Thursday 20 June 2019

Brian O’Driscoll’s book 'The Test' becomes Ireland's Christmas Number One

Geraldine Gittens

Geraldine Gittens

Brian O’Driscoll’s autobiography 'The Test' is the Number One bestselling book in Ireland this Christmas.

Ireland’s former centre O'Driscoll has once again beaten Roy Keane in the battle of the biographies.

Both sports stars released their memoirs earlier this year.

Having welcomed his new son Billy into the world last month, O'Driscoll will finish the year on yet another high.

His book The Test: My Autobiography hit the bookshelves in October. It won Sports Book of the Year at the 2014 Irish Book Awards.

O'Driscoll retired from international rugby on the day Ireland beat France to win the Six Nations Championship.

Read More: BOD v Keano in the... Battle of the sports books 

Ross O'Carroll Kelly's "Keeping Up With The Kalashnikovs" is Ireland's fiction number one, while "Diary of a Whimpy Kid The Long Haul" has been named the Children's Fiction Number One.

O'Driscoll's book traces a path through his many career highs and some crushing lows.

He also gave an insight to the day Amy told the rugby star he was to become a father.

The actress took O'Driscoll to the spot where he proposed to her, and handed him an envelope with a card inside.

The message in the simple handwritten note took a moment to sink in. "First there were two and then there were three".

He said he was initially "flabbergasted" and "panicked" when he read the message tucked neatly inside the envelope. "It's a nice moment, a great moment," he recalls now in his new autobiography The Test.

"It's a few more seconds before I really take it in, but when I do it's the greatest feeling I've ever had, hands down. It supercedes any medal," he added.

The special moment played out in the couple's back garden - in the same spot where he had asked her to marry him.

O'Driscoll proposed to Amy in 2009 with 'Will You Marry Me' spelled out in flowers across the garden.

The former Leinster and Ireland stalwart, who toured four times with the British and Irish Lions, also reveals how becoming a father changed his outlook on life.

His own parents, he said, instilled in their children the importance of good manners, something he is anxious to pass on to his one-year-old daughter Sadie.

"Now, as a father myself, I find myself almost wrestling the food back from my little one if I don't hear the magic word," he added.

Revealing the family man behind the tough exterior, he describes how he likes to play nursery rhymes to Sadie while making her breakfast in the morning.

"I pick up my iPad, type 'nursery rhymes songs' into Google as she lies on my chest," he wrote.

O'Driscoll also chronicles how the world of celebrity doesn't sit easy with him.

"I don't feel comfortable with the kind of celebrity that has come my way - and I'm not very good at it either," he wrote.

But he also reveals how he was "afflicted by the "madness" of the Celtic Tiger era by splurging an "obscene amount of money" on a hot tub.

He said while he's not normally reckless with money, one of his biggest financial regrets were forking out his "hard-earned cash" on the monstrosity.

The tub was so big that it had to be craned over the roof of his new house.

"As the summer moves on, there are Saturday nights when I come home and find friends I haven't even been out with sitting up in the hot tub," he wrote.

Years later, when the online auction sites were groaning with unwanted Irish hot tubs, somebody told him he'd probably get €2,000 for it.

"I think about the two grand and I think about the embarrassment of having it craned back over the house.

"I decide it could work as a paddling pool one day, but until then the insects are welcome to it."

The Test is published by Penguin Ireland.

Online Editors

Editors Choice

Also in Entertainment

Back to top