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Joe Canning is 'the ultimate team player': Ollie Canning pays tribute to his brother after Galway star makes history
Sky Sports pundit Ollie Canning was full of praise for his brother Joe, after the Galway forward became the top scorer in the history of the hurling championship: "He's been an absolute legend of a player in the game. The ultimate team player, for me. The ultimate finisher."
Last Updated: 25/07/21 11:02am
Joe Canning will take little solace in his personal achievement after Galway were eliminated from the 2021 Hurling Championship at the hands of Waterford on Saturday.
But the Portumna man's haul of 0-9 created history, with his eighth points seeing him overtake Henry Shefflin as the championship's all-time top-scorer.
The 2017 Hurler of the Year finishes his 14th championship campaign with 27-485 amassed across his career.
"It's an unbelievable achievement," commented Joe's older brother Ollie in the Sky Sports studio at full-time.
"Joe was not tapping that over, he was trying to find the top of the net there," he added, speaking about the point that broke the record.
"For me, he is the ultimate team player. He had a chance from a free earlier [in the game], he hit it short to Evan Niland for a score. He could have taken that on himself.
"He found Jason Flynn in that pocket [for Flynn's goal], he wasn't thinking about that kind of stuff. It's nice to get it, and fair play to him.
"He's been an absolute legend of a player in the game. The ultimate team player, for me. The ultimate finisher. I'm not sure how long he's got left! But a great, great player. We see a few of them players in our lifetime, and he's up there with the best."
Galway manager Shane O'Neill is hoping that Canning's time in the maroon jersey is not over just yet.
"It's not something that Joe has had in his mind today. It's a personal accolade and an unbelievable achievement, but it's not something he'll be thinking of today," O'Neill said after the defeat.
"An unbelievable player who really drives the boys on as well. There's a good group there so hopefully he can keep going."
Meanwhile, in the Gaelic Grounds, Patrick Horgan also reached a scoring milestone, with his 0-10 tally lifting him over the 500-point mark in championship hurling. The Glen Rovers man is in third place in the all-time list behind Canning and Shefflin, with 22-443.
The Rebels sharpshooter has an opportunity to reduce the 57-point gap to Canning in the coming weeks, with Cork still in the championship. The Leesiders will face Dublin or Tipperary in the All-Ireland quarter-final, after a dramatic 3-19 to 1-23 win over Clare.