New book cel­e­brates 30 years of great Ir­ish sports writ­ing

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Sport - - SOCCER -

HAVE you read about the day Ea­mon Dunphy went for a drink in Lon­don with Ge­orge Best? Or about the day Paul Kim­mage sat down with Roy Keane in Saipan? Or the story about Paul O’Con­nell and the Su­per­man tee-shirt? Have you met Hurl­ing Man? Do you know why prop for­wards rule the roost in Rugby Hell? Or why a fa­mous goal brought so much mis­ery to the man who scored it?

These sto­ries and many more can be found in a new book re­leased this week.

an an­thol­ogy of some of the best sports writ­ing pub­lished in Ire­land over the last 30 years — and taken from the pages of the

— will hit book shops around the coun­try in the com­ing days.

show­cases some bril­liant sports writ­ing, and fea­tures un­doubted stars of the genre like Paul Kim­mage, Ea­mon Dunphy, David Walsh and Ea­monn Sweeney.

Other fea­tured writ­ers in­clude An­thony Cronin, Joe Brolly, Neil Fran­cis, Colm O’Rourke, Bren­dan Fan­ning, Marie Crowe, Dion Fan­ning, Richard Sadlier, Cliona Fo­ley, Der­mot Crowe, Tommy Con­lon, Der­mot Gilleece and Tom O’Rior­dan, cov­er­ing a range of sports, like Gaelic foot­ball and hurl­ing, soc­cer, rugby, golf, ath­let­ics, horse rac­ing, box­ing, snooker and more.

There is a lit­er­ary qual­ity to the best of sports writ­ing and that shines through in

The book ex­poses the cliché that sports fans are some kind of one-di­men­sional fools, which is largely a cre­ation of peo­ple who know lit­tle about sport and less about those who are pas­sion­ate about it. These are the kind of peo­ple who have es­poused a ban on al­co­hol spon­sor­ship in sport but not in the arts be­cause the more re­fined types are wiser to the dan­gers of al­co­hol than the ruf­fian hordes who go to foot­ball games.

Edited by John Greene, who is sports ed­i­tor of the

the an­thol­ogy ex­plores anger, joy, hu­mour, sad­ness, pity, tragedy, beauty; there are mem­o­ries, con­tro­ver­sies and cel­e­bra­tions; tales of ad­dic­tion and tales of re­demp­tion. the

opens with Paul Kim­mage’s ‘In­side the team that Mick built’, which tells the story of Ire­land’s mem­o­rable win over Hol­land in 2001. It was orig­i­nally pub­lished over two weeks that win­ter, and ap­pears as one piece for the first time. It sets the tone for what fol­lows — a stun­ning col­lec­tion of ar­ti­cles span­ning the years from Euro ’88 to the sum­mer of 2018.

Also fea­tured is Kim­mage’s mem­o­rable in­ter­view in Saipan with Roy Keane; a spec­tac­u­lar ap­praisal of Jack Charl­ton’s ca­reer by Ea­mon Dunphy, first pub­lished on the eve of the 1994 World Cup; Ea­monn Sweeney’s bril­liant ac­count of a county fi­nal fea­tur­ing two small ru­ral clubs; the fas­ci­nat­ing story of Brian Kerr’s fa­ther Frankie, by Dion Fan­ning; and, David Walsh’s in­ter­view from Christ­mas 1995 with a ris­ing star in the world of horse rac­ing by the name of Ai­dan O’Brien.

To­gether, the pieces col­lected in

show how truly great sports writ­ing stands the test of time.

On The Sev­enth Day, pub­lished by Mercier Press, is re­leased this week

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