AP McCoy

Some of Ireland's finest are celebrated in Sports Book shortlist

It’s been another great year for Irish sports books. Check out what titles have been short listed for the top prize.

GAA, RUGBY, HORSE racing and cycling are the sports that provide the short list of books for 2011’s Irish Sports Book of the Year.

Recent winners include “The Club” by Christy O’Connor and Dónal Óg Cusack’s “Come What May” and there are two more potential winners that have used the world of Gaelic Games for the source of their material this time around.

“Life, Death and Hurling” by Michael Duignan with Pat Nolan tells the story of one of Offaly’s greatest hurlers and details his All-Ireland successes along with his more difficult life path away from the playing field.

Journalist Martin Breheny has helped Joe Kernan put together his personal tale, entitled “Without a Shadown of a Doubt.” Kernan has been a key personality in Armagh GAA for over 30 years, and one of his many achievements includes leading his native county to All-Ireland glory.

The short list includes two books that run through the lives and careers of two of Ireland’s finest sports stars in AP McCoy and Paul Carberry.

Horse racing journalist Donn McClean is part of the team behind “AP McCoy” and uses his expertise to help examine the jockey’s impressive list of over 3,000 winners. “One Hell of a Ride”, meanwhile, documents the  successes and personal hurdles overcome by Carberry throughout his incredible career.

Paul Kimmage has pieced together the incredible story on Matt Hampson in “Engage, The Fall and Rise of Matt Hampson”. The former England U-21 international was paralysed when a scrum collapsed during a training session, an incident that has changed his life forever.

The final book still in the running is “Inside the Peloton” by Nicolas Roche. The cyclist openly discusses his career to date and his hopes of becoming a top professional – just like his father Stephen. The public will be able to vote for their first choice of book at

“This has been another great year for Irish sports writing,” Tony Kenny, Head of International PR for William Hill, said.

“We have four different sports in contention this year and some of Ireland’s finest sports writers. The standard is extremely high with all six books showcasing excellent sports stories that are brilliantly told by the authors. Irish Sports Book of the Year (shortlist 2011)

“Life, Death & Hurling” Michael Duignan (Irish Sports Publishing)

“Without a Shadow of a Doubt” Joe Kernan (Irish Sports Publishing)

“One Hell of a Ride” Paul Carberry (Paperweight Press)

“Engage – The Fall & Rise of Matt Hampson” Paul Kimmage (Simon & Schuster)

“Inside the Peloton” Nicolas Roche (Transworld)

“AP McCoy – My Autobiography” AP McCoy & Donn McClean (Orion Books)

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