Henry Shefflin is the most decorated hurling All-Star with 11 awards. Eight of those awards came in consecutive seasons, an achievement that reflects his consistency as a hurler. He was also voted Hurler of the Year by his peers three times during that period.
“2000, the first year I won, was a rollercoaster. I was still only a young fella. I felt like a boy and winning the All-Star meant I was joining the other great players who had won it. They were men. I was up there with Anthony Daly, Johnny Dooley thinking, I have arrived. Then in 2002 winning the All-Star gave me a great lift as I was quite down after losing the All-Ireland. I remember hearing I had won on the Wednesday, and it made me believe, we can come back”.
Henry continued, “winning each year, you are kind of in a flow. You have tunnel vision and you come home and put the trophy away. But when you are finished it takes pride of place. I started to appreciate the awards more towards the end. I was aware that I was catching up with DJ and Pat Spillane. Towards the end of my career, I knew that I was running out of time! One of my fondest memories was coming home on the Saturday after winning the first award. I can distinctly remember stopping outside the door of my parents’ house, taking the All-Star out of the Vodafone bag, and bringing it in to my parents. They were so proud. I felt I was giving something back to them after all they had done for me”.
Henry shared how in later years he and his wife Deirdre would drive back down the night of the banquet and have the All-Star trophy on the table the next morning for the kids.
DJ Carey has nine hurling All-Stars and held the record for many years until Henry surpassed him in 2011. Eddie Keher and Pat Hartigan, both selected on the first team in 1971, went on to receive five All-Stars in a row during the early years of the scheme.
In the photo, Henry Shefflin poses with his impressive haul of 11 All-Star Trophies in 2021 for All-Star Gazing.