Tragedy of Enke wins book prize

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A BIOGRAPHY of German goalkeeper Robert Enke, who committed suicide after battling depression, has won the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award.

Journalist Ronald Reng, who wrote A Life Too Short: The Tragedy Of Robert Enke, picked up a cheque for £23,000 at a ceremony in London yesterday.

Graham Sharpe from William Hill said: “Robert Enke was one of Germany’s greatest goalkeepers and his tragic death shocked the world. Ronald Reng’s intimate portrait - vivid, powerful and moving - is an outstanding piece of sports writing and a very worthy winner of the prize.”

The book was praised by the judges for “its sensitivity and sincerity”.

Enke, who played for the German national team as well as clubs including Barcelona, killed himself at the age of 32 in 2009.

Reng, who was a close friend of Enke, also received a £2,000 bet, a hand-bound copy of his book, and a day at the races as part of his prize.

Reng said he had originally planned to write Enke’s memoirs with him, but wrote the book after the dead star’s family and friends approached him and asked him to.

He said it was impossible to generalise about the subject of depression in sport, adding that Enke had “done everything right” in his bid to battle the disease.

He said: “He admitted it. He had perfect treatment and had a strong circle of friends who cared for him. But the one thing that players are told every day is to hide their feelings so they become able to do this and people find it very hard to help them.”