Henry Shefflin

Last updated

Henry Shefflin
Henry Shefflin.jpg
Personal information
Irish name Anraí Ó Sibhleáin
Sport Hurling
Position Centre-forward
Born (1979-01-11) 11 January 1979 (age 42)
Waterford, Ireland
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Nickname King Henry, Sheff
Occupation Bank official
Club(s)*
YearsClubApps (scores)
1997–2017
Ballyhale Shamrocks 66 (16-406)
Club titles
Kilkenny titles 6
Leinster titles 4
All-Ireland Titles 3
Colleges(s)
YearsCollege
1997–2002
Waterford IT
College titles
Fitzgibbon titles 2
Inter-county(ies)**
YearsCountyApps (scores)
1999–2015
Kilkenny 71 (28-485)
Inter-county titles
Leinster titles 13
All-Irelands 10
NHL 6
All Stars 11
* club appearances and scores correct as of 15:22, 21 March 2015 (UTC).
**Inter County team apps and scores correct as of 15:22, 1 June 2018 (UTC).

Henry Shefflin (born 11 January 1979) is an Irish retired hurler who played as a centre-forward for the Kilkenny senior team.

Contents

A native of Ballyhale, County Kilkenny, Shefflin first played competitive hurling whilst at school in St. Kieran's College. He arrived on the inter-county scene at the age of seventeen when he first linked up with the Kilkenny minor team, before later lining out with the under-21 and intermediate sides. He made his senior debut during the 1999 league. Shefflin has since gone on to play a key role in the forwards for Kilkenny, and won a record ten All-Ireland medals as well as thirteen Leinster medals and six National Hurling League medals. The All-Ireland-winning captain in 2007, he has been an All-Ireland runner-up on three occasions. [1]

As a member of the Leinster inter-provincial team at various times, Shefflin has won three Railway Cup medals. At club level he is a three-time All-Ireland medallist with Ballyhale Shamrocks. He has also won four Leinster medals and six championship medals with the club.

Shefflin's career tally of 28 goals and 485 points ranks him as the top championship scorer of all-time. [2]

Throughout his career Shefflin has made 71 championship appearances, setting him apart as the third most "capped" player of all-time. He announced his retirement from inter-county hurling on 25 March 2015. [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]

Shefflin is still widely regarded as one of the greatest hurlers in the history of the game, with many commentators ranking him as the greatest player of all-time. During his playing days he won a record-breaking eleven All-Star awards, as well as being the only player ever to be named Hurler of the Year on three occasions. He has been repeatedly voted onto teams made up of the sport's greats, including in 2009 when he was picked on a special Leinster team of the past twenty-five years as well as being named in the top spot on a special list of the 125 greatest hurlers of all-time. [9] [10]

Biography

Early years

Shefflin was born at the Regional Hospital Waterford to Henry and Mae Shefflin (née Fitzgerald). One of a family of four boys and three girls, he was born into a household that had a strong sporting background, particularly in the game of hurling.

Shefflin was educated at St. Patrick's national school in Ballyhale where his hurling skills were first noted and honed by the local headmaster, Joe Dunphy. As a child he saw his two older brothers line out with the Kilkenny hurlers at various grades. John Shefflin won an All-Ireland winners' medal in the minor grade in 1990, while Tommy Shefflin won an All-Ireland winners' medal in the under-21 grade that same year. [11] [12] A younger brother, Paul Shefflin, also won Leinster minor medals in the late 1990s.

Shefflin later attended St. Kieran's College in Kilkenny, before studying electronics at the Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT). Shefflin later changed course and decided to study both business studies and financial services.

Personal life

Shefflin currently works with New Holland Finance, a subsidiary of Bank of Ireland. [13] His main area of responsibility is in the agri-business side of matters, handling the finance for all the New Holland tractor sales in the locality. His region of responsibility takes in the south-east of the country, including Tipperary, Kilkenny, Wexford, Carlow and Kildare.

On 30 March 2007 Shefflin married Deirdre O'Sullivan, [14] a native of Callan, County Kilkenny and a camogie player of note in her own right. [15] Just over a year later in April 2008 the Shefflins celebrated the birth of their first child, a daughter named Sadhbh. [16] On 30 October 2009 Henry Michael Shefflin, the couple's second child and first son, was born. A third child, Siún, was born in March 2011, while the Shefflin's youngest boy, Freddie, was born in April 2014. [17]

Playing career

Colleges

During his schooling at St. Kieran's College in Kilkenny, Shefflin established himself as a key member of the senior hurling team. In 1996 he won his sole Leinster medal as Good Counsel College were narrowly defeated by 1-7 to 1-6. St. Colman's College provided the opposition in the subsequent All-Ireland decider. A 1-14 to 2-6 victory gave Shefflin an All-Ireland medal. [18]

University

During his studies at the Waterford Institute of Technology, Shefflin was an automatic inclusion on the college hurling team. In 1999 he was at full-forward as WIT faced University College Cork in the final of the Fitzgibbon Cup. Two goals from Declan Browne in a six-minute spell before half-time gave WIT a commanding lead. Neil Ronan bagged a fourth goal straight after the interval which helped WIT to a 4-15 to 3-12 victory. [19]

Shefflin lined out in a second successive Fitzgibbon Cup decider in 2000. University College Dublin were the opponents on that occasion, however, a 2-10 to 1-6 victory gave WIT the victory. It was Shefflin's second Fitzgibbon Cup medal.

