ON THE BALL Former Mayo footballer Alan Dillon and the CEO of the Mayo Roscommon Hospice Martina Jennings are pictured at the launch of the Club Stars awards last week. Pic: Michael McLaughlin
THE man who has won more Club Stars awards than any other footballer in Mayo was on hand to launch the 14th edition of the popular charity banquet last week.
Alan Dillon from Ballintubber — who has been nominated for the ‘Team of the Year’ again and is in line to win his 11th Club Stars award next month — was on hand at Knockranny House Hotel, Westport to lend his support.
“It’s always a brilliant night,” smiled Dillon when asked about the enduring popularity of the Club Stars awards. “I’ve been fortunate enough that Ballintubber has always progressed well in the club championship, especially over the last eight to ten years at senior level.
“It’s a great recognition of how the club is doing and while these are individual awards, its great to have so many people within the community there. There is a great buzz, a great feeling around, and for club players it’s the pinnacle of the season.
“It’s great to recognise players and look back on the year that has passed.”
The proceeds from this year’s Club Stars awards — which are being held on Saturday, January 12th next — are being donated to the Mayo Roscommon Hospice. who are currently raising funds to build a 14-bed Hospice Unit in Castlebar.
Representatives of the Club Stars’ sponsors and media partners, AIB, O’Neills Sports and The Mayo News, were also in attendance, as was the CEO of the Mayo Roscommon Hospice, Martina Jennings.
“We’re delighted, and incredibly grateful, to be the charity partner for the Club Stars again this year,” said Martina.
“It’s a GAA awards night and it touches so many communities. Like ourselves, a GAA club won’t exist without volunteers and we wouldn’t be able to do what we do either without volunteers. It just wouldn’t be possible to look after 1,000 patients a year without them.
“Our Hospice Unit in Castlebar is making great progress and is due to be finished next May, so it’s vital for us to raise awareness and promote fund-raisers around the county too,” she added.
Managers of the Year
MEANWHILE, there will be joint winners of the Club Stars ‘Manager of the Year’ award next month with Kevin Johnson and Paul Hunt both picking up trophies.
Johnson led the Ballintubber footballers to the Mayo SFC title in 2018 while Hunt was at the helm of the Tooreen hurlers as they reclaimed the Mayo SHC title and reached their second successive Connacht Intermediate club final.
Both winners will be presented with their awards at the Club Stars ceremony next month.
Tickets are on sale now at www.clubstars.ie or by calling (087) 7691669.