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Dublin: 3 °C Sunday 24 March, 2019

We've published a brand-new collection of great Irish sports stories... and it's out now

Behind The Lines, No. 2, is available to order today.


LAST YEAR, WE took a bit of a shot in the dark and ventured into the world of books by publishing Behind The Lines, a collection of some great stories which appeared on The42 in 2017.

The idea to produce our debut anthology was sparked by suggestions from a number of our regular readers, and thankfully, lots of you enjoyed the finished product.

We enjoyed publishing the book too — so much so that we decided to do it all again this year.

And so we’re proud to present Behind The Lines, No. 2: Great Irish Sports Stories from The42, 2018.

Priced at €10, it’s available to order here now in our online store,, and is also available in Dubray Books.

In this year’s collection, Ryan Bailey excavates his family history to piece together the story of his uncle, Busby Babes star Liam Whelan, on the anniversary of the Ireland midfielder’s death in the Munich Air Disaster.

Murray Kinsella spends an afternoon in Australia with Munster legend John Langford to reminisce on the province’s nascent glory days and a dressing room shared with Claw, Axel and ROG, while Eoin O’Callaghan talks to the players who were humbled by Katie Taylor on the football pitch.

Read the story of the inter-county kitman who almost gambled away his life, and the UFC hopeful living in a caravan in a gym car park as he works his way to Vegas from a life in prison… and much more.

With 17 longform pieces spanning a wide array of sports, it’s even bigger and — dare we say — even better than last year’s edition, but don’t just take our word for it. We asked some of the biggest names in sports media for their thoughts on Behind The Lines, No. 2, and here’s what they had to say:

‘Fine sports writing… as compelling as it is often amusing and touching. These are stories that go far beyond sport, and they still resonate long after they have been read.’ Donald McRae, The Guardian
‘A welcome addition to the genre.’ Michael Lyster, The Sunday Game
‘More evidence that terrific sports writing is just terrific writing, period… The men and women writing for The42 provide an essential voice that speaks a universal language.’ Glenn Stout, The Best American Sports Writing

Behind The Lines, No.2, a collection of some of the year’s best sports stories is available now. Order it here (€10):

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