Saturday 19 October 2019

Emma Byrne to be become the first female player inducted into the FAI Hall of Fame

Emma Byrne
Emma Byrne
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Former Ireland and Arsenal netminder Emma Byrne will be the first female inducted into the FAI Hall of Fame.

The Kildare woman will be honoured at he  29th '3' FAI International Awards on Sunday evening.

The record appearances holder for the Republic of Ireland women's senior team enjoyed an extraordinary career, where she won every trophy available during her time with Arsenal and also raised the profile of women's football by consistently producing top-class performances for Ireland.

Byrne ended up with 134 senior caps, from making her senior debut in 1996 through to her final game in 2017. During that period, she was also captain for four years and led by example on the pitch.

The Football Association of Ireland recently dedicated a tribute alcove to Byrne in their Headquarters on the National Sports Campus and this Hall of Fame award follows on from that in recognition of her fantastic career.

FAI Board Member & Chairperson of the Women's Football Committee, Niamh O'Donoghue said: "From the time that she first burst onto the underage international stage at age 14, Emma was a fantastic servant to the women's game, representing her country at every age level and winning multiple honours at club level.

"She was a tremendous role model for young girls around the country and I've no doubt that she inspired an entire generation of girls to follow their dreams of becoming a professional footballer.

"The tribute alcove in FAI Headquarters is fantastic to see and anyone who visits the offices will be able to see just what she achieved. However, becoming the first women's player to be inducted into the Hall of Fame is historic and well deserved."

FAI CEO John Delaney said: "To pull on the Ireland jersey is a special thing, but to do it on 134 occasions is quite remarkable. Emma has earned her right to be described as an Irish legend.

"Emma was a fantastic goalkeeper and ambassador for the women's game. She deserves to have her name in the Hall of Fame, alongside some of the best players ever to represent Ireland."

The full list of nominees for the '3' FAI International Awards will be revealed later this week.

Hall of Fame Recipients

2017: Damien Duff

2016: Robbie Keane

2015: Tony Cascarino

2014: Andy Townsend

2013: Ronnie Whelan

2012: Kevin Sheedy

2011: Ray Houghton

2010: Frank Stapleton

2009: Ray Treacy

2008: Arthur Fitzsimons

2007: Paddy Mulligan

2006: Don Givens

2005: Mick Martin

2004: Gerry Daly

2002: Liam Tuohy

2001: Liam Brady

2000: Joe Haverty

1999: 1949 Ireland team v England

1998: Shay Brennan / Tony Dunne

1997: Kevin O’Flanagan

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