Rory Beggan pays fitting tribute to Stephen Cluxton
Monaghan goalkeeper and 2018 All Star Rory Beggan has hailed Dublin goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton as the benchmark for all other goalkeepers in gaelic football.
Beggan won his first All Star award on Thursday after a fantastic season with Monaghan edging out fellow nominees Cluxton and Laois goalkeeper Graham Brody to claim the honour.
Cluxton captained Dublin to a fourth successive All-Ireland win in September with a comprehensive win over Tyrone but he has not won an All Star since his second Sam Maguire win with the Jacks in 2013.
Despite another year on the outer, Beggan still holds the Parnells shotstopper in the highest regard possible.
"Stephen has been the benchmark for goalkeepers young and old," said Beggan at the PWC All Star awards.
"Still is and still will be. He's been a huge idol and a huge learning curve for myself."
Kerry All-Ireland winner Tomas O Se felt that Cluxton deserved an All Star award this year while former Dublin midfielder Ciaran Whelan felt that his dealings with the media may have ultimately cost him a place in the All Star team.
O Se wrote on his Twitter account: "To do four in a row and get seven players??? Nothing against Beggan at all he had great season, and forget last few years but Cluxton was best keeper this year. Kerry only other team to do four in a row in all star era and they got 9 that year. I’d have 9/10 Dubs this year."
Paul Durcan, (Donegal, 2014), Brendan Kealy (Kerry, 2015) and David Clarke (Mayo, 2016 and 2017) were all preferred to Cluxton in previous years and Whelan noted that it was disappointing that the voting wasn't even close in an interview on Morning Ireland.
"He was the captain for the last four years and he's hugely influential in everything that's good about Dublin," said Whelan.
"It's hard to believe the way he's been treated over the last three or four years, that he hasn't been in the team. The talk is that it wasn't even close, which is a worrying thing as well, in terms of the vote.
"You have to wonder, Stephen hasn't engaged closely with the media over the last nine or ten years and you wonder if that has gone against him.
"It's disappointing but the only thing you would say, it wouldn't bother him. He'll push on for another All-Ireland next year."