Dónal Óg Cusack Wins Williamhill.com Irish Sports Book of the Year

Dónal Óg Cusack’s autobiography “Come What May” has won the 2009 williamhill.com Irish Sports book of the year. Cusack's book which talks about his sports career, his battles with the GAA, his sexuality and his personal life beat off competition from Damian Lawlor’s “Working on a Dream” and Kieran Shannon’s “Hanging from the Rafters” to win the coveted prize.

Dublin, Ireland, December 06, 2009 --(PR.com)-- Dónal Óg Cusack’s autobiography “Come What May”, with Tom Humphries, has won the Williamhill.com Irish Sports book of the Year for 2009. Cusack’s book beat off stiff competition from Damian Lawlor’s “Working on a Dream” and Kieran Shannon’s “Hanging from the Rafters”, which came second and third respectively.

Cusack’s book was one of the most anticipated publications of the year. Written with journalist Tom Humphries the book details Cusack’s life from his upbringing in Cork through his three All-Ireland successes, his role in some of the most groundbreaking decisions in Gaelic Games history and his struggles to be true to himself. “Come What May” was also the public’s choice for Williamhill.com Irish Sports Book of the Year with over 5,000 votes registered on the official website.

Donal Og Cusack said; “Taking the decision to write this book was a difficult one but once I decided, I knew it had to be an honest account of my life. An essential part of this process was Tom Humphries’ skill and dedication to the project and his outrageous sense of humour which made the process less onerous, I would like to thank him sincerely. Since publication, I have been overwhelmed with the response the book has received both here and abroad. Winning this award is a great honour for me and I would like to thank the judges and the general public for choosing my book from such a strong shortlist. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my family, friends, team-mates and work colleagues for their unwavering support in the last number of years.”

Tom Humphries said; “To have been named in such a shortlist was a thrill and any prize for Come What May is a bonus and an honour in that company. For me though the enduring rewards are the privilege I feel at having been asked to walk a few steps of Dónal Óg’s journey with him, the welcome and the kindness of his family and gaining the friendship of an extraordinary man.”

Tony Kenny, PR Manager for William Hill, believes “Come What May” is a worthy winner of this year’s award. “The quality of the award this year was outstanding, especially when you look at some of the books that didn’t even make the shortlist. Donal Og’s book is an excellently told story of a person with a huge dedication to their sport and someone who wasn’t afraid to put themselves forward as a role model to many in sport and life not just in Ireland but across the world,” Kenny said at the presentation.

This year’s judging panel is made up of ten of Ireland’s best sports commentators and experts. The panel includes RTE rugby pundit and Newstalk presenter George Hook, RTE’s Eamon Dunphy, Today FM and TV3 presenter Matt Cooper and Setanta Sports’ Paul Dempsey.

The Williamhill.com Irish Sports Book of the Year was established in 2006 to celebrate the quality of Irish sports writing and the standard of sports books that are produced in Ireland every year. The winner of the inaugural award was Paul McGrath with his harrowing tale of the ups and downs of his professional football career in “Back from the Brink”, which was written with Vincent Hogan.

In 2007, Trevor Brennan’s autobiography with Gerry Thornley, “Heart and Soul” detailed Brennan’s journey through the professional rugby ranks in Ireland and France and his infamous altercation with a fan, which led to the end of his successful career. In 2008 the award produced one of the greatest Irish sports story’s never told. Tommy Byrne’s “Crashed and Byrned” was the story of an Irish racing driver hailed as one of the world’s greatest, even better than World champion Ayrton Senna, but was never given a chance by the key figures in the sport. More information on the award can be found at irishportsbookoftheyear.com

William Hill
Tony Kenny