With the All Stars approaching I thought I’d have a look at the history of the All-Star awards. Which clubs have produced the most All-Star hurlers? Which clubs have produced all star hurlers over various eras?
(Edit: you can now check out the Gaelic Football version)
The All Star awards began in 1971, so the records I’m looking at cover 46 seasons leading up to this years awards. The awards therefore don’t include the one or two Cloyne might have picked up for that Ring chap who was decent enough or the awards that Rathnure might have won with 3 Rackard brothers.
The table below shows the clubs that have produced 4 hurlers or more to win All-Stars.
James Stephens of Kilkenny have incredibly produced 10 different hurlers to win an All-Star. This along with giving the hurling world a certain Brian Cody.
(Note: Previously had 11 for James Stephens – double count on Joe Hennessy , h/t Enda McEvoy)
Blackrock in Cork are in second place with 9 different hurlers winning 21 awards. Huge numbers despite not having won an award since Wayne Sherlock’s 2004 All-Star, 12 seasons ago.
Ballyhale on the other hand have won 22 of their 27 All Stars over the course of the past 15 years. 6 of their 8 award winners have played for Kilkenny since 2000.
Below I have charted the clubs who have won 10 or more All Stars. The chart shows them by year.
This chart (unfortunately a little small) shows us how Ballyhale have collected their vast majority of awards since 2000. Also we can see the dominance Finbarrs & Blackrock held in Cork in the 70’s and 80’s.
My analysis has shown me that groups that grow up together can raise their own standards – awards for clubs are picked up by multiple players in certain eras. Club players push each other to further greatness.
- Ballyhale Shamrocks – 6 winners of 16 awards (2009-15)
- Blackrock – 6 winners of 13 awards (1974-84)
- Mullinahone – 3 winners of 10 awards (2000-11)
- James Stephens – 3 winners of 5 awards (1999-02), 2 winners of 6 awards (2007-10), 5 winners of 12 awards (1973-79)
- St Finbarrs – 4 winners of 11 awards (1971-78)
- Seir Keiran – 4 winners of 9 awards (1994-00)
- South Liberties 3 winners of 13 awards (1971-81)
Take Young Irelands as an example- 3 winners of 13 awards (1997-02) – DJ Carey, Pat O Neill and Charlie Carter won multiple awards but since that group Young Ireland’s have won none and prior to their success Young Irelands had no all-stars. Club players seem to drive each other to the highest level of success.
What links many of the top clubs is their location in their respective counties.
- James Stephens – Kilkenny City
- St Finbarrs, Blackrock, Glen Rovers – Cork City
This makes the achievements of Ballyhale Shamrocks (8 winners, 27 All Stars) and Fenians (7 winners, 20 All Stars) all the more remarkable. Producing multiple All Star winners is exceptional for a non-city club.