Michael Atherton scoops sports writer of the year

Former England cricket captain turned cricket correspondent for The Times Michael Atherton was named sports writer of the year at the British Sports Journalism Awards last night.

Atherton received the prize from the Sports Journalists’ Association at their annual awards. He was chosen following a poll of national newspaper sports editors.

He was also named sport columnist of the year and Sky Sports’ Test cricket coverage, which he contributes to, was named TV sports programme of the year.

Paul Hayward from The Observer was second as sports writer of the year and David Conn from The Guardian came third.

Jeff Stelling from Sky Sports was broadcaster of the year for a fifth successive year, taking the TV broadcast prize. Jonathan Agnew and the BBC Radio 4 Test Match Special team were named radio broadcasters of the year, the first tme this award has been given.

Sports photographer of the year went to Scott Heavey of Action Images.

It was a strong night for the Daily Telegraph which picked up four prizes in total.

The Daily Telegraph’s Paul Kelso won sports story of the year for his coverage of the rugby ‘Bloodgate’scandal, involving the faking of blood injuries at Harlequins; and his colleague, football correspondent, Henry Winter was named specialist correspondent of the year.

The Telegraph’s Oliver Brown was young sports writer of the year for a second time and the paper also won team of the year for its Ashes cricket coverage.

Lawrence Booth of the Daily Mail won the prize for regular blog column and Tom Fordyce of the BBC was named as the best live blogger of the year.

Top betting writer was Steve Palmer of the Racing Post, cartoonist of the year went to Paul Wood of Private Eye, diarist went to David Hills of The Observer for a second year and regional sports writer went to Mike Aitken, who is a freelance.

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