Paul O’Connell autobiography among the nominees for eir Sports Book of the Year

THE NOMINATIONS FOR the eir Sports Book of the Year prize have been revealed.

In its second year running, the inaugural award was won by former Dublin footballer John Leonard with Dub Sub Confidential in 2015 and a 20-strong longlist has been announced this evening.

Included are books from ex-Ireland and Munster rugby captain Paul O’Connell (The Battle), Ireland’s top MMA coach John Kavanagh (Win Or Learn), Kerry footballer Kieran Donaghy (What do you think of that?), Olympic medallist Rob Heffernan (Walking Tall) and the authorised biography of Jack Charlton by Colin Young.

It will be cut down to a final shortlist on 28 November and the winner, who receives a €1,500 cash prize, a specially-commissioned trophy and €10,000 worth of TV advertising on eir Sport, is set to be announced at an awards event in December.

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“When we decided to begin a new award scheme to recognise the best in Irish sports writing in the middle of last year, we could not have foreseen just how successful year one would have been,” said eir Sport Director of Operations Brian Quinn.

“The standard of entries was remarkably high and in Dub Sub Confidential we had a book that was a compelling read for any sports fan due to its honesty, wit and excellence.

This year’s longlist is again full of quality writing and I am certain that the judging panel will arrive at a book that will be a worthy winner of the accolade of eir Sport Sports Book of the Year.

“I would like to thank our partners at Publishing Ireland and the publishing houses throughout the country without whom this scheme could not be a success.

“I’d also like to thank Mark and the judging panel. They have a tough task ahead of them this year!”

The judging panel is independently-chaired by Mark Duncan and made up of sports editors and producers from the national media: Shane Scanlon (Irish Independent), Brian Flanagan (Irish Daily Star), Jack White (Irish Daily Mail), Malachy Logan (Irish Times), Jacqui Hurley (RTE), Adrian Barry (Newstalk), Michael Foley (Sunday Times), Dion Fanning (SportsJoe).

Here’s the longlist:

  • Win or Learn: John Kavanagh – Paul Dollery
  • The Battle: Paul O’Connell – Paul O’Connell
  • Blood, Sweat & McAteer – Jason McAteer
  • The Best is Yet to Come – Alan O’Mara
  • Spirit of ’58 – Evan Marshall
  • Full Throttle – Liam Beckett
  • Coolmore Stud – Alan Conway
  • Jack Charlton: The Authorised Biography – Colin Young
  • My Life In Rugby – Donal Lenihan
  • Front Up, Rise Up – Gerry Thornley
  • The Heart and Soul of Kerry Football – Weeshie Fogarty
  • Rob Heffernan’s autobiography, Walking Tall – Rob Heffernan
  • Everything to Play For: 99 Poems about Sport – John McAuliffe
  • Out Of Control – Cathal McCarron with Christy O’Connor
  • What do you think of that? – Kieran Donaghy
  • Retired: What happens to footballers when the game’s up? – Alan Gernon
  • Blood, sweat, triumph and tears – John Scally
  • Hand on Heart – Ken McGrath & Michael Moynihan
  • Second City – Neal Horgan
  • Man Tests – The misadventures of an endurance fanatic

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