Sunday 24 September 2017

Trevor Hogan: O'Driscoll's book will still have the write stuff

Paul Kimmage will not be completing the work of ghost writing the autobiography of Brian O'Driscoll
Paul Kimmage will not be completing the work of ghost writing the autobiography of Brian O'Driscoll

Trevor Hogan

The news this week that Paul Kimmage is not completing the work of ghost writing Brian O'Driscoll's autobiography is a massive disappointment, not just to sports fans, but to readers in general.

The somewhat formulaic press release issued by Penguin Ireland, where it "regretfully accepts the resignation of Paul Kimmage", underplays what must've been a tumultuous few days for all parties involved.

The level of professionalism and scrutiny that Kimmage brings to bear in his writing is probably unparalleled in sports journalism.

On his way to meeting Jonathan Sexton in Paris recently, he described the general interview process with players as being "like combat" as he attempted to get inside the heads of players. As such, Kimmage is perfectly placed for ghost writing, to faithfully reproduce a player's innermost thoughts.

He seemed relentless in this pursuit and in this regard Kimmage would have a lot of parallels with Joe Schmidt. Both are perfectionists with massive attention to detail.

We may never know the full reason why O'Driscoll (left) and the journalist have gone their separate ways, but the potential of this autobiography is not lost.

Undoubtedly Kimmage would have unearthed a voice we're not familiar with, away from the confines of the rugby sphere. With good reason, it was the most eagerly anticipated autobiography in a genre that doesn't always provide grounds for originality.

However, the impetus for this book has come from O'Driscoll and he will still be eager to ensure the finished article is a true and insightful reflection of himself. Alan English, a great and experienced writer, who is taking the helm, will want to do that story justice.

Irish Independent

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