Belfast Telegraph

Hurling club story up for award

A book about the ups and downs of a hurling club in Co Clare has been shortlisted for the William Hill Irish Sports Book of the Year.

Christy O'Connor's The Club is a fly-on-the-wall chronicle of a year in the life of St Joseph's Doora-Barefield, which 10 years ago was one of the finest club hurling teams in Ireland.

Mr O'Connor, a journalist and the club's goalkeeper, details the team's attempts to regain their status as county champions after being hit by a double tragedy at the start of the 2009 season.

The winning entry from an original list of almost 30 is due to be announced in Dublin on Thursday, December 2.

Books by former footballer and RTE pundit John Giles, the jockey Ruby Walsh and boxer Bernard Dunne are also in the running for the top prize of 3,000 euro.

Tony Kenny, of William Hill in Ireland, said: "The top six books for this year's award really are the cream of the crop.

"There are the stories of sporting legends mixed with some truly remarkable tales of real sports achievement, intertwined with the real-life impact that sport can have on society and life in general."

The judging panel includes RTE rugby pundit and Newstalk presenter George Hook, RTE's Eamon Dunphy, Today FM and TV3 presenter Matt Cooper, Setanta Sports' Paul Dempsey and Deric Henderson, Ireland editor of the Press Association.

The six shortlisted books are: A Football Man - John Giles (Hachette Ireland); My Story - Bernard Dunne (Penguin Ireland); The Club - Christy O'Connor (Penguin Ireland); Ruby - Ruby Walsh (Orion Publishing); Days of Heaven - Declan Lynch (Gill and MacMillan); and Screaming at the Sky - Tony Griffin (Transworld Publishing).

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