Club

Shefflin plays his club hurling with Ballyhale Shamrocks and has had much success with the club. When he was fourteen years-old he failed to make the club's under-16 team, however, Shefflin later became a key member of the Ballyhale minor team. He won a championship medal in that grade in 1997 following a 2-18 to 2-5 defeat of James Stephens.

That same year Shefflin was a key member of the Ballyhale intermediate team. A 4-12 to 3-7 defeat of Graiguenamangh, with Shefflin top scoring with 1-6, secured promotion to the senior grade and gave Shefflin a championship medal.

Success at senior level was slow in coming for Shefflin and Ballyhale. In 2004 it was even rumoured that he was moving clubs to play in Cork with Blackrock, however, this rumour proved to be unfounded. [20]

Two years later he was deployed at centre-forward as Ballyhale faced O'Loughlin Gaels in the senior decider. An impressive 1-22 to 2-11 victory gave Shefflin his first championship medal. [21] He later added a Leinster medal to his collection when Ballyhale secured a comprehensive 1-20 to 1-8 defeat of Birr to take the provincial title for the first time in seventeen years. [22] On 17 March 2007 Ballyhale Shamrocks faced Loughrea in the All-Ireland decider. On a day when Shefflin and James "Cha" Fitzpatrick were held scoreless, the three Reid brothers contributed 3-7 from play. A 3-12 to 2-8 victory gave Shefflin an All-Ireland Senior Club Hurling Championship medal. [23]

Injury resulted in Shefflin missing Ballyhale's second successive championship victory in 2007, however, he was back on the starting fifteen as Ballyhale Shamrocks made it three-in-a-row in 2008. [24] A 2-11 to 0-12 defeat of James Stephens gave Shefflin a second championship medal on the field of play. [25] He later won a second Leinster medal as the Shamrocks defeated reigning champions Birr by 2-13 to 1-11. [26]

Shefflin won a third championship medal in 2009, as Ballyhale claimed a record-equaling four-in-a-row following a 1-14 to 1-11 defeat of James Stephens once again. [27] The subsequent provincial decider saw Ballyhale hit fifteen wides, however, Shefflin still collected a third Leinster medal following a 1-16 to 1-8 defeat of Tullamore. [28] On 17 March 2010 Ballyhale faced three-in-a-row hopefuls Portumna in a "dream" All-Ireland decider. The game failed to live up to the billing, however, 1-19 to 0-17 victory gave Shefflin a second All-Ireland medal. [29]

Five-in-a-row proved beyond Ballyhale Shamrocks, however, the team bounced back in 2012 having lost the championship decider the previous year. A far from vintage 0-16 to 0-12 defeat of Dicksboro gave Shefflin a fourth championship medal. [30]

Shefflin won a fifth championship medal in 2014 as the Shamrocks claimed a 1-20 to 1-13 defeat of reigning champions Clara. [31] He later collected a fourth Leinster medal and proved the difference in a 0-21 to 1-14 defeat of Kilcormac/Killoughey. [32] On 17 March 2015 Ballyhale faced Kilmallock in the All-Ireland decider. A complete mismatch saw Shamrocks win the game by 1-18 to 1-6, with Shefflin collecting a third All-Ireland medal. [33]

Shefflin's final championship appearance was in the 2016 Kilkenny Senior Hurling Championship final on 30 October 2016 in Nowlan Park in the county final. However victory went to the O'Loughlin Gaels GAA club in a closely fought final on a scoreline of 0-19 to 1-12. [34]

Minor, under-21 & intermediate

Shefflin first played for Kilkenny in 1996 when he joined the minor side. He won his first Leinster medal that year following a 1-16 to 1-11 defeat of Dublin. The All-Ireland campaign came to an end at the semi-final stage.

Shefflin was eligible for the minor grade again in 1997. A 3-16 to 1-10 defeat of Offaly gave him a second successive Leinster medal, however, his quest for an All-Ireland medal came to an end at the semi-final stage.

He also played minor football with Kilkenny.

While just out of the minor grade Shefflin was drafted onto the Kilkenny intermediate hurling team in 1998. That year he captured a Leinster medal following a 3–13 to 0–11 defeat of Wexford. Shefflin later lined out in the All-Ireland decider with Limerick providing the opposition. An interesting game developed between these two sides, however, at the final whistle victory went to Limerick by 4–16 to 2–17.

That same year Shefflin was added to the Kilkenny under-21 team. A 2-10 to 0-12 defeat of Dublin in the provincial decider gave him his first Leinster medal in that grade.

Shefflin won a second Leinster medal in 1999, following a 1-17 to 1-6 trouncing of Offaly. The subsequent All-Ireland decider was a thrilling affair, with Kilkenny securing a narrow 1-13 to 0-14 defeat of Galway to give Shefflin his sole All-Ireland medal.

