, author of Faster 

'Subtle, full of insight, extensively researched and a joy to read'

Paul Jones, author of End to End 

'Impressively thorough ... worth every page'

 Road.cc

'A superb book about someone who was great before her time'

 Pez Cycling News

'Britain's greatest ever cyclist is given the literary treatment she so richly deserves in Wilson's rigorously researched biography of the complex and enigmatic Beryl Burton.'

 Waterstones Best Books of 2022

'To my mortification, I had not heard of Beryl Burton, so pretty much all the material in this was new to me. The subtitle - In Search of Britain's Greatest Athlete - is not hyperbolic: Burton dominated cycling, that most unforgiving of sports, in the 1960s, winning world championships on the road and the track, in 1967 setting a record for the 12-hour time trial (277.25 miles!) not beaten by a man for another two years. A phenomenon.'

Robert Crampton The Times Best Sports Books of the Year 2022

'My 97-year-old mother-in-law has no interest in cycling but picked it up from our kitchen table, took it home, and loved it!'

Alastair Campbell 

'The subtitle may not even be hyperbolic. Beryl Burton, an almost forgotten amateur cyclist who worked on a rhubarb farm in Yorkshire, was not simply the undisputed ruler of British women's cycling for 25 years, but also broke the men's record in a 12-hour time trial. Jeremy Wilson retrieves an astonishing life.'

Simon Kuper Financial Times

Jeremy Wilson

Jeremy Wilson

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