A BOOK chronicling the tragically short life of Strabane football star Adrian Doherty has scooped a top industry award.
‘Forever Young’ by The Times journalist Oliver Kay recently won the Football Book of the Year at the Cross Sports Book Awards 2017, a win which sees the publication advance into the competition for the overall Sports Book of the Year.
Oliver’s book tells the story of Adrian Doherty, the Ballycolman schoolboy who climbed through the ranks of local soccer to stun crowds at the Brandywell before being snapped up by Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.
Widely tipped to blaze the hallowed turf of Old Trafford in the same vein as household names such as Gary Neville and Paul Scholes, Adrian’s career was brutally cut down by injury.
Distanced from his destiny, Adrian decided to move to The Netherlands and it was there on the day before his 27th birthday that he slipped and fell into a canal while rushing to catch an early morning train.
Oliver Kay’s book carries interviews with Adrian’s dad, his cousins and friends as well as contributions from those who played with him, including Ryan Giggs.
“I was absolutely delighted when I heard the book had won the Football Book of the Year,” Oliver Kay remarked this week.
“You don’t write books to win awards, but I was desperate to write this book. After everything I had found out about Adrian’s life, after having spoken to his family and friends, this became a real labour of love for me. And I just knew that the story was so powerful and moving, in so many different ways.
“I’m just really pleased that the book has been recognised in this way and I’m delighted too for Adrian’s family and his friends.”
Regarding the book’s entry into the overall Sports Book of the Year competition – for which the voting deadline is midnight tonight (Thursday) – Oliver says he’s honoured to be up against big names like Joey Barton and Paul O’Connell. “Maybe with some support from Strabane… who knows what might happen,” he added.
To vote for Forever Young in the Sports Book of the Year competition log onto www.sportsbookawards.com