Roy Keane has narrowly edged one of the biggest battles in the history of Irish sport. No, it's not "Who is the greatest Irish sportsperson of all time" but rather, the Christmas book selling race.
Both Keane and Irish rugby legend Brian O'Driscoll released their autobiographies last October, with both featuring heavily as Christmas presents to sports-mad Irish people in the last month.
It first appeared that O'Driscoll was leading the race to be no.1 seller after being at the top of the bestselling charts throughout December, but figures released today seem to suggest that Keane may have recorded a narrow victory.
Both books featured in the top 2 bestsellers for Christmas week, with O'Driscoll's outselling Keane by 10,690 copies to Keane's 6,976. But it's the total sales figures that show Keane to have a slight advantage. By December 27th, Keane's 'The Second Half' had sold just 885 copies more than O'Driscoll's 'The Test' since their releases.
It's assumed that a big reason for the small gap between the two is because of the furore generated in the UK by the premature release of Keane's book, and not the two week headstart 'The Second Half' had with its earlier release.
That said, O'Driscoll won't be too displeased with the results, with an estimated €1.02m in Irish sales adding to his bank balance. Both books were bestsellers in the larger UK market too however, with O'Driscoll also raking in some £1m in UK sales. Keane did quite a bit better in the UK with some £3.39m in UK sales giving Keane a total of €5m from UK and Ireland sales.
Photo Credit: Stephen McCarthy/SPORTSFILE