awards bash

Lee Keegan and Austin Gleeson take home GAA/GPA Footballer and Hurler of the Year awards

Neither player managed to lead their teams to All-Ireland glory this year.

FOR THE FIRST time in the history of the All-Stars, both the Footballer of the Year and Hurler of the Year have come from counties who didn’t win the All-Ireland title the same year.

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Mayo defender Lee Keegan and Waterford star Austin Gleeson picked up the highest individual honours in the game at the GAA/GPA All-Stars tonight at Dublin’s Convention Centre.

Only five times in the past did the hurling and football champions fail to produce the Player of the Year, but that figure now rises to seven as Keegan and Gleeson claim the big awards.

Keegan beat off competition from Brian Fenton and Ciaran Kilkenny, both of whom played for All-Ireland champions Dublin, for the accolade.

Gleeson topped the list in the three-man hurling poll, seeing off Tipperary’s Seamus Callanan and Padraic Maher for the prize.

Players of the Year who didn’t win an All-Ireland the same year
Footballer of the Year
  • 2016 – Lee Keegan (Dublin are All-Ireland champions)
  • 2010 – Bernard Brogan (Cork were All-Ireland champions)
  • 2003 – Steven McDonnell (Tyrone were All-Ireland champions)
  • 1995 – Peter Canavan (Dublin were All-Ireland champions)

Hurler of the Year

  • 2016 – Austin Gleeson (Tipperary are All-Ireland champions)
  • 2007 – Dan Shanahan (Kilkenny were All-Ireland champions)
  • 1998 – Tony Browne (Offaly were All-Ireland champions)

The 27-year-old Keegan was a colossus in defence for Mayo on their route to the All-Ireland final, while he also provided plenty of moments of inspiration in attack.

Elsewhere Gleeson enjoyed a phenomenal year, evolving into one of the finest hurlers in the land. Waterford were pipped by Kilkenny in the All-Ireland semi-final replay, but Gleeson was outstanding in both games.

He also became the first hurler since Tony Kelly in 2013 to win both Hurler of the Year and Young Hurler of the Year in the same year.

Keegan picked up his fourth All-Star on the night, while Gleeson won his first.

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