The Guardian's Marina Hyde wins two SJA awards in landmark achievement

  • Hyde is first woman to win SJA sports writer of the year
  • Barney Ronay is named best football journalist

The Guardian’s Marina Hyde has won two SJA British Sports Journalism Awards, becoming the first woman to be named sports writer of the year in the awards’ 43-year history.

Hyde also won sports columnist of the year, with her Guardian colleague, Jonathan Liew, collecting the silver award. Barney Ronay was also a winner at Monday’s ceremony, as he was named football journalist of the year, the fifth consecutive year a Guardian writer has won the honour.

Hyde’s historic accolades came for her work on the Women’s World Cup, Tiger Woods’ redemption at the Masters, Theresa May’s decision to knight Geoffrey Boycott among her regular contributions to the Guardian’s sport pages.

Marina Hyde was named sports writer of the year at the prestigious industry awards, the first female winner of the main prize in its 43-year history.
“The winner is one of the genuine stars of our trade; perceptive, funny, sometimes brutal, always fearless,” judges said. “The year of 2019 produced a steady stream of terrific sports journalism, right across the board, and the judges’ task was more difficult than ever. Yet, in the end, they decided that this writer’s work was truly outstanding.”
Judges paid tribute to Hyde for her sports columnist award: “The winning entry contained three superbly crafted columns, the writer’s evisceration of Geoffrey Boycott and Theresa May epitomised a great columnist at their provocative best.”

Ronay, the Guardian’s chief sports writer, was honoured for his reporting on, among other topics, Liverpool’s comeback against Barcelona, sportswashing in European football and the racist abuse suffered by England players in Bulgaria.

“This was an extremely competitive category with really not a lot between the top contenders,” said the judges. “The winning journalist stands apart because of their skilful and sometimes playful writing, which can genuinely provoke a range of reactions like the game itself often can.”

There were also silver awards for Donald McRae (sports feature writer), David Conn (sports news reporter) and the Guardian sport website. Tumaini Carayol was nominated in the specialist correspondent category, and Suzanne Wrack was on the shortlist for best football journalist.

Guardian cricket writers Ali Martin and Andy Bull won bronze awards, with Martin recognised in the sports scoop category for his report on Alex Hales’ ban for recreational drug use.

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The Times’ Mike Atherton, winner of the cricket journalist award, paid tribute to his colleague Steve James, whose daughter died unexpectedly a few weeks ago. The Daily Telegraph won sports newspaper of the year.

On a hugely successful night for female journalists, the Times’ Alyson Rudd was named best sports feature writer and CNN’s Christina Macfarlane won broadcast journalist of the year.

The Daily Mail’s Laura Lambert won the sports news reporter prize and shared the sports scoop award with Matt Lawton for their work on Saracens’ Premiership salary cap breaches.

The central London event was hosted by Jim Rosenthal, who was presented with the Doug Gardner Award for services to sports journalism – the final award of the evening.


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