Emma Byrne to be given historic honour at FAI International Awards

Emma Byrne to be given historic honour at FAI International Awards

Former Ireland goalkeeper Emma Byrne will make history at the FAI International Awards by becoming the first female to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Byrne is the most decorated Irish footballer of all time having spent the majority of her career with Arsenal.

The goalkeeper's trophy haul includes nine Women's Premier League titles, nine Women's FA Cup titles and a Champions League triumph in 2007.

The Kildare native spent 16 years in London before a final stint at Brighton & Hove Albion.

Byrne also enjoyed a fruitful international career, making 134 senior caps for her country and spending four years as captain.

She hung up her gloves in 2017, saying it had "been my honour to represent and captain our amazing country".

"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," said Chairperson of the Women's Football Committee, Niamh O'Donoghue.

"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."

FAI CEO John Delaney added: "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."

Previous inductees into the FAI's Hall of Fame have included Damien Duff, Robbie Keane and Ronnie Whelan.

Byrne will be officially inducted into the Hall of Fame at the '3' FAI International Awards ceremony on Sunday, March 17 in RTÉ Studios.

The programme will be broadcast live on RTÉ2.

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