History maker Henry Shefflin is now the most celebrated player in the hurling record books after winning a tenth All-Ireland title with Kilkenny.
The Cats legend appeared as a second-half substitute as Kilkenny held off Tipperary to win an epic replay by just three points, 2-17 to 2-14.
Shefflin is now untouchable the greatest medal winner in the history of the game and even he is finding it hard to believe that he has won 10 MacCarthy Cup medals.
He told Irish state broadcaster RTE: “It’s just unbelievable, I suppose. It has been a rollercoaster career and a rollercoaster year. It has been magnificent and a testament to the two games with Tipp.
“I’m just absolutely delighted to still be involved at this stage of my career and being in games like this, whether it is sitting up there in the dugout or on the field.
“When you have two teams like Tipperary and Kilkenny playing hurling like that over the last two days, it is just a joy to be involved in that kind of situation.”
Reduced to the role of substitute this season after a string of injuries, Shefflin has yet to decide on his future.
The 35-year-old added: “It is difficult because everyone wants to be playing.
“Only 15 can play so you are hurling every ball and driving it on probably like all the supporters here today. It is a bit tougher on the field, to be honest!
“Once the year got going, I knew we had a great group of players and a great management team. It was a very hard-fought All-Ireland and it was just about winning it. We’re delighted to come out the right side of a great game again.
“The goals from the Power brothers were the difference. The goalkeepers on both sides pulled off some great saves so it kept it nip and tuck the whole time.
“I don’t know about the future to be honest but I really am going to enjoy this. It’s a brilliant victory and I’m looking forward to the celebrations now.”
Kilkenny boss Brian Cody celebrated a tenth All-Ireland as winning manager but insisted the glory belonged to Shefflin.
He said: “Henry’s achievement is the one to talk about. The manager is still as young as ever. The player himself gets older and it’s a different thing.
“He’s challenged in every single possible way, not so much in a psychological way, but in a physical way because he has gone through the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, obviously, with injury and to be here still at this level and to be challenging for his place, absolutely challenging, and then to have deserved to achieve his 10th All-Ireland on the field of play, that’s just mind boggling stuff.
“I thought for a while it might never be done again but there’s a few lads coming behind him, they’re creeping up as well. It’s just a magnificent time for Henry and those other players.”