It was the year sport ground to a halt but Covid-19 couldn’t stop us writing about and celebrating sporting excellence.
Here are 16 of the best sports books of 2020, from Muhammad Ali to Ken Scotland, via Craig Whyte, David Murray and Fergus McCann.
Football fans may have been denied entry to grounds but stadiums provided a rich source of material in several new volumes celebrating the game.
Simply scroll down and click through the pages to see The Scotsman’s recommendations for the sports books of the year.
1. Reminiscing With Legends: Hearts' exhilarating journey to Scottish Cup glory in 1998 (Ten Caats)
Anthony Brown captures superbly the emotion of a magical weekend when Hearts finally rid themselves of the nearly men tag. Always The Bridesmaid was the name of a popular Hearts fanzine for a club who specialised in snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. That all changed on May 16, 1998 when goals from Colin Cameron and Stephane Adam saw Hearts defeat Rangers to win the Scottish Cup for the first time in 42 years. The victory provoked a mass outpouring of joy with an estimated 200,000 taking to the streets of Edinburgh for the open-topped bus parade. Brown speaks to all the main players for the definitive record of a great day in the club's history. Hugely enjoyable. Photo: Contributed
2. Cassius X: A Legend in the Making (Birlinn)
Stuart Cosgrove focuses on 13 pivotal months in the life of Muhammad Ali, covering 1963 and into the following February as the boxer then known as Cassius Clay defeats Sonny Liston to win the world title for the first time. Amid the divisive racial landscape of America, Cosgrove interweaves the religious, political, cultural forces that shaped Ali. Crucially, he also reveals Ali to be a massive soul music fan who befriended the era's big names, including Stevie Wonder, Dionne Warwick and Ben E King. Cosgrove shares Ali's love of the genre which elevates this into a terrifically fresh insight into sport's greatest superstar. Photo: Contributed
3. Extra Time: 50 Further Delights of Modern Football (Bloomsbury)
Daniel Gray's paean to football comes in the form of 50 beautifully written vignettes which celebrate the game's fun and foibles. From the roar after a minute's silence to animals who invade the pitch, Gray sifts through the matchday minutiae to produce delightful snapshots. Especially poignant in the continued absence of fans. Photo: Contributed
4. Ken Scotland: The Autobiography (Polaris)
The name Ken Scotland still turns rugby fans of a certain age misty-eyed. Credited with being the sport's first attacking full-back, he played 27 times for Scotland and won a further five caps with the Lions on their 1959 tour of New Zealand and Australia. Growing up in the shadow of Goldenacre, Scotland played with great distinction for Heriot's but also the Army, Cambridge University, London Scottish, Ballymena, Leicester and Aberdeenshire. With a foreword from The Scotsman columnist Allan Massie, this is the story of one of Scotland's greatest players in rugby's amateur heyday. Photo: Contributed