Luke Byrne retires from professional football

Shelbourne Football Club regrets to announce the retirement of our club captain, Luke Byrne, from professional football.

The Howth native has been forced to bring an early end to his career at the age of 30 due to ongoing knee issues.

An accomplished defender, Byrne has been an instrumental figure in the Reds resurgence over the past few years and consistently displayed dedication, leadership, and an incredible work ethic. Byrne put his body on the line time after time and gave everything to the club.

Luke Byrne joined Shelbourne in 2019 from Shamrock Rovers and made an extraordinary impact on and off the pitch.

The Dubliner played 20 times for the Reds this season in the League of Ireland Premier Division, including 16 starts, as the Reds recorded their highest finish since 2006, ending the season in fourth place and qualifying for Europe.

The defender was a key member of the squad in 2022, featuring in 34 games in the SSE Airtricity League, all of which came as a starter. Byrne played in 4 games in the FAI Cup in 2022, bringing his tally to 38 appearances for the 2022 season. 

Byrne captained the Reds to promotion and the SSE Airtricity League First Division title in 2021 and was a key member of the 2019 First Division winning side. 

Luke Byrne said: “This is the day I’ve dreaded for a long time. After much thought, consideration and talking to those closest to me, I’ve made the decision to retire from playing football.

It’s been the hardest decision of my life, but at this moment in time it’s the right decision for me. I’ve given everything to football but it’s come at a cost. Years of fighting back from injury and battling through chronic pain has taken its toll. It’s time for me to give up the game I love. 

I have played for incredible clubs and met many amazing people. Luckily some I will call friends for life. I want to say thank you to every coach, team mate, supporter and person who played a part in my career. A special thanks goes out to my family, who gave up so much to allow me to live my dream. Without you none of this would have been possible. My dad was my first coach and to this day, my biggest fan. 

Throughout my career there were many highs and lows, but I have no regrets. I loved every moment. Football, thank you. You owe me nothing and I owe you everything.

Damien Duff, Head Coach, Shelbourne FC said: “This is the day I’ve dreaded for a long time also. You are a class act, the best of the best. Luke, thank you. You owe me nothing and I owe you everything.”

Shelbourne FC extends its deepest gratitude to Luke Byrne for his invaluable contributions and wishes him the very best in his future endeavours.

He leaves a legacy as one of the finest to ever wear the iconic Red shirt and will always be warmly welcomed at Tolka Park.

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