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Butlers Sports Achievement Awards relaunched after two-year break

Published 6 months ago 22nd February 2022 by Joe Kenny

On Sunday night last, February 13, proprietor Philip Butler relaunched his Butler’s Sportsbar Fethard Sports Achievement Awards after an absence of two years due to Covid restrictions. Philip welcomed all present with a special mention for Bulmers Clonmel, represented by Anthony Wall, who sponsored the awards presented to two outstanding sports people who were chosen by the committee as joint winners for 2021.

Dorothy Wall – Joint Winner
The first joint winner was Dorothy Wall, one of the most highly regarded rugby players of her era. Dorothy made her six-nations debut in 2020 and scored her first international try against Wales in 2021. She also played on the Irish International Sevens and voted the young player of the year in 2021. Dorothy was also voted the ladies players’ ‘Player of The Year’ for 2021. The presentation was made by Dorothy’s father, Anthony Wall, who was also representing the award sponsors Bulmers.

Dorothey Wall accepting her Joint Sports Achievement Award for 2021 from her father Anthony Wall, who was also representing award sponsors Bulmers, Clonmel.

Ben Coen – Joint Winner
The second joint winner was local jockey Ben Coen who has counted almost fifty winners in the season. Ben became a household name on Friday, June 18, 2021, when he had his first Royal Ascot winner on board ‘Create Belief’, in the Sandringham Stakes, a fiercely competitive handicap run over the straight mile. This was also Johnny Murtagh’s first Royal Ascot winner as trainer. Ben had further big winners for Murtagh on ‘Sonnyboyliston’, in Europe’s richest handicap, the Skybet Ebor at York, and the Irish St. Leger in the Curragh – Ben’s first classic! Ben is seen now as one of the top jockeys in both Ireland and the UK. Unfortunately, Ben was unable to attend, and the award was presented to his younger brother Jake who is following in his brother’s footsteps as a promising jockey.

Jake Coen accepting his brother Ben’s Joint Sports Achievement Award for 2021 from Anthony Wall, representing sponsor Bulmers, Clonmel.

Philip went on to give a brief history of the Sports Awards, recalling the First Overall Winner presented in 2013 to Michael Ryan, Tullamaine, who was 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 most prominent overall award winner, in Philip’s opinion, was local trainer Michael ‘Mouse’ Morris, who was a double grand-national winner in 2016 with his two champion horses, Aintree Grand National 2016 winner ‘Rule The World’ and Irish Grand National 2016 winner ‘Rogue Angel’.

Michael ‘Mouse’ Morris photographed with his two champion horses English Grand National 2016 winner ‘Rule The World’ (left) and Irish Grand National 2016 winner ‘Rogue Angel’ at his racing stables at Everardsgrange, Fethard.

The first of the relaunched monthly awards will be presented at the end of February and nominations are now being accepted for January 2022. Each of the monthly winners will go forward to be chosen as the Overall Winner for 2022 which will be decided in December and announced in January 2023. Brainchild of Mr Philip Butler, proprietor of Butler’s Sports Bar in Fethard, the aim is to recognise and reward sporting achievement be it at participation, coaching or administration level. Nominees must be over 18 and from Fethard parish, work in Fethard, live in Fethard (play for Fethard teams) or from Fethard but participate in sport elsewhere. The sports achievement nominee can be from any sports related event and it is anticipated that, throughout the coming year, many minority sports will by fittingly recognised in the region.

Michael Ryan, winner of the Annual Butler’s Bar Sports Achievement Award for 2013 receiving his trophy. L to R: special guest Donnie O’Connell (past Tipperary Senior Hurler), Michael Ryan (winner), Philip Butler (proprietor), Tony Lawrence (area manager Carling who sponsored the annual award), and special guest Liam ‘Chunky’ O’Brien (past Kilkenny Senior Hurler).
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