The Byrne Supremacy

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The new season is only three weeks away now and today, on Valentine’s Day for some reason (a labour of love etc.) I present to you a definitive record of Jason Byrne’s career statistics in the League of Ireland. Scoring 205 league goals is a magnificent achievement and this kind of analysis is the least it deserves. Byrne, who turns 36 later this month, has re-joined Bohemians with Brendan Bradley’s record of 235 goals still in his sights.

To ensure accuracy I went through each and every goal on http://www.soccerbot.com and then compared them to various sources, including European Football Yearbooks, National League Annuals, Airtricity League Media Guides, http://www.irishfootballonline.com, the excellent http://www.braywanderers.com and of course http://www.extratime.ie. I discovered only a few minor errors on Soccerbot; there was an incorrect date and two instances where they did not put a goal down as a penalty kick.

However, there were many inconsistencies when it came to his total appearances and they took a lot longer to finally get right. This is my first blog post in 2014 and I’m planning to scribble something new every week before kick off on March 7th. The next topics are all about defunct and long-forgotten competitions, the Irish News Cup and the President’s Cup, followed by an opening day stats package for the Premier Division so stay tuned for that.

Dedicated to Pat Morley

Career total – 388 (42) appearances, 205 goals
1998-99 – Bray Wanderers – 15 (2) appearances, 5 goals
1999-00 – Bray Wanderers – 26 (7) appearances, 7 goals
2000-01 – Bray Wanderers – 30 appearances, 11 goals
2001-02 – Bray Wanderers – 29 (1) appearances, 14 goals
2002-03 – Bray Wanderers – 20 appearances, 12 goals
2003 – Shelbourne – 34 appearances, 21 goals
2004 – Shelbourne – 33 (1) appearances, 25 goals
2005 – Shelbourne – 31 appearances, 22 goals
2006 – Shelbourne – 22 (4) appearances, 15 goals
2008 – Bohemians – 17 (12) appearances, 7 goals
2009 – Bohemians – 32 (2) appearances, 22 goals
2010 – Bohemians – 24 (6) appearances, 12 goals
2011 – Dundalk – 19 (5) appearances, 6 goals
2012 – Bray Wanderers – 25 appearances, 13 goals
2013 – Bray Wanderers – 31 (2) appearances, 13 goals

Career total – 430 appearances, 205 goals
Bray Wanderers – 188 appearances, 75 goals
Shelbourne – 125 appearances, 83 goals
Bohemians – 93 appearances, 41 goals
Dundalk – 24 appearances, 6 goals

League
Premier Division – 198
First Division – 7

Halves
First half – 92
Second half – 113

When Byrne scored, his team…
Won – 106
Drew – 31
Lost – 18

Hat-tricks
4 goals – 2 times
3 goals – 9 times
2 goals – 26 times
1 goal – 118 times

Goals by club
Shamrock Rovers – 21
St. Patrick’s Athletic – 21
Drogheda United – 20
UCD – 20
Longford Town – 17
Waterford United – 13
Dundalk – 13
Bray Wanderers – 11
Derry City – 10
Bohemians – 9
Dublin City – 8
Galway United – 7
Cork City – 7
Sligo Rovers – 7
Shelbourne – 6
Finn Harps – 5
Home Farm – 2
Athlone Town – 2
Kilkenny City – 2
Cobh Ramblers – 2
Limerick – 1
Monaghan United – 1

Home/Away
Home – 129
Away – 76

Province
Leinster – 185
Munster – 9
Connacht – 6
Ulster – 5

Goals by venue
Tolka Park – 62
Carlisle Grounds – 51
Dalymount Park – 30
Hunky Dorys Park – 9
Richmond Park – 8
Oriel Park – 6
UCD Bowl – 6
RSC – 5
Flancare Park – 4
Terryland Park – 4
Turner’s Cross – 3
Morton Stadium – 2
The Brandywell – 2
Belfield Park – 2
Finn Park – 2
Tallaght Stadium – 2
The Showgrounds – 2
Buckley Park – 1
St. Mel’s Park – 1
Hogan Park – 1
Whitehall – 1
Century Holmes Park – 1

