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Legendary Ireland and Arsenal keeper Byrne comes out of retirement to join Spanish side

Emma Byrne called it a day in 2017, but has signed for Terrassa FC.

Emma Byrne leading out her Ireland side in 2017.
Emma Byrne leading out her Ireland side in 2017.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO


Legendary Ireland and Arsenal goalkeeper Emma Byrne is officially getting her gloves back on and returning to her beloved spot between the posts after signing for Spanish outfit Terrassa FC ahead of the 2019/20 season.

The Barcelona side play their football in the Primera Divisió Nacional Femenina, or the third tier of Spanish women’s football, and 40-year-old Byrne will come as a huge addition considering her vast experience and glittering career.

After 23 years as Ireland’s number one and a record 134 caps earned in the green jersey, Kildare native Byrne announced her retirement from the game at the age of 38 in August 2017.

Captain of the Girls In Green between 2013 and her retirement, Byrne enjoyed a stellar 17-year club spell at Arsenal, with whom she won every major honour available, including 11 league titles, 10 FA Cups, five League Cups and one Champions League crown.

The Leixlip star joined the Gunners from St Patrick’s Athletic in 2000, won a treble in her debut campaign in London, and a quadruple in the 2006/07 season.

In January 2017, she made the switch to Brighton & Hove Albion, but decided to call it a day after less than a season at the club.

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Earlier this year, Byrne — a pundit on RTÉ for the recent Women’s World Cup — became the first woman inducted into the FAI’s Hall of Fame.

And now after spending some time coaching in Barcelona, she comes out of retirement to join Terrassa FC, who finished second in the league last season.

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Emma Duffy

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