By Kevin Regan
You are probably wondering what to get as a stocking filler this Christmas aren’t you?!
Well you can’t go wrong with a good book, especially for those who have an enthusiasm for sport!
Not only are we lucky enough to have some of the best sportspeople in the world within our nation, but some of those have also gone on to release compelling autobiographies.
There are actually some great books that have been released in recent weeks ahead of the festive season and some of those feature here along with a few other gems that would make great gifts this Christmas.
Kieran Donaghy – What Do You Think of That
It’s recently been announced as the eir Sport book of the year, and given the intense competition this year it speaks volumes of how good a read it actually is.
Donaghy is open, frank and honest and tells his story as he sees it and unlike many other sports books he is not afraid to call a spade a spade.
What people look for is originality and this is definitely a book worth checking out.
Cathal McCarron – Out Of Control
This is not to be missed! Tyrone footballer Cathal McCarron has had many a demon to try and exorcise, largely due to this gambling addiction.
In what is a very revealing Autobiography, Cathal shares experiences that his addiction had got him in to and how he tried to tackle it.
He is very thorough in terms of telling his story and that makes it all the more intriguing.
Barry McGuigan – Cyclone
This is an excellent read!
During the troubles in the North there was one man who brought fans from both sides of the border together and that was McGuigan.
He famously entered the ring to “Danny Boy” rather than choosing a national anthem and this is a read for everyone out there not just sports fans.
McGuigan speaks about personal family tragedy, the death of a boxing opponent and about his World title success at Loftus Road.
There’s not many better Sports Autobiographies out there than this one.
The Club – Christy O’Connor
This is one that anybody that was ever part of a sports club can relate to, particularly in GAA.
Christy O’Connor from St Joseph’s Doora Barefield in Clare tells the story of a year in the life of his club and also relates to the good times and bad times down through the years.
Like McGuigan, there is a lot of human interest in this book, with Christy going through a very sad ordeal with the death of his daughter and a great clubmate and friend Ger Hoey.
O’Connor is the clubs goalkeeper and he is hell bent on trying to win the Clare Senior Hurling Championship in memory of the lost loved ones.
There’s also a very interesting ending. A must read
Roy Keane – The Second Half
The first book was good, but this one is better!
As we all know, Keane doesn’t spare anybody and speaks the mind!
Love him or hate him you have to respect his pride, determination and honesty and this is epitomised right throughout this book!
Rough Ride – Paul Kimmage
A book which revolutionised the perception of Cycling and a chunk of it’s biggest stars.
Kimmage highlighted the doping issue in the world of cycling from a very long way off and it’s only in more recent times that he has got the recognition he deserves for exposing it.
Lance Armstrong famously dismissed Kimmage at a press conference for a doping related issue, but Paul stuck to his guns and wasn’t to be intimidated.
Jim McGuinness – Until Victory Always
The Story of how one man took a group of what was seen as mediocre players and transformed them into All Ireland Champions.
Coupled with his own personal story, Jim gives a very deep insight into the depths those players were willing to go in order to be successful.
It’s also very interesting to read about the psychological aspect of sport and how to get into players heads.
This one has something for everyone in it.
Paul O’Connell – The Battle
This man is a legend! Plain and simple!
Paul was a gladiator and always represented his club, province, and country with pride.
O’Connell’s story is one that most people will want to read, not just those of the sporting variety.