Senior

Unsuccessful beginning

Shefflin made his senior competitive debut for Kilkenny on 21 February 1999 in a 0-14 to 1-9 league defeat by Cork. That campaign ended at the semi-final stage, however, Shefflin retained his place on the starting fifteen for the subsequent championship, making his provincial debut in a 6-21 to 1-14 semi-final trouncing of Laois. Kilkenny later faced Offaly in the provincial final. A huge 5–14 to 1–16 victory over their near rivals and reigning All-Ireland champions gave Kilkenny the win and gave Shefflin a first Leinster medal. The subsequent All-Ireland decider saw Kilkenny face Cork on 12 September 1999. In a dour contest played on a wet day, Cork trailed by 0-5 to 0-4 after a low-scoring first half. Kilkenny increased the pace after the interval, pulling into a four-point lead. Cork moved up a gear and through Joe Deane, Ben O'Connor and Seánie McGrath Cork scored five unanswered points. Kilkenny could only manage one more score – a point from a Shefflin free – and Cork held out to win by 0-13 to 0-12. [35]

Early successes

In 2000 Shefflin won a second successive Leinster medal following another comfortable 2–21 to 1–13 victory over Offaly. As a result of the so-called "back-door" system both sides later faced off against each other again in the All-Ireland final on 10 September 2000. D.J. Carey capitalised on an Offaly mistake after just six minutes to start a goal-fest for 'the Cats'. Carey scored 2–4 in all, sharing his second goal with Shefflin who also scored a goal in the second-half. At the full-time whistle Kilkenny were the champions by 5–15 to 1–14 and Shefflin collected his first All-Ireland medal. [36] He was subsequently honoured with his first All-Star award.

Tipperarys's provincial dominance continued in 2001 and a powerful 2-19 to 0-12 defeat of Wexford gave Shefflin a third Leinster medal. [37]

Kilkenny bounced back in 2002. Shefflin won his first National Hurling League medal, as a late Brian Dowling free secured a narrow 2-15 to 2-14 victory over Cork. [38] He later collected a fourth Leinster medal as Kilkenny recorded a narrow 0-19 to 0-17 defeat of fourteen-man Wexford. [39] On 8 September 2002 Shefflin lined out in his third All-Ireland decider as Kilkenny faced first-round losers Clare. Shefflin and fellow forward D. J. Carey combined to score 2-13 between them, as Kilkenny secured a 2-20 to 0-19 victory. It was a second All-Ireland medal for Shefflin while he was later honoured with his second All-Star award. He also ended the year by being named Hurler of the Year by Texaco, Vodafone and by his peers at the Gaelic Players’ Association.

In 2003 Shefflin won a second league medal as Kilkenny came back from eight points down to secure a stunning 5-14 to 5-13 extra-time defeat of Tipperary. [40] He later won a fifth successive Leinster medal, as Kilkenny defeated Wexford by 2-23 to 2-12. [41] The subsequent All-Ireland final on 14 September 2003 saw Kilkenny face Cork for the first time in four years. Both teams remained level for much of the game, exchanging tit-for-tat scores. A Setanta Ó hAilpín goal gave Cork the advantage, however, a Martin Comerford goal five minutes from the end settled the game as Kilkenny went on to win by 1-14 to 1-11. [42] It was Shefflin's third All-Ireland medal. He was later honoured with his third All-Star. [43]

After facing a shock, last-minute 2-15 to 1-16 defeat by Wexford in the Leinster semi-final in 2004, Kilkenny worked their way through the qualifiers and lined out against Cork in the All-Ireland decider on 12 September 2004. [44] The game was expected to be a classic, however, a rain-soaked day made conditions difficult as Kilkenny aimed to secure a third successive championship. The first half was a low-scoring affair and provided little excitement for fans, however, the second half saw Cork completely take over. For the last twenty-three minutes Cork scored nine unanswered points and went on to win the game by 0-17 to 0-9. [45] In spite of ending the year without silverware, Shefflin later collected a fourth All-Star. [46]

Kilkenny were back in form in 2005, with Shefflin winning a third league medal following a 3–20 to 0–15 victory over Clare. [47] "The Cats" later struggled against a wasteful Wexford side, however, a 0-22 to 1-16 victory gave Shefflin a sixth Leinster medal. [48] While a third successive All-Ireland showdown with Cork seemed likely, Galway defeated Kilkenny in the All-Ireland semi-final in one of the games of the decade. In spite of failing to reach the championship decider a fifth All-Star award was quickly added to Shefflin's collection. [49]

