Sports stars longlisted for Irish award

<p>Olympian Sonia O&#39;Sullivan, rugby star Ronan O&#39;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 <em>Ireland&rsquo;s Olympians &ndash; Beijing and Beyond</em> by Niall O&rsquo;Flynn.</p><p>Four books on Gaelic Games have been nominated including an autobiography of GAA referee Paddy Russell, <em>Final Whistle</em>, and a look at some of Connacht&#39;s most well-known Gaelic Games stars in <em>The Best of the West</em> by John Scally.</p><p>Tony Kenny, PR manager for William Hill in Ireland, said he was thrilled at the longlist. &ldquo;There are some very strong entries for this year&rsquo;s award and it will be fascinating to see who our judging panel select as the overall winner,&rdquo; he said. This year the public can vote for their favourite on the longlist at <a href="" target="_blank" title=""></a>. 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.</p><p>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&rsquo;s award was won by Trevor Brennan with Gerry Thornley for <em>Heart and Soul</em>, which documented Brennan&rsquo;s rugby career in Ireland and France. The winner will be announced in early December.</p><p><strong>William Hill Irish Sports Book of the Year 2008 &ndash; longlist</strong><br />&nbsp;<br />The Irishman Who Ran for England by Jim Hogan <br />Foul Play by Joe Humphries <br />Dick Fitzgerald: King in a Kingdom of Kings by Tom Looney <br />Trappatoni &ndash; A Life in Football by Egon Theiner and Elisabeth Schlammerl <br />Crashed and Byrned by Tommy Byrne with Mark Hughes <br />Sonia &ndash; My Story by Sonia O&rsquo;Sullivan with Tom Humphries <br />Final Whistle &ndash; The Paddy Russell Story by Paddy Russell with Jackie Cahill <br />House of Pain &ndash; Through the Rooms of Mayo Football by Keith Duggan <br />Chairman of the Boards Master of the Mile by Eamonn Coghlan with George Kimball <br />My Autobiography by Ronan O&rsquo;Gara with Denis Walsh <br />The Best of the West &ndash; GAA greats of Connacht by John Scally <br />Sport and Society in Victorian Ireland by Tom Hunt <br />Mouse Morris &ndash; His Extraordinary Racing Life by Declan Colley <br />Three Kings &ndash; The Battle for Hurling Supremacy by Ralph Riegel <br />Hurling &ndash; The Warrior Game by Diarmuid O&rsquo;Flynn <br />Faster, Higher, Stronger by Lindie Naughton and Johnny Watterson <br />The Grand National &ndash; The Irish at Aintree by Anne Holland <br />Green Wickets &ndash; Ireland&rsquo;s Adventures at the 2007 Cricket World Cup by Ed Leahy <br />Ireland&rsquo;s Olympians &ndash; Beijing and Beyond by Niall O&rsquo;Flynn <br />Touching Greatness by Dermot Gillecce <br />Better than Sex by Mick Fitzgerald with Donn McClean <br />Reading the Green &ndash; The Inside Line on the Irish in the Ryder Cup by PJ Browne <br />Axel, A Memoir by Anthony Foley&nbsp; </p>