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'A gentleman, a model professional and a great family man' – Katie Taylor leads tributes to Henry Shefflin

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Sky Academy Ambassador Katie Taylor was in Ballinasloe, Co. Galway, to surprise Ardscoil Mhuire student Stephanie OHalloran live on Sky Sports News HQ and present her with the Sky Sports Living for Sport award for Republic of Ireland Student of the Year. Stephanie will now be up against the winners for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and the Awards will be broadcast on Sky Sports 1 on Sunday 29 March 2015 at 7.30pm. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

Sky Academy Ambassador Katie Taylor was in Ballinasloe, Co. Galway, to surprise Ardscoil Mhuire student Stephanie OHalloran live on Sky Sports News HQ and present her with the Sky Sports Living for Sport award for Republic of Ireland Student of the Year. Stephanie will now be up against the winners for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and the Awards will be broadcast on Sky Sports 1 on Sunday 29 March 2015 at 7.30pm. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

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Katie Taylor secured yet another World Championship gold medal

Katie Taylor secured yet another World Championship gold medal

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Sky Academy Ambassador Katie Taylor was in Ballinasloe, Co. Galway, to surprise Ardscoil Mhuire student Stephanie OHalloran live on Sky Sports News HQ and present her with the Sky Sports Living for Sport award for Republic of Ireland Student of the Year. Stephanie will now be up against the winners for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and the Awards will be broadcast on Sky Sports 1 on Sunday 29 March 2015 at 7.30pm. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

Olympic champion Katie Taylor was among the many high-profile sports stars to acknowledge the contribution of Henry Shefflin to the world of sport and GAA.

The 13-time All-Ireland winner decided to call time on his inter-county career after watching the Cats beat Clare last Sunday with his wife Deirdre in front of the television.

The Gaelic Players Association has paid the highest compliment to retired Kilkenny hurler by saying that his legacy in the game is unlikely ever to be surpassed.

"His enduring dedication, including overcoming two career-threatening injuries, has inspired a generation on and off the playing field. His untouchable legacy is unlikely ever to be eclipsed.

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Henry Shefflin celebrates last year's All-Ireland final win

Henry Shefflin celebrates last year's All-Ireland final win

Kilkenny's Henry Shefflin celebrates winning the All Ireland Senior Championship

Kilkenny's Henry Shefflin celebrates winning the All Ireland Senior Championship

SPORTSFILE

Henry Shefflin gives a thumbs-up to Ballyhale’s record sixth All-Ireland title

Henry Shefflin gives a thumbs-up to Ballyhale’s record sixth All-Ireland title

SPORTSFILE

Henry Shefflin, Ballyhale Shamrocks, kisses the cup. AIB GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Club Championship Final, Ballyhale Shamrocks, Co Kilkenny, v Kilmallock, Co Limerick. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE

Henry Shefflin, Ballyhale Shamrocks, kisses the cup. AIB GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Club Championship Final, Ballyhale Shamrocks, Co Kilkenny, v Kilmallock, Co Limerick. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE

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Kilkenny manager Brian Cody and Henry Shefflin

Kilkenny manager Brian Cody and Henry Shefflin

SPORTSFILE

Barry Kelly sends off Kilkenny's Henry Shefflin in last year's All-Ireland Senior Championship Quarter-Final

Barry Kelly sends off Kilkenny's Henry Shefflin in last year's All-Ireland Senior Championship Quarter-Final

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30 September 2012; Kilkenny's Henry Shefflin celebrates with the Liam MacCarthy Cup and winning his 9th All-Ireland medal. GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Final Replay, Kilkenny v Galway, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

30 September 2012; Kilkenny's Henry Shefflin celebrates with the Liam MacCarthy Cup and winning his 9th All-Ireland medal. GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Final Replay, Kilkenny v Galway, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

Henry Shefflin reacts after scoring a point against Galway in the 2012 All-Ireland final

Henry Shefflin reacts after scoring a point against Galway in the 2012 All-Ireland final

Kilkenny hurler Henry Shefflin with Pat Hickey,President of the Olympic Council of Ireland (left) and  Liam O'Neill,President of the GAA  at Croke Park for the Olympic Torch relay in 2012

Kilkenny hurler Henry Shefflin with Pat Hickey,President of the Olympic Council of Ireland (left) and Liam O'Neill,President of the GAA at Croke Park for the Olympic Torch relay in 2012

Henry  lifts and hugs his daughter Sadhbh.

