Matt Lawton

The Times

Lionel Messi was the star of last year's World Cup in Qatar, arguably the greatest player in history, and during the tournament Lawton broke the story of his plan to join Inter Miami. It sent shockwaves across football. Others were reporting that he would either stay at Paris St Germain or return to Barcelona. Some speculated on a possible move to Saudi Arabia. But The Times had knowledge of an agreement being reached in Qatar and our story of a move to Miami was confirmed a few months later.

The story of Tori Bowie was one of great sadness. Athletics fans in the UK will remember her as this bright young American who claimed 100m gold at the World Championships in London in 2017.

But Lawton reported on the awful circumstances surrounding her death less than six years later, focusing on the lessons that need to be learned around caring for people with serious mental health issues. As the piece states, the tragedy of Tori Bowie's death is the fact that her loved ones were prevented by law from making the kind of intervention that could have saved both her and her stillborn baby.

The interview with Keegan Hirst was another important piece of sports journalism, with the Rugby League player talking candidly about his journey through sport as a gay man. Hirst faced major challenges, both professionally and personally, and his account is both powerful and extremely moving.