Months
September – 42
April – 30
October – 25
March – 24
May – 22
June – 19
August – 12
July – 11
November – 9
January – 5
February – 3
December – 3

Days
Friday – 128
Monday – 20
Tuesday – 18
Saturday – 17
Sunday – 15
Thursday – 4
Wednesday – 3

Note: Byrne started two games against Dublin City in 2006, once against Monaghan United in 2012 and both promotion/relegation playoff games with Longford Town last year. He scored at Gortakeegan, which was expunged from the record when Monaghan withdrew from the league mid-season (à la Dublin City) and netted a brace against Longford in the first leg of the 2013 playoff at the Carlisle Grounds.

These 5 appearances and 3 goals, although included at the bottom of the post for completeness, are discounted from all facts and figures.

Debut, top scorer record, penalties, landmarks
Jason Byrne made his league debut for newly promoted Bray Wanderers on 30 August 1998 in a 1-0 defeat at home to Cork City. He scored in his next game against Shamrock Rovers at Tolka Park. From a corner, in the 54th minute, Byrne was unmarked at the near post and his rising header finished in the top right hand corner of the net gave Forde no chance. In his first spell with Bray they rarely lost a game in which he scored, winning 12 in a row from January 2001 to March 2002.

Byrne is the only player in history to be League of Ireland top goalscorer in four consecutive seasons which he achieved with Shelbourne from 2003 to 2006. He wasn’t the highest league scorer at his club on three occasions, that honour went to Bray’s Barry O’Connor in 1999-00 (having been joint best with him the previous season), Killian Brennan for Bohemians in 2008 and Dundalk striker Mark Quigley in 2011.

He has scored 31 penalties to date. Eight of them have been converted against Shamrock Rovers with nine each of his spot kicks scored at Tolka Park and Dalymount Park. Byrne never scored one in his first spell at Bray as Colm Tresson and Eddie Gormley were on penalty taking duties at the time. He last missed a penalty against Shelbourne in April 2012, the game in which he surpassed Pat Morley’s 182 goals to become the second highest scorer in the league.

Byrne’s other landmark goals were when he got his half century on the opening day of the 2003 season, scored his 100th goal against Longford Town in June 2005, reached 150 goals with a penalty at Tallaght Stadium in May 2009 and smashed the 200 goal barrier in June 2013 by hitting the back of the net four times at the UCD Bowl. It took Brendan Bradley 14 seasons to reach 200 goals; Byrne accomplished it in his 15th season. Also on the scoresheet on his 400th league appearance away to Drogheda in March 2013.

Strike rate, league wins, best/worst totals and runs, awards
Byrne currently has a 48% strike rate in his League of Ireland career. It was 40% at Bray Wanderers and 66% at both Shelbourne and Bohemians. He only scored a goal every four games for Dundalk but his worst performance in a single season was 0.2 goals per game in the 1999-00 First Division. He has scored in 155 games overall, his season best being 18 games in 2004.

Byrne has five Premier Division winners’ medals from 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2009, with a last minute strike for Bohs against Drogheda to seal the 2008 title. He was voted PFAI Players’ Player of the Year in 2003 and 2004 and he has scored 10 European goals in total. The 2004 season was a personal best for the Dubliner as he hit 25 league goals for Shelbourne, played in a dream Champions League Third Qualifying Round tie with Deportivo and earned his first cap for the Republic of Ireland international team. Scored his first hat-trick for the Reds on 4 June 2004, the night before his wedding day!

He played in the lowest number of games and scored his fewest goals in 1998-99 but largely due to the fact that he broke his ankle in January and missed the rest of the league campaign, famously returning to score in Wanderers’ FAI Cup final triumph. Byrne was ever-present in 2013, the very first time in his career that has happened.

