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After the Count: The death of Davey Browne (Stephanie Convery, Viking)

When young and fit professional boxer Davey Browne died in the ring, pummelled to death in front of his family and friends, it was the result of a perfect storm of incompetence by members of the boxing fraternity gathered around to supposedly prevent this exact tragic outcome. Seemingly this was just an unfortunate result in a sport that is rapidly losing its relevance in a changing world, but to journalist Stephanie Convery it hit home hard—she was beginning her own serious boxing training when she heard the news. As she is drawn into the dead man’s world—interviewing his widow, slowly gaining the trust of his grieving father and attending the inquest—Convery has her own brush with a possible brain injury. In this difficult-to-categorise book, Convery skilfully intertwines her own experience with Browne’s story, along with questions around the sport of boxing itself: its contentious history, issues of gender and class, the hidden dangers of concussion and the rise of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). All the while, Convery has a light touch and never loses sight of the much-loved boxer felled before his time. After the Count is a fitting tribute to Browne and a worthy addition to the annals of sporting literature.

Julia Taylor worked in trade publishing for many years

 

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