Six of the best at sports awards

It was six of the best for News UK titles at the prestigious SJA British Sports Journalism Awards last night (Monday) at the London Lancaster Hotel.

There was a double triumph for The Sunday Times Insight team of Jonathan Calvert, George Arbuthnott and David Collins, who broke the blood doping athletics scandal story. Insight won both the sports scoop and investigative categories.

The Sunday Times chief sports writer David Walsh, famed for exposing top cyclist Lance Armstrong as a drugs cheat, won the sports feature writer gong.

A fourth success came The Sunday Times’ way in the special sports edition category for England’s exit from the Rugby World Cup.

The Times’ chief cricket correspondent Mike Atherton, the former England skipper, retained his best cricket journalist gong.

Further success for The Times came in the sports columnist category won by Matthew Syed.

A fellow nominee in the sports columnist section was the legendary Hugh McIlvanney of The Sunday Times.

McIlvanney, 82, is retiring and SJA (Sports Journalists’ Association) president Patrick Collins led tributes by describing him as a “colossus among sports writers.” McIlvanney was joint winner of the SJA’s first-ever sports writer of the year accolade 40 years ago.

News UK’s haul of six trophies surpassed the five won last year.