Top awards for Cluxton and Callanan as Dublin claim seven PwC Football All-Stars
History was made at the PwC All-Stars as Stephen Cluxton and Séamus Callanan were crowned PwC GAA/GPA Players of the Year in Football and Hurling.
The decision of his fellow players to bestow the overall honour upon him tops a record season for Dublin goalkeeper Cluxton.
The Parnells clubman had already set a new milestone for being the first man to play more than 100 times in the senior championship and collected a seventh All-Ireland winners’ medal as he captained the Dubs to the iconic five in a row.
This Player of the Year accolade now comes alongside what was also a record sixth individual PwC All-Star for the Hill 16 hero – an award which moves him one ahead of his fellow Dub John O’Leary, and he is now the most decorated football goalkeeper of all-time.
Drom - Inch sharp shooter Callanan was also the top choice of his fellow hurlers after a season that saw him captain the Premier County to the Liam MacCarthy Cup.
The Tipperary full forward’s trademark prolific flourishes in front of goal were to the fore yet again and he set a modern-day record of breaking the 30-goal mark in a Championship career that has seen him feature in the All-Ireland triumphs of 2010, 2016 and now 2019.
The devastating impact made in attack by Kerry and Kenmare starlet Seán O’Shea off frees and general play saw him selected as the PwC GAA/GPA Young Footballer of the Year award.
In hurling, there was an honour for Ballyhale Shamrock’s and Kilkenny forward Adrian Mullen, with the PwC GAA/GPA Young Hurler of Year award coming in a season that also saw him win the AIB Club Hurler of the Year title.
Cluxton’s triumph caps a magnificent seven-strong haul of PwC Football All-Stars which were announced live on RTÉ on Friday night at Dublin’s Convention Centre.
The Dubs feature through Michael Fitzsimons and Jack McCaffrey who are joined by the versatile Brian Howard in defence. Brian Fenton, last year’s footballer of the year, is again selected in midfield. In attack, Con O’Callaghan and Paul Mannion are recognised for their invaluable contribution to Dublin’s successful assault on GAA history.
There are five counties represented on the final 15 for football.
Beaten All-Ireland finalists and Munster champions Kerry have four awards – covering defence, midfield and attack.
There are two awards for Tyrone and then one each for Donegal and Mayo.
Uachtarán CLG John Horan said: “To be a PwC All-Star sets you apart as something special. It recognises players who are critical parts of their team and who carved a niche for themselves this year by going above and beyond in their dedication to their craft and their delivery on the big stage. My congratulations to all of the winners from such a distinguished list of nominees and I thank them for what they do for the promotion of our games.
“I am delighted to welcome Stephen, Seamus, Adrian and Seán into the annals of GAA history and salute them for the seasons they had and congratulate them on an award that will be shared, not only by their counties - but by their families, their clubs and all those who have helped shape their careers.”
Paul Flynn, GPA CEO said: “Congratulations to this year’s PwC All-Star footballers on a fantastic 2019 season. To receive an All-Star is a wonderful achievement and it’s important we recognise the talent of individuals every year. On behalf of the GPA, I’d like to thank each and every one of our nominees for their dedication to the game. It has truly been a memorable year of football.”
Feargal O'Rourke, Managing Partner, PwC, said: “As sponsor of the PwC All-Stars, we are delighted to play a part in this unique celebration of Irish sporting excellence, and we would like to congratulate each of the 2019 football award winners. It is just acknowledgement of their commitment and drive to be the very best that they can be and we as fans are thankful for the fantastic season that they played their part in producing.”
The PwC All-Stars are chosen by a panel made up of national GAA correspondents from across print, digital, TV and radio. The overall PwC GAA/GPA Players of the Year awards are voted on exclusively by players.
This year’s PwC All-Star tour will see the GAA/GPA hurling heroes of 2019 and 2018 travelling to Abu Dhabi in late November.
2019 PwC Football All-Stars – (previous awards in brackets)
1. Stephen Cluxton (Dublin) (2002,’06,’07,2011,’13).
2. Michael Fitzsimons (Dublin) (2017)
3. Ronan McNamee (Tyrone)
4. Tom O’Sullivan (Kerry)
5. Patrick Durcan (Mayo)
6. Brian Howard (Dublin) (2018)
7. Jack McCaffrey (Dublin) (2015, ’17, ’18)
8. Brian Fenton (Dublin) (2015, ’16, ’18)
9. David Moran (Kerry) (2014)
10. Paul Mannion (Dublin) (2017, ’18)
11. Seán O’Shea (Kerry)
12. Michael Murphy (Donegal) (2012, ’14)
13. David Clifford (Kerry) (2018)
14. Cathal McShane (Tyrone)
15. Con O’Callaghan (Dublin)
PwC GAA/GPA Footballer of the Year – Stephen Cluxton (Parnells, Dublin)
PwC GAA/GPA Young Footballer of the Year – Seán Ó Shea (Kenmare, Kerry)
PwC GAA/GPA Hurler of the Year – Séamus Callanan (Drom-Inch, Tipperary)
PwC GAA/GPA Young Hurler of the Year – Adrian Mullen (Ballyhale Shamrocks, Kilkenny)