Touching Biography of Robery Enke wins Sports Book of the Year
‘A Life Too Short’, Ronaldo Reng’s biography of German goalkeeper Robert Enke has been awarded the tile of Sports Book of the Year by William Hill. Due to the timing of the announcement it is inevitable that comparisons of Enke are drawn with the recent death of Gary Speed, both committed suicide at a time when everyone outside of their closest friends thought that they were doing well.
Reng’s book shows a real insight into the life of Enke and makes it plain how deeply he was suffering from depression. During the last few months of his life Enke was on anti-depressants before killing himself in November 2009. The drugs slowed his reflexes which added to his anxiety whilst preparing to travel to South Africa with the German team.
Reng said that he wrote the book in order to preserve something of Robert Enke and show people “what a nice person he was and what a terrible illness depression is.”
Enke had always admired Reng’s work and was keen for the two of them to write a book together. Reng said that Enke had “summoned up a huge amount of strength to keep his depression secret. He locked himself away in his illness. So I will now have to tell his story without him.”
This year there were seven books competing for the title of William Hill Sports Book of the Year. The other six were ‘Engage’ by Paul Kimmage and Matt Hampson, ‘Amoung the Fans’ by Pat Collins, ‘Into the Arena’ by Alexander Fiske Harrison, ‘The Ghost Runner’ by Bill Jones, ‘Racing Through the Dark’ by David Millar and Jeremy Whittle, and ’32 Programmes’ by David Roverts.
Normally the short list is restricted to six books but ‘Engage’ was added at the last minute. It tells the story of the paralysed rugby player Matt Hampson and was added to the list despite not being formally submitted by publishers Simon & Schuster.