Aldgate-based author Johnnie Lowery has been been shortlisted for the Charles Tyrwhitt Sports Book Awards 2024 in the football category.

'Match Fit' was released last August and takes an in-depth look at the issues in football, from the Premier League down to five-a-side, in the hope of destigmatising a much-neglected topic, with candid contributions from the likes of Chris Kirkland, Paul Lambert and Marcus Bent.

Seasoned pros discuss the challenges they have faced in football, speaking openly about personal experiences most wouldn’t associate with the glamour of the beautiful game.

From a grassroots perspective, there are uplifting stories of how people have learnt to manage their mental health, with football as a key tool to help them get through their day-to-day lives.

Subjects such as the issues facing footballers after retirement and the rise of social media are placed under the microscope, and readers discover how being a football fan can benefit your mental health.

Lowery is going up against three-time winner of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year award Duncan Hamilton and well-known German journalist Uli Hesse, as well as Andy Hamilton, the joint producer and director of 'Outnumbered'.

Keen England and Sutton United fan, Lowery, said: "To be in the running for the most prestigious award in sports writing, alongside some truly incredible writers, is a huge honour. More than anything, though, it’s a testament to the power of the stories shared by my interviewees.

"When embarking on the project, I set out with the aim of using football as a vehicle to drive greater mental health awareness. This was made possible by more than 60 people all giving up their time to bravely and candidly share their own experiences of mental health.

"The idea was that if the interviewees – involved in a sport that has traditionally lauded masculinity and the absence of so-called weakness – can open up about their mental health, then so can anyone!"

Winners will be announced at a ceremony on Thursday, June 6 at The Kia Oval.