Byrne’s record goalscoring run in the League of Ireland is 9 games in a row for Shelbourne from November 2003 to April 2004. His single season best is seven from July to September 2003. He scored in each of the first five games of the 2003 and 2004 seasons, something which no other player managed to do again until Anthony Elding for Sligo Rovers last year. When Bray Wanderers took on Drogheda United on 24 May 2013, Byrne had not scored in his last 10 games for the club.

By the time he left campus a fortnight later he had helped himself to consecutive hat-tricks, scoring seven goals in two games! However, that was not his worst scoreless streak. He went 12 matches with a goal from October 1998 to September 1999 and 11 straight games during the 2001/02 season (all starts).

Byrne has won a record six Player of the Month awards, in September 1998 (Bray), September 2003 (Shelbourne), April 2004 (Shelbourne), October 2005 (Shelbourne), May 2012 (Bray) and June 2013 (Bray). He scored 8 goals in both September 2004 and September 2005 but he didn’t win the prize in either of those months, instead it went to Daryl Murphy (Waterford United) and Peter Hutton (Derry City) respectively.

Clubs, home/away, venues, first/second half, Cardiff, goalscoring sub
Byrne has scored against 22 different clubs. In 2004 and 2009, he scored against every team in the league (nine of them). He netted in all four meetings with Dublin City in 2004 with a total of 8 goals against the Vikings. He has scored against Drogheda in each of the last six seasons. However, Byrne hasn’t scored against Derry City in five years and his last goal at the Brandywell was back in 2004.

He scored 17 home goals in 2005 and 11 away goals in 2004. He has got the most home goals against St. Patrick’s Athletic (16) and the most away goals against Shamrock Rovers (12), scoring in five different away grounds against the Hoops – Tolka Park, Morton Stadium, Richmond Park, Dalymount Park and Tallaght Stadium.

Byrne’s scored in 22 different stadiums so far. The most home goals have been scored in Tolka Park (52) with ten away goals in the same venue against three different clubs, Shelbourne, Shamrock Rovers and Dublin City. A total of 113 goals in Dublin. Bohemians are scheduled to play in Lissywollen on 7 April and 19 September and Thomond Park on 4 July of this year so that’s potentially another two to add to the list.

8 of his first 10 goals for Shelbourne were first half strikes and in September 2005 he had completed a hat-trick against Waterford United by half-time. His quickest hat-trick though was in the last 17 minutes of Bohemians’ 5-0 win over Dundalk in May 2009, adding a fourth goal in injury time. Byrne has scored in the first minute of a game on three occasions; v Derry in February 2001, v Longford in September 2001 and after just 33 seconds at home to St. Pat’s in May 2003.

Byrne scored one league goal for Cardiff City in the Championship. He came off the bench to make his debut on 20 January 2007, scoring the winner with two minutes to go in a 2-1 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux. He has scored just three times as a substitute in this country, all for Bohs, v Finn Harps in June 2008, v St. Pat’s in September 2008 and UCD in March 2010.

Brendan Bradley scored one goal for then Irish League side Derry City and it was his debut against Coleraine in the North-West City Cup final on 11 May 1968. He netted 12 league goals for Lincoln City in the 1972-73 season. Bradley scored 7 of his goals in the First Division, the exact same as Byrne.

1998-99 Premier Division
04.09.98 – Shamrock Rovers 0-1 Bray Wanderers…1
19.09.98 – Bray Wanderers 1-0 Shelbourne…1
25.09.98 – Bohemians 1-2 Bray Wanderers…1
17.10.98 – Bray Wanderers 6-0 Waterford United…2

1999-00 First Division
11.09.99 – Bray Wanderers 5-0 Cobh Ramblers…1
30.10.99 – Kilkenny City 5-1 Bray Wanderers…1
28.01.00 – Athlone Town 1-1 Bray Wanderers…1
15.02.00 – Bray Wanderers 5-1 Home Farm Fingal…1
18.02.00 – Limerick FC 1-2 Bray Wanderers…1
08.04.00 – Home Farm Fingal 2-2 Bray Wanderers…1
11.04.00 – Bray Wanderers 3-1 Athlone Town…1