Four-in-a-row

In 2006 Shefflin added a third league medal to his collection following a 9:16 to 0:01

victory over Limerick. [50]  He later won his seventh Leinster medal following another facile 1-23 to 1-12 victory over Wexford. On 3 September 2006 Kilkenny faced a Cork team who were presented with the opportunity to become the first side in nearly thirty years to secure three successive All-Ireland championships. Like previous encounters neither side took a considerable lead, however, Kilkenny had a vital goal from Aidan Fogarty. Cork were in arrears coming into the final few minutes, however, Ben O'Connor scored a late goal for Cork. It was too little too late as the Cats denied Cork on a score line of 1-16 to 1-13. [51]  Shefflin collected his fourth All-Ireland medal. He rounded off the year once again by claiming a fifth successive All-Star award, his sixth overall, as well as making a clean sweep of the Hurler of the Year awards. [52] 

Shefflin collected an eighth Leinster medal in 2007, as Kilkenny asserted their provincial dominance and defeated Wexford by 2-24 to 1-12. [53] On 2 September 2007 Kilkenny faced defeated Munster finalists and surprise All-Ireland semi-final winners Limerick in the championship decider. Kilkenny got off to a flying start with Eddie Brennan Shefflin scoring two goals within the first ten minutes to set the tone. Shefflin later sustained an injury during the game and had to retire at half-time. In spite of losing their captain and star player, Kilkenny still went on to win the game by 2–19 to 1–15 and Shefflin had the honour of collecting a fifth All-Ireland medal and receiving the Liam MacCarthy Cup. [54] It was later revealed that he ruptured a cruciate knee ligament which kept him out of action for his club until the following summer. Shefflin later captured a seventh All-Star award, a record-breaking sixth in succession. [55]

After sitting out the league campaign in 2008, Shefflin later collected a ninth Leinster medal following a 5-21 to 0-17 defeat of Wexford. [56] On 8 September 2008 Kilkenny faced Waterford in the All-Ireland decider for the first time in forty-five years. In a disappointingly one-sided final, Kilkenny produced a near perfect seventy minutes as Waterford endured a nightmare afternoon. A 23-point winning margin, 3-24 from play, only two wides in the entire match and eight scorers in all with Eddie Brennan and Shefflin leading the way in a 3-30 to 1-13 victory. [57] It was Shefflin's sixth All-Ireland medal, while an eighth All-Star quickly followed. [58]

Shefflin collected a fifth league medal in 2009, as Kilkenny beat Tipperary by 2-26 to 4-17 after a thrilling extra-time victory. [59] He later won a tenth Leinster medal as new challengers Dublin were bested by 2-18 to 0-18. [60] On 6 September Kilkenny were poised to become the second team ever in the history of hurling to win four successive All-Ireland championships when they faced Tipperary in the decider. For long periods Tipp looked the likely winners, however, late goals from Shefflin (penalty) and substitute Martin Comerford finally killed off their efforts to secure a 2-22 to 0-23 victory. [61] Shefflin had collected his seventh All-Ireland medal. He later collected a ninth All-Star award.

Continued dominance

In 2010 Kilkenny defeated Galway in an eagerly-anticipated but ultimately disappointing provincial decider. A 1-19 to 1-12 victory gave Shefflin an eleventh Leinster medal. [62] In the subsequent All-Ireland semi-final defeat of Cork, Shefflin had to be substituted after he severed his cruciate ligament. [63] While it was feared that this would rule him out of the All-Ireland decider against Tipperary on 5 September, he made a remarkable recovery and was deemed to fit to start that game. [64] [65] After scoring an early free in the final, his knee again gave out and he was replaced after twelve minutes. Tipperary's Lar Corbett subsequently ran riot and scored a hat-trick of goals as Kilkenny fell to a 4-17 to 1-18 defeat. [66]

Kilkenny's stranglehold in Leinster continued in 2011. A 4-17 to 1-15 defeat of Dublin gave "the Cats" a record-breaking seventh successive championship. [67] It was Shefflin's twelfth winners' medal overall. Kilkenny subsequently faced Tipperary in a record-breaking seventh successive All-Ireland decider on 4 September 2011. Goals by Michael Fennelly and Richie Hogan in either half gave Kilkenny, who many viewed as the underdogs going into the game, a 2-17 to 1-16 victory. [68] Shefflin, who collected a record-equaling eighth All-Ireland medal, later collected a tenth All-Star award. [69]

Kilkenny were shocked by Galway in the 2012 Leinster decider, losing by 2-21 to 2-11, however, both sides subsequently met in the All-Ireland decider on 9 September 2012. [70] Kilkenny had led going into the final stretch, however, Joe Canning struck a stoppage time equaliser to level the game at 2-13 to 0-19 and send the final to a replay for the first time since 1959. [71] The replay took place three weeks later on 30 September 2012. Galway stunned the reigning champions with two first-half goals, however, Kilkenny's championship debutant Walter Walsh gave a man of the match performance, claiming a 1-3 haul. The 3-22 to 3-11 Kilkenny victory gave Shefflin a record-breaking ninth All-Ireland medal on the field of play. [72] [73] [74] He was later presented with an eleventh All-Star award, as well as becoming the first player to be named Hurler of the Year for a third time. [75]

