The Irish Examiner’s sports department were charged with agreeing a definitive list of Ireland’s greatest sports books.
He would still race F1 for a few races but ultimately his career would be one big procession of working with lunatics, like a London-Irish car dealer who mixed with some Italian hoodlums to a rich Mexican alcoholic bisexual playboy who ended up shooting himself not long after trying to shoot Byrne.Although at times it can be overly elegiac, House expresses as much respect as sympathy for the county and explores through the stories of some fascinating and engaging football men what sustains a people’s love of the game more than why they’re so long without the grand prize that would crown it. Paddy On The Hardwood: A Journey In Irish Hoops (2006, Univ of New Mexico Press) You would think Jerry West as an NBA legend — so much of one, the white-silhouetted figure in the league’s famous logo is in his image — wouldn’t care much for a book about a small Irish town called Tralee and the state of hoops there.But the same man who recruited Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal while general manager for the LA Lakers would become so taken by the quirks and adventures of the a wayward but irresistible teenager called Kieran ‘I’ve-been-off-the-drink-for-six-weeks!Her father naturally confronts him but what does Dunwoody do? The Rocky Road (2013, Penguin) The more his career has gone on, the more there’s been a sense Eamon Dunphy has been clocking it in, to use his own parlance, “gone to lunch”.Returns to the sauna, doesn’t even visit her, instead goes off to win a few races and only sees her a few days later when she’s discharged. But you can tell his heart was fully in this project, a magnificent memoir of his childhood, football career and first decade and a bit in journalism, taking us right up to a personal and national watershed, the 1990 World Cup.