HomeGAASix of the Greatest GAA Hurlers of All Time

Six of the Greatest GAA Hurlers of All Time

Defining the greatest hurlers of all time is no easy feat, with the sport being over 3000 years old and there being a shortage of player stats from its inception.

However, several players of GAA hurling are widely regarded as some of the best in the sport’s history. Here are some hurlers who stand out among the best:

Henry Shefflin (Kilkenny)

Henry Shefflin, known as King Henry, is regarded as the greatest of the great by players and fans alike. This centre-forward hurling legend from Kilkenny had an illustrious career marked by unparalleled success. In addition to his record-breaking 10 All-Ireland titles, Shefflin earned numerous other individual accolades, including 11 All-Star awards and three Hurler of the Year awards (2002, 2006, 2012).

Shefflin ranks fourth amongst the top all-time champion scorers, with 27-484 = 565 points and an average score of 7.95 points per game.

Joe Canning (Galway)

Joe Canning is a modern hurling icon who is renowned for his exceptional skill, scoring ability, and leadership. As a centre half-forward, Canning had a fantastic skill of hitting sideline cuts. He’s considered Galway’s greatest-ever hurler, and his winning point against Tipperary in 2017 in the All-Ireland Championship stands out in the history books.

Joe’s best average score per game is an impressive 9.15 points, and he’s ranked as the third-best championship scorer of all time, with 27-486 = 567 points.

DJ Carey (Kilkenny)

At a time when other exciting games like the online pokies NZ offers were first emerging, DJ Carey crafted an extraordinary career as a Kilkenny and Irish hurling maestro in the 1990s. Carey played as a left wing-forward, and his sublime skill, scoring ability, and agility helped his team claim five All-Ireland titles. A nine-time All-Star, his influence transcended positions and showcased his flair and game-changing ability for his team and country. He has had some personal issues in recent times.

Tommy Walsh (Kilkenny)

Tommy Walsh is another hurling legend who represented County Kilkenny. Comparatively shorter than his hurling peers, Walsh played right wing-back and was renowned for his defensive prowess, flying through the skies, plucking the sliotar, and driving his team on to score.

In his career, Walsh earned many accolades, including nine All-Ireland titles, nine All-Star titles, and Hurler of the Year in 2009. Walsh was a fan favourite across the counties, and hisversatility, leadership, and skill on the field further solidified his status as one of the greatest hurlers in the sport’s history.

TJ Reid (Kilkenny)

TJ Reid is a remarkable hurler known for his consistency in performance, scoring prowess, and versatility. Reid contributed to Kilkenny’s seven All-Ireland titles, and in 2023 he earned his seventh All-Star title. He’s rated the second-best all-time championship scorer, with 28-487 = 571 points and a best average score of 7.6 points per game.

Séamus Callanan (Tipperary)

Séamus Callanan is a revered hurler known for his prolific scoring and leadership on the field. In his 16 years of hurling for Tipperary, he helped the team win three All-Ireland titles and was shortlisted four times for the All-Stars honour. Callanan holds the record for being Tipperary’s top goal scorer and is ranked tenth highest for goal-scoring with 39-221 = 338 points. His average score per game is 5.54 points.


Six of the greatest hurlers in GAA history are Henry Shefflin, Joe Canning, DJ Carey, Tommy Walsh, TJ Reid, and Séamus Callanan. While these great hurlers have wowed us with their skill and talent, many others could be on this list. Excitingly enough, GAA hurling will likely witness new record-breaking greats this season and in those to come.

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