From life on the Dublin panel to heavy drug use, John Leonard tells us the story of a "crazy life"

Former Dublin goalkeeper chats to Off The Ball about his award-winning autobiography and career

John Leonard, Dub Sub Confidential

John Leonard, winner of the inaugural Setanta Sports Book of the Year Award ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

This year's Setanta Sports Book of the Year prize went to Dub Sub Confidential.

The autobiography of former Dublin inter-county goalkeeper John Leonard, it has earned rave reviews because of its honest retelling of an experience as Stephen Cluxton's understudy and dealing with the aftermath of abuse and battles with drug and alcohol addiction.

"To ultimately win [the award] was incredible because of the quality of the other authors and writers I was up against. To beat them is an amazing feeling. It's the pinnacle of anything I've ever done," Leonard told Off The Ball as he joined Joe Molloy for an in-depth studio interview about his life and career.

"I knew I'd had a crazy life. Being inside the Dublin dressing room and then seeing what it was like, I wanted to be able to really tell that story, tell how it was in the training pitches, what it was like in the dressing room, what it was like after you won and lost games and really to bring the reader into that sort of world because that's what I love in a good sports book. And then my sort of other story is that I've had a lot of crazy situations in my life where I've been an alcoholic, I've been a heavy drug user, I've been all over the world and I was also abused as a kid by a priest. So there's all this other story which, when I initially started writing, was right behind it and I had to get right into some gritty stuff."

Listen to the full interview via the podcast player.