Henry lifts and hugs his daughter Sadhbh.

Kilkenny's Henry Shefflin celebrates with the Liam MacCarthy Cup in 2011

Kilkenny's Henry Shefflin celebrates with the Liam MacCarthy Cup in 2011

Pat Murphy / SPORTSFILE

Kilkenny's Henry Shefflin holds his knee after pulling up injured, forcing him off in the early part of the All-Ireland final. Photo: Matt Browne / Sportsfile

Kilkenny's Henry Shefflin holds his knee after pulling up injured, forcing him off in the early part of the All-Ireland final. Photo: Matt Browne / Sportsfile

Kilkenny's Henry Shefflin receiving treatment after suffering a knee injury in Croke Park on Sunday.

Kilkenny's Henry Shefflin receiving treatment after suffering a knee injury in Croke Park on Sunday.

Henry Shefflin, Kilkenny, celebrates after scoring his side's second goal in their All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Final win over Waterford in 2009

Henry Shefflin, Kilkenny, celebrates after scoring his side's second goal in their All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Final win over Waterford in 2009

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Brian Cody embraces his talisman Henry Shefflin after the 2003 All-Ireland final.

Brian Cody embraces his talisman Henry Shefflin after the 2003 All-Ireland final.

Ballyhale Shamrock's players, from left, Henry Shefflin, Alan Cuddihy and Michael Fennelly celebrate after their win in the Kilkenny Senior Hurling Championship Final between Clara v Ballyhale Shamrocks last year

Ballyhale Shamrock's players, from left, Henry Shefflin, Alan Cuddihy and Michael Fennelly celebrate after their win in the Kilkenny Senior Hurling Championship Final between Clara v Ballyhale Shamrocks last year

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 Kilkenny captain Henry Shefflin lifts the Liam MacCarthy Cup after victory over Limerick in the 2007 All-Ireland

Kilkenny captain Henry Shefflin lifts the Liam MacCarthy Cup after victory over Limerick in the 2007 All-Ireland

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Kilkenny's Henry Shefflin lifts the Liam MacCarthy cup with Darragh McGarry, son of James McGarry, right. Guinness All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Final, Kilkenny v Limerick in 2007

Kilkenny's Henry Shefflin lifts the Liam MacCarthy cup with Darragh McGarry, son of James McGarry, right. Guinness All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Final, Kilkenny v Limerick in 2007

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Kilkenny captain Henry Shefflin holds the Leinster Senior Cup as Wexford players make their way to their dressing room. Guinness Leinster Senior Hurling Championship Final in 2007

Kilkenny captain Henry Shefflin holds the Leinster Senior Cup as Wexford players make their way to their dressing room. Guinness Leinster Senior Hurling Championship Final in 2007

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Kilkenny Hurler Henry Shefflin married Deirdre O'Sullivan at Callan, Co. Kilkenny in 2007. Photo Patrick Browne Jnr

Kilkenny Hurler Henry Shefflin married Deirdre O'Sullivan at Callan, Co. Kilkenny in 2007. Photo Patrick Browne Jnr

Ballyhale Shamrocks players Tom Coogan, left, and Henry Shefflin lift the Tommy Moore Cup after the AIB All-Ireland Senior Club Hurling Championship Final in 2007. Picture credit: Brian Lawless / SPORTSFILE

Ballyhale Shamrocks players Tom Coogan, left, and Henry Shefflin lift the Tommy Moore Cup after the AIB All-Ireland Senior Club Hurling Championship Final in 2007. Picture credit: Brian Lawless / SPORTSFILE

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Henry Shefflin, Kilkenny, commiserates with Cork players, l to r, Ronan Curran, John Gardiner, Kieran Murphy, Sarsfields, Wayne Sherlock, Sean Og O hAilpin and Donal Og Cusack. Guinness All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Final in 2006

Henry Shefflin, Kilkenny, commiserates with Cork players, l to r, Ronan Curran, John Gardiner, Kieran Murphy, Sarsfields, Wayne Sherlock, Sean Og O hAilpin and Donal Og Cusack. Guinness All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Final in 2006

