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Story of Ireland's trailblazing football star claims overall Investec 20x20 award

The42′s Eoin O’Callaghan retraced Anne O’Brien’s amazing career.

The Stade de Reims team in 1976 with Anne third from the left in the back row.
The Stade de Reims team in 1976 with Anne third from the left in the back row.

THE42′S EOIN O’CALLAGHAN has been named the overall Investec 20×20 Media Award winner for his piece on Anne O’Brien.

The Dubliner forged a hugely successful football career on continental Europe in the 1970s and ’80s. 

The prize, part of the 20×20 campaign, was established to recognise ‘excellence in Irish journalism focused on women in sport’. Eoin’s piece with Anne’s brother Tony was the inaugural monthly winner early last year.

“Eoin O’Callaghan’s uncovering of the story of Anne O’Brien, the greatest footballer you’d never heard of, made such an impression on the judges that – despite being our very first winner of the campaign back in January – has lasted long in the memory,” said Anna Kessel, judging panel chair.

“Beautifully written, painstakingly researched, with so many voices and a richness of detail, it was a joy to read from start to finish. Truly outstanding sports writing, telling an engaging story, but with a pathos too – Anne O’Brien passed away in 2016 in relative obscurity, in O’Callaghan’s retelling he elevates her story to a higher profile. That, ultimately, is what the 20×20 campaign has been all about. Shining a light on incredible women’s sports stories that deserve to be told.”

The judging panel also gave a highly commended award to Cathal Dennehy, for his interview with the 800m runner, Katie Kirk.

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The42 won five monthly 20×20 awards in 2019 with Emma Duffy, Brendan Coffey, Paul Fennessy and Paul Dollery also seeing their work recognised throughout the year.    

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