Sports stars longlisted for Irish award

Olympian Sonia O'Sullivan, rugby star Ronan O'Gara and famed Gaelic Games referee Paddy Russell are among the 23 books nominated for the William Hill Irish Sports Book of the Year Award. Following the Beijing Olympics, five books on athletics are in contention for the award, including Ireland’s Olympians – Beijing and Beyond by Niall O’Flynn.

Four books on Gaelic Games have been nominated including an autobiography of GAA referee Paddy Russell, Final Whistle, and a look at some of Connacht's most well-known Gaelic Games stars in The Best of the West by John Scally.

Tony Kenny, PR manager for William Hill in Ireland, said he was thrilled at the longlist. “There are some very strong entries for this year’s award and it will be fascinating to see who our judging panel select as the overall winner,” he said. This year the public can vote for their favourite on the longlist at The book that receives the highest number of public votes will be added to the votes of the eleven judges in determining the William Hill Irish Sports Book of the Year for 2008.

This is the third year of the William Hill Irish Sports Book of the Year Award. The inaugural award was won by Paul McGrath with Vincent Hogan for his autobiography Back from the Brink. Last year’s award was won by Trevor Brennan with Gerry Thornley for Heart and Soul, which documented Brennan’s rugby career in Ireland and France. The winner will be announced in early December.

William Hill Irish Sports Book of the Year 2008 – longlist
The Irishman Who Ran for England by Jim Hogan
Foul Play by Joe Humphries
Dick Fitzgerald: King in a Kingdom of Kings by Tom Looney
Trappatoni – A Life in Football by Egon Theiner and Elisabeth Schlammerl
Crashed and Byrned by Tommy Byrne with Mark Hughes
Sonia – My Story by Sonia O’Sullivan with Tom Humphries
Final Whistle – The Paddy Russell Story by Paddy Russell with Jackie Cahill
House of Pain – Through the Rooms of Mayo Football by Keith Duggan
Chairman of the Boards Master of the Mile by Eamonn Coghlan with George Kimball
My Autobiography by Ronan O’Gara with Denis Walsh
The Best of the West – GAA greats of Connacht by John Scally
Sport and Society in Victorian Ireland by Tom Hunt
Mouse Morris – His Extraordinary Racing Life by Declan Colley
Three Kings – The Battle for Hurling Supremacy by Ralph Riegel
Hurling – The Warrior Game by Diarmuid O’Flynn
Faster, Higher, Stronger by Lindie Naughton and Johnny Watterson
The Grand National – The Irish at Aintree by Anne Holland
Green Wickets – Ireland’s Adventures at the 2007 Cricket World Cup by Ed Leahy
Ireland’s Olympians – Beijing and Beyond by Niall O’Flynn
Touching Greatness by Dermot Gillecce
Better than Sex by Mick Fitzgerald with Donn McClean
Reading the Green – The Inside Line on the Irish in the Ryder Cup by PJ Browne
Axel, A Memoir by Anthony Foley