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Enke biography wins William Hill Sports Book prize

Ronald Reng’s ‘A Life Too Short’ has won the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award 2011.

Image: Oliver Multhaup/AP/Press Association Images

A LIFE TOO SHORT, Ronald Reng’s critically-acclaimed biography of German goalkeeper Robert Enke, has won the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award 2011, it was announced this afternoon.

A bestseller since its translation into English earlier this year, A Life Too Short tells the story of the former Hannover keeper’s struggle against depression and his untimely death.

Enke died by suicide on 10 November 2009. He was 32 years old.

Reng’s title was among seven books shortlisted for the prize, the longest running and most valuable award in literary sportswriting.

The judging panel, which included broadcaster John Inverdale and award-winning journalist Hugh McIlvanney, praised the winner for its powerful and insightful nature as well as it sensitivity and sincerity.

Reng and Enke became friends after first meeting in 2002. Though they discussed plans to work on an autobiography together, they never spoke about Enke’s depression.

“Robert Enke was one of Germany’s greatest goalkeepers and his tragic death shocked the world,” William Hill spokesman Graham Sharpe said.

“Ronald Reng’s intimate portrait – vivid, powerful and moving – is an outstanding piece of sportswriting and a very worthy winner of the prize”.

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Niall Kelly

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