The overall winner of the Butler’s Sports Achievement Award for 2013 was announced at a special function on Friday last, January 17. A large crowd of past monthly award winners, sports personalities and customers attended the presentation and reception.
Philip Butler, proprietor, was master of ceremonies for the evening and introduced his two special guests, both hurlers, Donie O’Connell who played hurling with his local club Killenaule and with the Tipperary senior inter-county team in the 1980s and 1990s winning four Munster titles, two All-Irelands and one National Hurling League title; the second guest was Liam ‘Chunky’ O’Brien, a star with the famous James Stephens club in Kilkenny and one of the great players on the great Kilkenny senior hurling team of the 1970s winning seven Leinster titles, four All-Irelands and four All-Stars. Philip also thanked the members of the selection committee, comprising of representatives from various sporting organisations and walks of live in the parish, who came together over the year to decide the monthly winners and the annual winner for 2013. He also introduced and thanked the sponsor for this annual award, Tony Lawrence from Carrick-on-Suir, who is area-manager with Carling (sponsors).Certificates were then presented to the individual monthly award winners and the local ‘sporting guests’ invited to the monthly awards, before announcing the first annual winner, Michael Ryan, Tullamaine, manager of the Tipperary intermediate hurling team that retained the All-Ireland title by defeating Kilkenny by 2-14 to 2-11 at Nowlan Park on Saturday, August 31, 2013.
Michael, a very popular winner, accepted the award and spoke of how proud he was to win the first annual award and to represent Fethard on the hurling scene at All-Ireland level. The presentation closed with lots of sporting chat and light refreshment.