On 1 December 2012 Shefflin went off injured in Ballyhale Shamrocks' defeat by Oulart the Ballagh in the provincial club championship. While the problem was initially thought to be just a badly sprained ankle it was later revealed to be ligament damage and a break in his left mid-foot. [76] [77] This injury ruled him out of Kilkenny's successful 2013 National league campaign. [78] A damaged metatarsal delayed his recovery resulting in him missing Kilkenny's opening championship games. [79] Shefflin made his return to hurling when he was introduced for the last five minutes of Kilkenny's 0-20 to 1-14 qualifier defeat of Tipperary. [80] He was included on the starting fifteen for Kilkenny's subsequent All-Ireland quarter-final against Cork. Just before half time Shefflin received a second yellow card and was red carded for the first time in his championship career. Kilkenny went on to lose the game by 0-19 to 0-14. [81] After an appeal to the Central Hearings Committee Shefflin's red card was subsequently rescinded. [82]

Tenth All-Ireland medal

In 2014 Shefflin collected his sixth league medal, as Kilkenny secured a narrow one-point 2-25 to 1-27 extra-time victory over Tipperary. [83] Shefflin subsequently secured a thirteenth Leinster medal, as a dominant Kilkenny display gave "the Cats" a 0-14 to 1-9 defeat of Dublin. [84] On 7 September 2014, Kilkenny faced Tipperary in the All-Ireland decider, however, Shefflin started the game on the bench before making a brief cameo. In what some consider to be the greatest game of all-time, the sides were level when Tipperary were awarded a controversial free. John O'Dwyer had the chance to win the game, however, his late free drifted wide resulting in a draw. [85] The replay on 27 September 2014 was also a close affair. Goals from brothers Richie and John Power inspired Kilkenny to a 2-17 to 2-14 victory. [86] It was Shefflin's tenth All-Ireland medal.

Retirement

Following Shefflin's tenth All-Ireland success, speculation began to grow about his possible retirement. After stating in November 2014 that he intended to make a decision after the conclusion of the All-Ireland series of the club championship, Shefflin called a press conference on 25 March 2015 and announced that he was retiring from inter-county hurling. In a statement he said, "When I reflect back over the past 16 years playing the game that I love, at the highest level with Kilkenny, it is impossible to quantify the endless hours of happiness, satisfaction and fulfilment I have enjoyed." [87] [88]

In 2015, Shefflin joined the Sunday Game as an analyst for their coverage of the 2015 All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship and he will also feature on RTÉ Radio 1. [89]

Inter-provincial

Shefflin has also lined out with Leinster in the inter-provincial hurling championship. He first played for his province in 1999, however, he had to wait another few years before success in that competition.

In 2002 Leinster faced arch rivals Munster in the decider at Nowlan Park. The game ended in somewhat controversial circumstances when the referee awarded a free when Munster's Peter Queally was deemed to have fouled Jimmy Coogan. Shefflin pointed the free to give Leinster a narrow 4-15 to 3-17 victory. [90] It was Shefflin's first Railway Cup medal.

Leinster were back in the decider again in 2003. Rome was the venue with Connacht providing the opposition. Leinster were nine points in arrears early in the second half, however, the team fought back to secure a 4-9 to 2-12 victory. [91] It was Shefflin's second Railway Cup medal.

In 2009 Shefflin was back on the Leinster team once again. His kicked goal five minutes after the restart set up a 3-18 to 1-17 defeat of Connacht once again. [92]

Recognition

Shefflin has come to be regarded as one of the greatest, if not the greatest player of all-time and has received much praise from Irish sportspeople in all fields.

Fellow nine-time All-Ireland medallist and former Kilkenny goalkeeper Noel Skehan said of him in the build-up to the 2012 All-Ireland final: "Oh, as it stands, you’re talking about the greatest hurler ever even if he didn’t win on Sunday. He’ll still be the greatest hurler. He’s a fantastic sportsman. What he has achieved up until now, even forgetting the result on Sunday, you’d have to put him well up on top of the ladder. To do it all on the pitch is a great achievement. To start every championship match since he came on the scene, it goes without saying how good that is and I hope to God that he achieves it." [93]

Six-time All-Ireland dual medallist and All-Ireland-winning manager Jimmy Barry-Murphy wrote: "He is most certainly the greatest hurler that I have ever seen, and I even saw Christy Ring towards the end of his days. But this guy outshines everything that I have ever seen on a hurling field. His work ethic is amazing, and one that others must aspire to if they are to reach the stars." [94]

Writing in the Kilkenny GAA Yearbook 2012, contemporary Cork hurler, Donal Óg Cusack, wrote: "If there is better to come than Henry, I for one would hope to be around to see him. He is the perfect example for every young player. He doesn’t practice and live his life the way he does because he is Henry Shefflin. He is Henry Shefflin BECAUSE he does those things, and doesn’t stop. He drives on."

