Monday 30 January 2023 Dublin: 7°C
©INPHO Keane, Cooper, Taylor, Shefflin and Harrington welcomed US President Barack Obama to Ireland in 2011.
# The King and I
'A legend of Irish sport': Katie Taylor has joined in the tributes to King Henry Shefflin
Taylor privileged to watch one of hurling’s all-time greats over the last 16 years.

ON A DAY when one Irish sporting icon bowed out, another vowed not to stop until she’s made even more history.

Olympic champion Katie Taylor joined in the long list of tributes to hurling great Henry Shefflin who announced his Kilkenny retirement on Wednesday.

Taylor highlighted the superb consistency of the King who won an unprecedented 10 All-Ireland titles in his 16-year senior career.

And the five-time world champion echoed Shefflin’s insatiable hunger as she promised to punch her way into more record books.

Taylor is currently battling a wrist injury but she’s confident she’ll be at 100% when the inaugural European Games open in June.

Then she’ll set her sights on qualifying for Rio and winning a second gold medal at the 2016 Olympics.

“I think the more success you have, the more you want it as well,” Taylor said.

“I know how it feels to stand on top of the podium and I’ve also suffered a few defeats in my career. That’s great experience to have as well because I don’t ever want to feel that way again.

I definitely don’t find it hard to motivate myself. I want to make history in my sport. I’m on the brink of making history every time I step into the ring for these big competitions.

“If you can’t get yourself motivated for these things, I think there’s something wrong with you.”

Taylor and Shefflin were two of the Irish sporting stars chosen to welcome US President Barack Obama during his state visit in 2011.

And Taylor said she always enjoyed getting an insight into the Kilkenny great’s preparations.

“He’s amazing. It’s going to be a long time till we see the likes of Henry Shefflin.

He’s a legend of Irish sport. It was such a pleasure to be able to meet him a few times and actually see him play over the years.

“We’re so lucky to have a player like that in my generation that I could see playing every year.

“He’s a legend of the sport and he’s going to be hugely missed in the game. What can you say really?

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She added: “He’s been so consistent throughout the years and still performing at the top from year to year. That’s because of the professional he is.

“He is just the perfect role model. He’s the perfect family man as well.

“He’s going to be badly missed in the game but I wish him all the best in retirement.”

Katie Taylor was speaking in Ballinasloe where she surprised Stephanie O’Halloran, 14, with the Sky Sports Living for Sports Student of the Year award for the Republic of Ireland:

Sky Academy / YouTube

A cup of tea, a scone and a hurling chat – When Henry and Brian discussed retirement

There was much more to Henry Shefflin than just numbers

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