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After 23 years as Ireland's number 1, Emma Byrne announces her retirement

She made a record 125 appearances for the country.

Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND women’s goalkeeper Emma Byrne has announced her retirement from the game at 38-years-old.

She made a record 125 appearances for Ireland during her illustrious career, and was captain of the Irish side since 2013.

Most recently Byrne led the charge as the women’s national team reached an agreement regarding working conditions with the Football Association of Ireland.

Byrne made the announcement with a short statement on Twitter this morning.

“The time has come for me to hang up the footy boots, gloves and gum shield,” she wrote. “I’ve had an amazing journey.

“It has been my honour to represent and captain our amazing country. 23 years wearing the Irish shirt has brought so many happy memories and many invaluable friendships that I will treasure for the rest of my life. I feel extremely lucky to have carried our flag around the world. To the supporters of ladies football, you have been wonderful.

“Thank you to the PFAI, SIPTU, the FAI and the Irish media for making my last battle a successful one.

“Last and not least, thank you to all my teammates throughout the years, my family and my friends for sharing a very happy journey with me.”

The Leixlip native joined Arsenal Ladies from St Patrick’s Athletic in 2000 and spent 17 years between the posts for the Gunners.

She won 11 league titles, 10 FA Cups, five League Cups, and one Champions League title at the club, while winning a treble in her debut campaign, and a quadruple in the 2006-07 season.

Byrne made the switch to Brighton & Hove Albion in January but she has decided to call it a day after less than a season at the club.

‘It’s nice to be able to say to my girlfriend ‘listen, let’s head out to Florida for a year-and-a-half”

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