Five-time All-Ireland medallist D. J. Carey regards Shefflin as the "greatest forward of all time." [95]

In the build-up to Shefflin's bid for a ninth All-Ireland medal, former Tipperary hurler and manager Babs Keating wrote: "If he can do that he can go down as the greatest hurler in every way. If he can do that it is a record that I can't see ever being surpassed." [96]

Joe Canning, the player Shefflin pipped to the Hurler of the Year award in 2012, stated: "Henry is the best player that has every played and his nine All-Ireland medals speaks for itself. Everybody models themselves on him because he is the ultimate team player and everyone wants to be like him...There is no doubt about it - everybody wants to have him on their team. He is probably the best hurler that has ever played." [97]

Eddie Keher, a six-time All-Ireland medallist and the man who Shefflin surpassed as the top scorer of all-time, stated: "Henry Shefflin is the greatest hurler of all time. He's a most sporting player and he's competitive." [98]

Contemporary Waterford hurler John Mullane wrote: "I can't speak highly enough of Shefflin either. Henry is simply irreplaceable and the measure of the man is his ability to bounce back from serious injuries in recent years to get himself fully fit for the championship." [99]

When asked who he considers to be Ireland’s greatest ever athlete, former Ireland rugby captain Brian O'Driscoll said: "That would be the hurler Henry Shefflin, this guy has been an absolute phenomenon for the last 12,13 years. He’s won nine All-Ireland championships with his county and they’re not easy to come by." [100]

In 2016, Gerry Davis won the Hennesy Portrait Prize and was commissioned by the National Gallery of Ireland in 2017 to paint a portrait of Shefflin, which is now displayed in the portrait gallery. [101]

Managerial career

Ballyhale Shamrocks

On 12 December 2017 it was announced that Shefflin would act as co-manager of the Ballyhale Shamrocks senior team alongside his brother Tommy. [102] The Shamrocks won Kilkenny Senior Hurling Championship and Leinster Senior Club Hurling Championship in 2018 before winning the 2019 All-Ireland Senior Club Hurling Championship Final.

On 23 January 2020, it was reported that Shefflin had stepped down as manager of the Ballyhale Shamrocks senior team. [103]

