Former Leeds player Richard Parks has collected another winners medal, a decade on from helping the club win the Powergen Cup however this time it is for his first book, Beyond the Horizon, which has won rugby book of the year at the Cross British Sports Book Awards at Lord’s Cricket Ground.

The British Sports Book Awards highlight the most outstanding sports books of the previous calendar year and Richard’s Beyond the Horizon fought off the likes of Brian O’Driscoll’s memoirs to win the Rugby Book of the Year Award.
“It’s not often that I am dumbstruck, but hearing my name announced as the winner was such an incredible surprise,” stated Richard. “I was genuinely proud to have just been nominated alongside so many other amazing books. Rugby has given me so much and played such a big part in who I am and what I have been able to achieve in this chapter of my life, so to win the award for Rugby Book of the Year is a huge honour.”

Richard celebrates the award with his publishing director, Adam Strange.

“Obviously I am personally proud of Beyond the Horizon but like everything I have achieved, its success is the result of the incredible team I have around me. This award is for so many people, although the actual trophy will live in my lounge!”
Richard added; “I can remember how difficult it was editing the acknowledgment section in my book as there are so many people that have played such a big part in my journey, but it’s important on a night like this that I thank Michael Alywin and Adam Strange for their passion, belief and patience.”

Beyond the Horizon is published by Sphere, an imprint of Little, Brown, and non-fiction publishing director, Adam Strange added; “What a fantastic night. Richard’s is a truly inspirational story, told exceptionally well, and I’m thrilled that its quality and importance has been recognized with this award.”

Other award winners on this special night were Richard’s former teammate and fellow countryman Gareth Thomas, who won Autobiography of the Year for his book “Proud”, whilst James Montague's “Thirty One Nil” won Football book of the Year. The night finished with a final award for Outstanding Contribution to Sports Writing, which was awarded to Sir Michael Parkinson.
Highlights of the awards will be shown on Sky Sports on:
6th June – 10am Sky Sports 4 & 1pm Sky Sports 2
7th June – 11.30am Sky Sports 2 & 7pm Sky Sports 5

Beyond the Horizon follows the captivating journey from the shattering injury that ended Richard’s rugby career, through to his pioneering and world first expeditions in the most extreme environments on earth. Those expeditions saw the former Welsh rugby international become the first person to climb the highest mountain on each of the world’s 7 continents and stand on all 3 poles in the same calendar year, and in under 7 months, whilst the book culminates in Richard becoming the fastest Briton in history to ski solo and unsupported from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole.
Sponsored by Robert Walters
Winner: Beyond the Horizon Richard Parks (Sphere)
Behind the Rose: Playing Rugby for England Stephen Jones and Nick Cain (Arena Sport)
The Test Brian O’Driscoll (Penguin Ireland)
Proud Gareth Thomas (Ebury)
The Secret Life of Twickenham Chris Jones (Aurum Press)
Undefeated: The Story of the 1974 Lions Rhodri Davies (Y Lolfa)