The harrowing life story of the Belfast welterweight was today named the eir sport Sports Book of the Year 2018 – coming in ahead of ‘Fighter’ by former middleweight champ Andy Lee.
Written mostly in 2015 by former Irish-Boxing.com contributor Paul Gibson, the no-holds-barred story was rejected by no fewer than 13 publishers before it was picked up by Irish outfit Mercier Press.
Magee picked up his second big prize at an awards ceremony held in Dun’s Library in the Royal College of Physicians in Dublin City centre this afternoon.
The took the prize ahead of what was strong competition. The final shortlist of three also included ‘Tony 10’ by Tony O’Reilly with Declan Lynch and Lee’s ‘Fighter’ which was written alongside Niall Kelly.
The winner of the eir sport Sports Book of the Year receives a cash prize of €1,500 with the winning book will also set to receive €10,000 worth of TV advertising on eir sport.
Magee also collected a specially commissioned trophy today in recognition of his achievement.
Mark Duncan, chairman of the judging panel, described how “The Lost Soul of Eamonn Magee is not an easy read but it is a compelling read. And it probably sets a new benchmark for books of this type in Ireland. Paul Gibson has done phenomenal work on this. It is a book that wears lightly the amount of work that went into it, the huge amount of effort that went into talking to the people in and around Eamonn to get clarity on events and to get different perspectives on events. And the book is all the better for it.”
MD of eir sport, Susan Brady said ‘on behalf of eir sport I’d like to thank all the authors and publishers who put forward books for consideration, our judging panel and chairman for their diligent efforts to ensure the best books in 2018 were shortlisted and our friends in Publishing Ireland without whose help this awards scheme would not have been possible.’
President of Publishing Ireland, Ivan O’Brien added that ‘a great sports book is not always, or even often, about how big a name is on the cover. These three books draw the reader into the mind of the subject, showing what really makes them tick and how (literally for two of the three shortlisted books) they manage to roll with the punches, get up and go again. Top-class storytelling will always find its audience!’
A total of 23 books were submitted for the longlist for the eir sport Sports Book of the Year 2018 with this list eventually being whittled down to a three-book shortlist from which today’s winner was chosen.
This is the fourth year of the eir sport Sports Book of the Year. The previous winners were John Leonard’s renowned ‘Dub Sub Confidential’, Kieran Donaghy’s ‘What Do You Think of That’ and ‘The Choice’ by Philly McMahon.