Championship appearances

List of appearances
#DateVenueOpponentScoreResultW/L/DCompetition
120 June 1999 Croke Park, Dublin Laois 0–106–21 : 1–14W Leinster Semi-Final
211 July 1999 Croke Park, Dublin Offaly 1–065–11 : 1–16W Leinster Final
315 August 1999 Croke Park, Dublin Clare 0–032–14 : 1–13W All-Ireland Semi-Final
412 September 1999 Croke Park, Dublin Cork 0–050–12 : 0–13L All-Ireland Final
519 June 2000 Croke Park, Dublin [104] Dublin 0–063–16 : 0–10W Leinster Semi-Final
69 July 2000 Croke Park, Dublin Offaly 0–062–21 : 1–13W Leinster Final
713 August 2000 Croke Park, Dublin Galway 0–072–19 : 0–17W All-Ireland Semi-Final
810 September 2000 Croke Park, Dublin Offaly 2–035–15 : 1–14W All-Ireland Final
910 June 2001 Croke Park, Dublin Offaly 1–063–21 : 0–18W Leinster Semi-Final
108 July 2001 Croke Park, Dublin Wexford 0–042–19 : 0–12W Leinster Final
1119 August 2001 Croke Park, Dublin Galway 0–091–13 : 2–15L All-Ireland Semi-Final
1210 June 2002 Semple Stadium, Thurles Offaly 0–112–20 : 1–14W Leinster Semi-Final
136 July 2002 Croke Park, Dublin Wexford 0–080–19 : 0–17W Leinster Final
1418 August 2002 Croke Park, Dublin Tipperary 0–071–20 : 1–16W All-Ireland Semi-Final
158 September 2002 Croke Park, Dublin Clare 1–072–20 : 0–19W All-Ireland Final
166 June 2003 Nowlan Park, Kilkenny Dublin 1–043–16 : 0–10W Leinster Semi-Final
176 July 2003 Croke Park, Dublin Wexford 1–082–23 : 1–22W Leinster Final
1817 August 2003 Croke Park, Dublin Tipperary 1–073–18 : 0–15W All-Ireland Semi-Final
1911 September 2003 Croke Park, Dublin Cork 0–061–14 : 1–11W All-Ireland Final
2013 June 2004 Croke Park, Dublin Wexford 0–051–16 : 2–15L Leinster Semi-Final
2126 June 2004 Dr. Cullen Park, Carlow Dublin 2–084–22 : 0–8W All-Ireland Qualifier R1
2211 July 2004 Semple Stadium, Thurles Galway 2–114–20 : 1–10W All-Ireland Qualifier R3
2325 July 2004 Croke Park, Dublin Clare 0–081–13 : 1–13D All-Ireland Quarter Final
2431 July 2004 Semple Stadium, Thurles Clare 0–031–11 : 0–9W All-Ireland Quarter-Final Replay
258 August 2004 Croke Park, Dublin Waterford 2–043–12 : 0–18W All-Ireland Semi-Final
2612 September 2004 Croke Park, Dublin Cork 0–050–9 : 0–17L All-Ireland Final
273 July 2005 Croke Park, Dublin Offaly 2–116–28 : 0–15W Leinster Semi-Final
283 July 2005 Croke Park, Dublin Wexford 0–080–22 : 1–16W Leinster Final
2931 July 2005 Croke Park, Dublin Limerick 0–090–18 : 0–13W All-Ireland Quarter-Final
3021 August 2005 Croke Park, Dublin Galway 1–094–18 : 5–18L All-Ireland Semi-Final
3110 June 2006 Cusack Park, Mullingar Westmeath 0–081–27 : 1–13W Leinster Semi-Final
322 July 2006 Croke Park, Dublin Wexford 1–071–23 : 1–12W Leinster Final
3322 July 2006 Semple Stadium, Thurles Galway 0–112–22 : 3–14W All-Ireland Quarter-Final
3413 August 2006 Croke Park, Dublin Clare 1–132–21 : 1–16W All-Ireland Semi-Final
353 September 2006 Croke Park, Dublin Cork 0–081–16 : 1–13W All-Ireland Final
3610 June 2007 O'Moore Park, Portlaoise Offaly 0–121–27 : 1–13W Leinster Semi-Final
371 July 2007 Croke Park, Dublin Wexford 0–092–24 : 1–12W Leinster Final
3828 July 2007 Croke Park, Dublin Galway 0–073–22 : 1–18W All-Ireland Quarter-Final
395 August 2007 Croke Park, Dublin Wexford 0–140–23 : 1–13W All-Ireland Semi-Final
402 September 2007 Croke Park, Dublin Limerick 1–022–19 : 1–15W All-Ireland Final
4115 June 2008 O'Moore Park, Portlaoise Offaly 0–112–24 : 0–12W Leinster Semi-Final
426 July 2008 Croke Park, Dublin Wexford 1–075–21 : 0–17W Leinster Final
4310 August 2008 Croke Park, Dublin Cork 0–091–23 : 0–17W All-Ireland Semi-Final
447 September 2008 Croke Park, Dublin Waterford 0–083–30 : 1–13W All-Ireland Final
4521 June 2009 O'Connor Park, Tullamore Galway 0–102–20 : 3–13W Leinster Semi-Final
465 July 2009 Croke Park, Dublin Dublin 0–062–18 : 0–18W Leinster Final
479 August 2009 Croke Park, Dublin Waterford 1–142–23 : 3–15W All-Ireland Semi-Final
486 September 2009 Croke Park, Dublin Tipperary 1–082–22 : 0–23W All-Ireland Final
4920 June 2010 Croke Park, Dublin Dublin 0–124–19 : 0–12W Leinster Semi-Final
504 July 2010 Croke Park, Dublin Galway 1-071–19 : 1–12W Leinster Final
518 August 2010 Croke Park, Dublin Cork 0-023–22 : 0–19W All-Ireland Semi-Final
525 September 2010 Croke Park, Dublin Tipperary 0-011–18 : 4–17L All-Ireland Final
5312 June 2011 Wexford Park, Wexford Wexford 0-091–26 : 1–15W Leinster Semi-Final
543 July 2011 Croke Park, Dublin Dublin 1-094–17 : 1–15W Leinster Final
557 August 2011 Croke Park, Dublin Waterford 0-072-19 : 1–16W All Ireland Semi-Final
564 September 2011 Croke Park, Dublin Tipperary 0-072-17 : 1–16W All Ireland Final
5723 June 2012 Portlaoise, Laois Dublin 0-102-21 : 0–09W Leinster Semi-Final
588 July 2012 Croke Park, Dublin Galway 1-082-11 : 2-21L Leinster Final
5929 July 2012 Semple Stadium, Thurles Limerick 2-064-16 : 1-16W Quarter-Final
6019 August 2012 Croke Park, Dublin Tipperary 0-114-24 : 1–15W All-Ireland Semi-Final
619 September 2012 Croke Park, Dublin Galway 0-120-19 : 2–13D All-Ireland Final
6230 September 2012 Croke Park, Dublin Galway 0-093-22 : 3-11W All-Ireland Final - Replay
636 July 2013 (Sub) Nowlan Park, Kilkenny Tipperary 0–000-20 : 1–14W All-Ireland Qualifier R2
6413 July 2013 Semple Stadium, Thurles Waterford 0–001–22 : 2-16W All-Ireland Qualifier R3
6528 July 2013 Semple Stadium, Thurles Cork 0–000-14 : 0-19L All-Ireland Quarter-Final
6622 June 2014 (Sub) O'Connor Park, Tullamore Galway 0–013-22 : 5-16D Leinster Semi-Final
6728 June 2014 (Sub) O'Connor Park, Tullamore Galway 0–003-19 : 1-17W Leinster Semi-Final replay
6822 June 2014 (Sub) Croke Park, Dublin Dublin 0–030-24 : 1-09W Leinster Final
6910 August 2014 (Sub) Croke Park, Dublin Limerick 0–002-13 : 0-17W All-Ireland Semi-Final
707 September 2014 (Sub) Croke Park, Dublin Tipperary 0–003-22 : 1-28D All-Ireland Final
7127 September 2014 (Sub) Croke Park, Dublin Tipperary 0–002-17 : 2-14W All-Ireland Final replay
All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship scoring total
RankScoresRankPlayGamesAverageAverage (play)
1st27–484 (565pts)1st24–136 (208pts)71 games7.952.92

