History will be made at Sunday’s Three FAI International Awards when record appearance holder for the Republic of Ireland women’s team Emma Byrne will be inducted into the FAI Hall of Fame, becoming the first women’s player to receive the honour.
The former goalkeeper made her debut for the girls in green in 1996, going on to captain the side for four years. When she retired from the international game in 2017 she had amassed an amazing 134 appearances in goal for Ireland.
The Kildare native spent the majority of her club career with Arsenal Ladies, joining in 2000 and remaining at the club until 2016.
The 39-year-old enjoyed plenty of success while in London both with the senior team and on a personal level too.
Her list of honours include winning the UEFA Women’s Champions League, nine FA Cups and nine Women’s Premier League titles, as well as Arsenal Player of the Year on two occasions and the FAI International Player of the Year in 2008 and 2012.
"To pull on the Ireland jersey is a special thing, but to do it on 134 occasions is quite remarkable,” said FAI CEO John Delaney. “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."
Byrne will be officially inducted into the Hall of Fame at the awards ceremony on St. Patrick’s Day with the programme being broadcast on Sunday live on RTE2.
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