2000-01 Premier Division
13.08.00 – Shelbourne 0-1 Bray Wanderers…1
10.09.00 – Bray Wanderers 2-2 Shamrock Rovers…2
06.10.00 – Bray Wanderers 3-0 Kilkenny City…1
29.10.00 – Bray Wanderers 2-2 St. Patrick’s Athletic…1
12.01.01 – Bray Wanderers 3-1 Longford Town…1
09.02.01 – Bray Wanderers 2-1 Derry City…1
01.04.01 – Shamrock Rovers 1-2 Bray Wanderers…2
29.04.01 – Longford Town 1-3 Bray Wanderers…1
06.05.01 – Bray Wanderers 4-1 St. Patrick’s Athletic…1

2001-02 Premier Division
17.08.01 – Galway United 0-2 Bray Wanderers…1
19.09.01 – Bray Wanderers 5-1 Longford Town…2
21.09.01 – Bray Wanderers 5-1 Dundalk…3
06.01.02 – Bray Wanderers 2-1 Shamrock Rovers…2
31.01.02 – Derry City 1-2 Bray Wanderers…1
01.03.02 – Bray Wanderers 4-1 Longford Town…3
16.03.02 – Monaghan United 0-3 Bray Wanderers…1
25.03.02 – Bray Wanderers 1-2 Dundalk…1

2002-03 Premier Division
12.07.02 – UCD 1-1 Bray Wanderers…1
05.08.02 – Bray Wanderers 1-5 Shelbourne…1
30.08.02 – Bray Wanderers 3-2 Drogheda United…2
13.09.02 – Bray Wanderers 3-3 Derry City…2
23.09.02 – St. Patrick’s Athletic 1-2 Bray Wanderers…1
29.11.02 – Bray Wanderers 2-0 Longford Town…2
08.12.02 – Bray Wanderers 1-3 Bohemians…1
13.12.02 – St. Patrick’s Athletic 1-4 Bray Wanderers…2

2003 Premier Division
11.04.03 – Waterford United 0-4 Shelbourne…2
18.04.03 – Shelbourne 1-0 Derry City…1
22.04.03 – Shelbourne 3-2 Longford Town..1
25.04.03 – Drogheda United 1-1 Shelbourne…1
02.05.03 – Shelbourne 2-2 St. Patrick’s Athletic…2
18.07.03 – Shelbourne 1-1 UCD…1
07.08.03 – Shelbourne 1-1 Cork City…1
01.09.03 – Waterford United 1-2 Shelbourne…1
05.09.03 – Shelbourne 3-1 Derry City…1
19.09.03 – Shelbourne 2-1 Longford Town…2 (1p)
23.09.03 – Drogheda United 0-1 Shelbourne…1
26.09.03 – Shelbourne 2-0 St. Patrick’s Athletic…1
28.10.03 – Shamrock Rovers 2-4 Shelbourne…2 (1p)
17.11.03 – Shelbourne 2-0 Drogheda United…1
21.11.03 – Shelbourne 2-0 Cork City…1
24.11.03 – Longford Town 2-1 Shelbourne…1
28.11.03 – Shamrock Rovers 1-1 Shelbourne…1 (p)

2004 Premier Division
19.03.04 – Shelbourne 1-0 Shamrock Rovers…1
27.03.04 – Derry City 0-2 Shelbourne…1
02.04.04 – Shelbourne 3-0 Drogheda United…1
05.04.04 – Bohemians 1-1 Shelbourne…1 (p)
09.04.04 – Shelbourne 2-1 Dublin City…1 (p)
16.04.04 – Shelbourne 1-1 Longford Town…1
30.04.04 – Shelbourne 2-0 St. Patrick’s Athletic…2
04.06.04 – Dublin City 1-3 Shelbourne…3
08.06.04 – Shelbourne 2-2 Cork City…1 (p)
18.06.04 – Shelbourne 1-0 Waterford United…1
01.09.04 – Waterford United 3-1 Shelbourne…1
06.09.04 – Shelbourne 4-1 Dublin City…3
20.09.04 – Shelbourne 3-1 St. Patrick’s Athletic…1
24.09.04 – Shamrock Rovers 1-4 Shelbourne…3 (1p)
08.10.04 – Drogheda United 2-5 Shelbourne…1
15.10.04 – Shelbourne 1-1 Bohemians…1
21.10.04 – Dublin City 2-3 Shelbourne…1
12.11.04 – Shelbourne 2-1 Waterford United…1

