In 2001, Cormac McAnallen was voted Young Footballer of the Year. In 2003, he helped Tyrone to its first-ever All-Ireland championship win, and was named an All-Star. He was, by any measure, one of the best and most promising young footballers in Ireland.
But in March 2004, Cormac McAnallen died suddenly of an undetected heart condition. He was, truly, a young star cut down just as he entered his prime. As he worked his way up through the ranks of club, school and inter-county football, Cormac almost always had his brother Dónal – just a year older – by his side. Nobody else in the world knew as well as Dónal how badly Cormac wanted to succeed, how hard he worked, or how much thought he put into his game.
In The Pursuit of Perfection, Dónal McAnallen draws upon Cormac’s diaries and frank self-assessments, and his own memories of their experiences, to create a remarkable portrait of a young sportsman’s mindset and methods. It is both one of the most remarkable GAA books ever written and – in its intimacy and depth – a book that transcends Gaelic games.