Friday, 3 December 2010

Book on St. Joseph’s Doora-Barefield named Sports Book of the Year

William Hill Irish Sports Book of the YearThe Club by Christy O'Connor has been named the William Hill Irish Sports Book of the Year for 2010. The story of the small hurling club's ups and downs beat off stiff competition from fellow Clare sportsman Tony Griffin, and one of Ireland's greatest soccer players, John Giles. The Club follows O’Connor’s club, St Joseph’s, for whom he was goalkeeper, through a season in 2009 as they looked to revive past glories spurred on through personal losses and tragedy. In accepting his award, O’Connor said "I wanted to pay tribute to my daughter Róisín and former team-mate Ger Hoey, both of whom passed away in the space of a week. I also wanted to portray the essence of what defines us in the St Joseph's Doora-Barefield club, which required me to be as honest as I possibly could be". The author has been closely associated with St Joseph's for years having been the team goalkeeper and able to give first hand accounts of the fading club's attempts to revive past glories and of the harsh truths facing rural teams. The award is voted for by some of Ireland's top journalists, sports commentators and pundits. Previous winners include footballer Paul McGrath's life story Back from the Brink and retired rugby star Trevor Brennan's autobiography Heart and Soul. Last year’s winner was Dónal Óg Cusack with his book Come What May. Tony Kenny, William Hill Ireland PR Manager, said; "The Club is certainly the best sports book in Ireland this year and according to many of our judges, one of the best sports books they have ever read. The book will resonate, not only with GAA fans but sports fans in general and communities across the country. It depicts the triumphs and tragedy of one season for a hurling club but also looks at how important communities can be and gives a fantastic insight into the impact sport can have. Christy’s book is an excellently told story and is a very deserved winner of the William Hill Irish Sports Book of the Year."

The shortlist:
My Story by Bernard Dunne
A Football Man by John Giles
Screaming at the Sky by Tony Griffin
Days of Heaven by Declan Lynch
The Club by Christy O'Connor
Ruby by Ruby Walsh

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