The Gaelic Athletic Association-Gaelic Players' Association All Stars Awards (often known simply as the All Stars) are awarded annually to the best player in each of the 15 playing positions in Gaelic football and hurling. Additionally, one player in each code is selected as Player of the Year. The awards have since 2011 been presented jointly by the Gaelic Athletic Association and the representative body for inter-county players, the Gaelic Players Association.
Each player who receives a nomination is given a medallion marking the milestone.
These are considered to be "the most coveted sporting award scheme in the country".
Since the 1960s there had been a tradition of annually selecting the best player in each position, in football and hurling, to create a special team of the year. Between 1963 and 1967 these players received what was known as the Cú Chulainn award. In 1971 these awards were formalised into the annual GAA All Star Awards. In 2006 the Gaelic Players Association launched a parallel award scheme entitled the GPA Gaelic Team of the Year (often referred to as the GPA Awards). An annual award was also given by the GPA to the Footballer of the Year and the Hurler of the Year.
In 2011 it was announced that the GAA All Stars Awards, which had been sponsored in recent years by Vodafone, and the GPA Awards would merge under the sponsorship of car manufacturer Opel. The move announced by Christy Cooney saw the achievements of players recognised jointly for the first time in October 2011.
The All Stars team comprises the best player in each position, regardless of club or county affiliation. The composition of the All Star teams are decided on the basis of a shortlist compiled by a selection committee of sports journalists from the national media, while the overall winners are chosen by inter-county players themselves. The award is regarded by players as the highest accolade available to them, due to it being picked by their peers. The awards are presented at a gala banquet in November following the end of the Championship season. Both men's teams are honoured with a special holiday where they play an exhibition game. Since 1971 over 1,000 players have been honoured with All Stars Awards. Damien Martin of Offaly was the first ever recipient of the award, while in 2004 Paul Galvin of Kerry became the 1,000th winner of the award.
Carlow and Longford are the only county in Ireland not to receive an award in either sport.
For a complete listing of all winners see the following articles:
Twenty two sets of brothers have won All Star Awards in hurling. They are:
One set of twins have won All Star Awards in hurling:
Twelve sets of brothers have won All Star Awards in Gaelic football. They are:
One set of brothers has won All Star Awards in hurling and football (with two different counties):
Fifteen father and son pairings have won All Star Awards.
Twelve of these have been in football. Of the twelve, two fathers have each been followed by two sons, therefore a total of four father and son pairings:
The other eight father and son pairings are:
There have been three hurling father and son pairings:
Three other players share the distinction of winning All Star awards in both hurling and football, but they did not win the accolades in the same year. These players are:
People who have received five or more awards since 1971:
Tommy Walsh of Kilkenny has won nine consecutive hurling All Star Awards in five different positions; a record unlikely to be equalled or surpassed. These were for playing at left corner back (1), at right half back (5), at left half back (1), at midfield (1) and at left half forward (1).
Henry Shefflin of Kilkenny holds the record for most All Star Awards in the one position with 7 at centre-forward.
'I think players in the lower divisions already feel they are being treated like second-class citizens and then to give them a second tier All Star - I wouldn't want one. I was nominated for an All Star in '06 and if you don't win one you get a medallion saying you are a nominee. It's still at home in my mother's house, it's tangible, it is the principal competition in the country and you are striving to be in that...'