'I never thought I would ever put on a Shamrock Rovers jersey, but you do things like this when you need to' - Conan Byrne on charity walk in aid of Irish Cancer SocietySun, Mar 15 2020
No man to shirk away from a challenge, League of Ireland legend Conan Byrne is once again on a charity mission, this time in aid of the Irish Cancer Society.
The Irish Cancer Society have been forced to put their main Daffodil Day fundraiser on hold as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, but the former Shelbourne and St Patrick’s Athletic winger has done what he can to aid the organisation.
“Over the last number of weeks, a lot of charities have had to cancel a lot of important events and as people know – I do a lot of things for charity,” Byrne explained to extratime.ie.
“I have my own charity going to Zambia a couple of times and I did the head shave last year. The Irish Cancer Society’s main fundraiser is daffodil day so I thought I’d do something for them considering I’m off school and football.
“I have loads of ideas that I would do in future years but this one. It’s mad because when something comes into my head I just go and do it.”
He added; “I didn’t want to run (firstly) seeing that I’m under contract at Glenavon and I don’t to pick up any unnecessary injuries so that’s why it was a walk.
“I thought of where I could go, and I just thought sure why not walk the stadiums in Dublin and I then realised the distances was a marathon so that’s why I decided to do that.”
He soon hailed the generosity of the League of Ireland community; “The League of Ireland are unbelievable.
“Even through the years, with my first Zambia trip in 2009 all the way through to my fundraisers now. I hosted a table quiz in Dublin and the support was unbelievable from the media.
“The players have always been fantastic, and the fans have been unbelievable. It’s called the Greatest League in the World for a reason.
“We all just get together, and I think people understand the significance of Daffodil Day being cancelled. I think everyone has had a loved one affected by it so it is close to their hearts too.”
However, the 34-year-old will be going solo on this walk in light of the COVID-19 outbreak; “I don’t want to turn it into a negative and I have had to turn down a number of people already because they’re asking for small groups so I’ve decided to go solo to negate any talk of a negative towards this.
“Nobody will be with me but I’m also hoping to do a little fun thing – I haven’t got onto the clubs yet – I’m going to wear the jersey of each club from each ground.
“I’ll wear the Shels jersey to Bohs and a Bohs jersey to Pats and all that. It’ll just be a bit of fun. I never ever thought I would ever put on a Shamrock Rovers jersey, but you do things like this when you need to.”
If you are in position to donate to the fundraiser – you can help out via the GoFundMe page here and you can also keep in touch with Conan via his twitter account below for regular updates on the walk.