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'I hope he doesn't pass me!' - LOI's all-time top scorer on record-chasing Byrne

Following the news that Jason Byrne has signed for UCD, current holder Brendan Bradley is hoping the striker doesn’t catch him.

Byrne needs 18 goals to equal Bradley.
Byrne needs 18 goals to equal Bradley.
Image: YouTube

THE HOLDER OF the record for most goals scored in the League of Ireland has admitted he is growing worried that his feat will be surpassed.

Former Finn Harps and Sligo Rovers striker Brendan Bradley struck 235 goals in the League of Ireland in a career that spanned 20 years. Second on the list of highest goalscorers is Jason Byrne, who has found the net 217 times.

Byrne recently moved from Bohemians to UCD, dropping down a division, and the 37-year-old former Republic of Ireland international admitted that he had Bradley’s record in sight.

“That’s the objective (breaking the record),” said the former Shelbourne striker. “But if I can get the goals and we can get promoted back to the Premier Division then that would be fantastic.”

Having seen his record stand for so long, Bradley conceded that he is hoping Byrne does not pass him, but said that the Dublin native deserves enormous credit for his achievements nonetheless.

“It’s getting a bit jittery now. Jason Byrne needs 19 to pass me. The fella deserves credit,” Bradley told BBC Radio Foyle.

He’s been playing for 17 or 18 years and scoring regularly, and I congratulate him on the goals he scored. Naturally enough, I hope he doesn’t pass me!”

Bradley continued: “I suppose he says to himself at 38, he’s got to retire or drop down a division. He’s entitled to play in any division he wants and for as long as he wants, but I think it might be easier [in the First Division] to score goals.

“For him to score 200-odd goals, he’s done great, and deserves credit.”

Bradley’s playing career in the League of Ireland began with his hometown club of Derry City, but it was at Finn Harps where he found most success. In three stints with the Donegal outfit, Bradley hit a club record of 181 goals.

The 65-year-old also enjoyed spells with Sligo Rovers and Athlone Town, as well as a brief period in England with Lincoln City. He also played in the North American Soccer League with Toronto Metros-Croatia, at the same time as Portugal legend Eusebio.

Meanwhile, Roddy Collins has bolstered his Waterford United squad ahead of the 2016 season with addition of three new players.

Roddy Collins Jnr has linked up with his father once again, having previously worked with him at Monaghan United, Athlone Town and Derry City. Collins Jnr returns to the League of Ireland having spent time at Crystal Palace and Luton Town in England.

Collins has also signed Philip Gorman and Sean Byrne, from Athlone Town and Tolka Rovers respectively.

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