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David Fitzgerald, Clare, squares up to Henry Shefflin, Kilkenny, watched by team-mates Frank Lohan (2) and Sean McMahon, Clare. Allianz National Hurling League, Division 1 Final in 2005

David Fitzgerald, Clare, squares up to Henry Shefflin, Kilkenny, watched by team-mates Frank Lohan (2) and Sean McMahon, Clare. Allianz National Hurling League, Division 1 Final in 2005

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Henry Shefflin, Kilkenny, scores a last minute point. Guinness All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship, Semi-Final, Kilkenny v Clare, Croke Park, Dublin in 2006. Picture credit; Damien Eagers / SPORTSFILE

Henry Shefflin, Kilkenny, scores a last minute point. Guinness All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship, Semi-Final, Kilkenny v Clare, Croke Park, Dublin in 2006. Picture credit; Damien Eagers / SPORTSFILE

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Donal Og Cusack, Cork, in action against Henry Shefflin, Kilkenny during the 2004 All-Ireland final

Donal Og Cusack, Cork, in action against Henry Shefflin, Kilkenny during the 2004 All-Ireland final

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Kilkenny's Henry Shefflin leaves the field with an eye injury during the Guinness All-Ireland Hurling Championship Quarter Final Replay against Clare in 2004

Kilkenny's Henry Shefflin leaves the field with an eye injury during the Guinness All-Ireland Hurling Championship Quarter Final Replay against Clare in 2004

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The Kilkenny doctor Tadhg Crowley attends to Henry Shefflin as referee Pat Horan and Clare's Gerry Quibb look on during their  All-Ireland Hurling Championship Quarter Final Replay
 at Semple Stadium in 2004

The Kilkenny doctor Tadhg Crowley attends to Henry Shefflin as referee Pat Horan and Clare's Gerry Quibb look on during their All-Ireland Hurling Championship Quarter Final Replay at Semple Stadium in 2004

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Kilkenny's Henry Shefflin lifts the Liam MacCarthy cup after the All-Ireland victory over Clare in 2002

Kilkenny's Henry Shefflin lifts the Liam MacCarthy cup after the All-Ireland victory over Clare in 2002

Kilkenny's Henry Shefflin shoots to score his side's goal despite the presence of Stephen Byrne, left and Kevin Martin, Offaly in the 2000 All Ireland Hurling Championship Final. Picture credit: Matt Browne/SPORTSFILE

Kilkenny's Henry Shefflin shoots to score his side's goal despite the presence of Stephen Byrne, left and Kevin Martin, Offaly in the 2000 All Ireland Hurling Championship Final. Picture credit: Matt Browne/SPORTSFILE

Henry Shefflin, Kilkenny, in action against Simon Whelahan in the Cats 1999 Leinster hurling final win

Henry Shefflin, Kilkenny, in action against Simon Whelahan in the Cats 1999 Leinster hurling final win

Henry Shefflin in action for Kilkenny against Wexford in the Walsh Cup in 1999. Picture Credit: Ray McManus/SPORTSFILE.

Henry Shefflin in action for Kilkenny against Wexford in the Walsh Cup in 1999. Picture Credit: Ray McManus/SPORTSFILE.

A fresh-faced Henry Shefflin in 1999

A fresh-faced Henry Shefflin in 1999

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Henry Shefflin celebrates last year's All-Ireland final win

The 28 year-old boxer has hailed Shefflin for his class both on and off the pitch.

"Henry is a gentleman, a model professional and a great family man," she said. "He's been going consistently for so long, remaining at the top from year to year.

While admitting key differences between individual and team sports, Taylor says she was always keen to get a better understanding on how the Ballyhale male prepared physically for inter-county hurling.

"I loved listening to how he is in training."

After such a success-laden 16 years in a Kilkenny jersey, Taylor says the loss to the GAA will be huge.

"He is going to be badly missed."

Here is what others had to say about the Cats legend.

Katie Taylor was speaking as a Sky Sports Ambassador in Ballinasloe, Co Galway to surprise Ardscoil Mhuire student Stephanie O’Halloran live on Sky Sports News HQ and present her with the Sky Sports Living for Sport award for Ireland. Stephanie will now be up against the winners for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and the Awards will be broadcast on Sky Sports 1 on Sunday 29 March.

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