Sports Book review 2011

With less than 10 days to go to Christmas it’s been another good year for Irish books and Sports book in general and with last minute stocking fillers very much in our minds, we have put together our favourite reads of the year.

Donnacha O’Callaghan’s – ‘Joking Apart’

My Kris Kindle gift and one I was delighted to get. O’Callaghan for me is an Irish and Munster legend, a Grand Slam winner and a double Heineken cup winner the Lock tells of his rise up the rugby ladder detailing with great honesty the frustrations of establishing himself at both club and international level.

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Paul Kimmage – Engage: The Fall and Rise of Matt Hampson

Okay so it’s in the socking ready to be read on Christmas day but even now I know I will recommend this tale of a promising rugby player who dislocated his neck and ended up paralysed during an England training session.  Kimmage tells the story of how the former England U21 star has rebuilt his life after that tragedy.  This book won the 2011 Irish Sports book of the year.

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Nicholas Roche – Inside the Peloton: My Life as a Professional Cyclist

From one winner to another, “Inside the Peloton” tells the story of a son’s battle to rise out from a famous father’s shadow.   Its honesty and passion, which followers of his tour diary in the Independent will be familiar with, helped Roche win the Bord Gais Energy Irish sports book of the year for 2011.

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A.P McCoy – My Autobiography

John O’Riordan, our resident horse racing writer and general all rounder loves the story of one of the most successful Jump Jockey of all time.  Since his first win in 1992 McCoy has gone over to ride over 3,000 winners, breaking the record in 2002 for the most win’s in a season.

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Ronnie Whelan – Walk On

Ronnie Whelan is an Irish and Liverpool legend. A member of the great 1980’s Liverpool side Ronnie won the European Cup, 6 league titles and 2 FA cups his name is etched in Irish footballing folklore after his stunning volley against Russia.  In “Walk on” Ronnie tells of the highs and lows of playing for Ireland as well one of England’s biggest club.

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Paul Scholes – My Story

After 16 years in the Red of Manchester United, Paul Scholes hung up his boots last summer. “My Story” tells of Scholes life with United as well as with England and with over 600 games, 65 caps, 2 World Cups and a cabinet full of medals there is certainly a look at talk about.

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Gerry Duffy – Who Dares Runs

Gerry Duffy is an inspiration to people not just in Ireland but all over the world. They say a photo can tell thousand stories however in Gerry’s case it told one, lose weight. Gerry did just that going on to not just lose over 50 lbs but doing so by turning to running and then marathons. This remarkable journey tells the story of a man from overweight to running 26 marathons in 26 days.

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Michael Duignan –“Life, Death and Hurling”

The story of Offaly Hurler and RTE Sunday game pundit Michael Duignan, Life, Death and Hurling tells the story of an uncompromising hurler who went on to win two All Irelands before becoming one of the country’s most respected pundits. Duignan’s success is overshadowed with one of the hardest of tragedies, the loss of a loved one and just like his punditry he is not afraid to discuss his life and career with uncompromising honesty.

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Bernard Jackman – “Blue Blood”

The former Leinster and Ireland hooker turned coach and pundit has never been one to hold back and his book is everything you would expect from a man who has worked hard to achieve all that rugby has to offer, including Celtic league, European Cup and Grand slam success. Blue Blood tells his journey from Connacht to his home club Leinster via Sale and offers a real life window into Leinster’s rise to European Champions under Michael Cheika.

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