All-Ireland Final scores

List of appearances
#DateVenueOpponentScorePlayW/LResult
112 September 1999 Croke Park, Dublin Cork 0–050–01L0-12 : 0–13
210 September 2000 Croke Park, Dublin Offaly 2–031–01W5–15 : 1–14
38 September 2002 Croke Park, Dublin Clare 1–071–03W2-20 : 0–19
47 September 2003 Croke Park, Dublin Cork 0–060–02W1–14 : 1–11
512 September 2004 Croke Park, Dublin [104] Cork 0–050–02L0-09 : 0–17
63 September 2006 Croke Park, Dublin Cork 0–080–03W1–16 : 1–13
72 September 2007 Croke Park, Dublin Limerick 1–021–01W2–19 : 1–15
87 September 2008 Croke Park, Dublin Waterford 0–080–02W3–30 : 1–13
96 September 2009 Croke Park, Dublin Tipperary 1–080–01W2–22 : 0–23
105 September 2010 Croke Park, Dublin Tipperary 0–010–00L1–18 : 4–17
114 September 2011 Croke Park, Dublin Tipperary 0–070–02W2–17 : 1–16
129 September 2012 Croke Park, Dublin Galway 0–120–01D0-19 : 2–13
1330 September 2012 (Replay) Croke Park, Dublin Galway 0–090–02W3-22 : 3–11
All-Ireland Senior Hurling Finals Scoring Total
Scores (Total)RankScores (Play)RankGamesAverage
5-81 (96pts)1st3–21 (30pts)2nd13 games7.15

Career statistics

Club

TeamSeason Kilkenny Leinster All-Ireland Total
AppsScoreAppsScoreAppsScoreAppsScore
Ballyhale Shamrocks 1998-99 21-1121-11
1999-00 31-2431-24
2000-01 32-1832-18
2001-02 20-1620-16
2002-03 20-0620-06
2003-04 10-0810-08
2004-05 32-1632-16
2005-06 31-1831-18
2006-07 30-2422-0820-1172-43
2007-08 00-0000-0000-00
2008-09 31-2330-2510-1071-58
2009-10 31-1431-2020-2282-56
2010-11 00-0000-00
2011-12 53-4253-42
2012-13 30-1910-0140-20
2013-14 20-1420-14
2014-15 30-1121-0620-0771-24
2015-16 30-2630-26
2016-17 30-0630-06
2017-18 10-0010-00
Total4812-296114-6070-506616-406

Inter-county

TeamYear National League Championship Total
DivisionAppsScoreAppsScoreAppsScore
Kilkenny 1999 Division 1B 72-4241-24113-66
200062-3942-21104-60
200153-1631-1984-35
2002 Division 1A 73-3341-33114-66
200374-5343-25117-78
200463-3276-45139-77
2005 Division 1 54-2243-3797-59
200623-952-4775-56
200710-1251-4561-57
200800-0041-3741-37
200941-2942-3883-67
201000-0041-2241-22
201100-0041-3241-32
2012 Division 1A 00-0063-5663-56
201300-0030-0030-00
201471-2861-4131-32
Total5726-3157128-48512855-800

Honours

Player

St. Kieran's College
Waterford Institute of Technology
Ballyhale Shamrocks
Kilkenny
Leinster

Individual

Awards

Manager

Ballyhale Shamrocks

Records

Sources

Related Research Articles

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Awards
Preceded by
Tommy Dunne
(Tipperary)
Vodafone Hurler of the Year
2002
Succeeded by
J. J. Delaney
(Kilkenny)
Texaco Hurler of the Year
2002
Gaelic Players' Association
Hurler of the Year

2002
Preceded by
Jerry O'Connor
(Cork)
Vodafone Hurler of the Year
2006
Succeeded by
Dan Shanahan
(Waterford)
Texaco Hurler of the Year
2006
Preceded by
John Gardiner
(Cork)
Gaelic Players' Association
Hurler of the Year

2006
Preceded by
Seán Óg Ó hAilpín
RTÉ Sports Person of the Year
2006
Succeeded by
Pádraig Harrington
Preceded by
Michael Fennelly
(Kilkenny)
GAA-GPA Hurler of the Year
2012
Succeeded by
Tony Kelly
(Clare)
Texaco Hurler of the Year
2012
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Jackie Tyrrell
Kilkenny Senior Hurling Captain
2007
Succeeded by
James 'Cha' Fitzpatrick
Preceded by
James 'Cha' Fitzpatrick
Kilkenny Senior Hurling Captain
2009
Succeeded by
Michael Fennelly
Preceded by
Michael Fennelly
Kilkenny Senior Hurling Captain
2009
Succeeded by
Michael Fennelly
Achievements
Preceded by
Jackie Tyrrell
All-Ireland Senior Hurling Final
winning captain

2007
Succeeded by
James 'Cha' Fitzpatrick