The shortlist for the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Sports Book of the Year has been published and the choice will be between biographies with moody cover photo’s of stars in Rugby, Racing and Gaelic Games, or scandal from the labs of Russia to the corridors of the FAI.

Bernard Brogan, Barry Geraghty, Rob Kearney and Sean O’Brien may not have come up against each other in competition on the sporting fields of Ireland but they are now in a bid to secure the prestigious award that forms part of the An Post Irish Book Awards.

They are joined in the mix by Mark Tighe and Paul Rowan’s exposé of the John Delaney years in Champagne Football and the more global look by David Walsh into the story of how Russia’s doping in sport programme was revealed from within.

Walsh is competing with himself as the ghostwriter on Rob Kearney’s book. Fellow journalists Kieran Shannon with Bernard Brogan, Gerry Thornley with Sean O’Brien and Niall Kelly with Barry Geraghty will also be on tenterhooks when the ceremony takes place in virtual form on November 25th.

Kelly, Walsh and Thornley have all won the award in previous years.

Soccer, Rugby and Garlic Games have dominated in recent years with Richie Sadliers Recovering and Cora Staunton’s Game Changer the two most recent winners.

The winners are decided by an online web-poll divided into two constituencies, a public vote and a specialist Academy vote made IP from 300 booksellers, librarians, authors and journalists.

The two votes are weighted equally but winning titles have to score well in both.

Previous winners of the Award are:

2019 Recovering by Richie Sadlier with Dion Fanning
2018 Game Changer by Cora Staunton with Mary White
2017 The Choice by Philly McMahon with Niall Kelly
2016 The Battle by Paul O’Connell
2015 Until Victory Always: A Memoir by Jim McGuinness
2014 The Test by Brian O’Driscoll
2013 Seven Deadly Sins by David Walsh
2012 My Olympic Dream by Katie Taylor
2011 Inside the Peloton by Nicolas Roche
2010 A Football Man – My Autobiography by John Giles
2009 Ronan O’Gara – My Autobiography by Ronan O’Gara
2008 Trevor Brennan: Heart and Soul with Gerry Thornley
2007 Back from the Brink by Paul McGrath

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