2005 Premier Division
01.04.05 – Shelbourne 1-0 Waterford United…1 (p)
21.04.05 – Longford Town 0-2 Shelbourne…1
29.04.05 – Shelbourne 4-1 Bray Wanderers…1
06.05.05 – Shelbourne 3-0 Finn Harps…1
27.06.05 – Shelbourne 1-0 Longford Town…1
01.07.05 – Shelbourne 1-2 Derry City…1
08.08.05 – Shelbourne 3-3 Drogheda United…1
19.08.05 – Shelbourne 2-1 Bohemians…1 (p)
02.09.05 – Shelbourne 4-2 UCD…3 (1p)
09.09.05 – Shamrock Rovers 0-2 Shelbourne…1 (p)
16.09.05 – Shelbourne 5-0 Waterford United…3
23.09.05 – Finn Harps 0-3 Shelbourne…1
15.10.05 – Longford Town 0-2 Shelbourne…1
28.10.05 – Shelbourne 1-0 Finn Harps…1
31.10.05 – Shelbourne 5-0 Bray Wanderers…3 (1p)
18.11.05 – Bohemians 0-3 Shelbourne…1

2006 Premier Division
10.03.06 – Bray Wanderers 2-2 Shelbourne…2 (1p)
24.03.06 – St. Patrick’s Athletic 2-2 Shelbourne…1
07.04.06 – Waterford United 0-1 Shelbourne…1
15.05.06 – Cork City 2-1 Shelbourne…1 (p)
02.06.06 – Shelbourne 4-1 Bray Wanderers…1
06.06.06 – Shelbourne 1-0 Derry City…1
27.06.06 – Shelbourne 3-0 St. Patrick’s Athletic…2
21.07.06 – Shelbourne 6-0 UCD…2
28.07.06 – Shelbourne 3-0 Sligo Rovers…2
11.08.06 – Shelbourne 2-2 Cork City…1
20.10.06 – UCD 0-2 Shelbourne…1

2008 Premier Division
28.03.08 – Bohemians 3-0 Finn Harps…1 (p)
11.04.08 – Bohemians 1-1 Bray Wanderers…1 (p)
24.06.08 – Finn Harps 0-2 Bohemians…1 (p)
01.08.08 – Bohemians 3-0 Cobh Ramblers…1
08.09.08 – Bohemians 3-0 St. Patrick’s Athletic…1
10.10.08 – Drogheda United 1-2 Bohemians…2

2009 Premier Division
20.03.09 – Bohemians 2-0 Shamrock Rovers…2 (1p)
07.04.09 – Galway United 0-2 Bohemians…2
11.04.09 – Bohemians 3-0 St. Patrick’s Athletic…1
24.04.09 – Bohemians 2-0 Bray Wanderers…1
01.05.09 – Bohemians 5-0 Dundalk…4 (1p)
16.05.09 – Shamrock Rovers 2-1 Bohemians…1 (p)
29.05.09 – Cork City 0-1 Bohemians…1
02.06.09 – Bohemians 2-0 Galway United…1 (p)
19.06.09 – Bohemians 2-0 Sligo Rovers…1 (p)
03.07.09 – Bray Wanderers 1-3 Bohemians…1 (p)
19.07.09 – Bohemians 1-0 Derry City…1
18.09.09 – Bohemians 3-2 Dundalk…2
09.10.09 – Bohemians 4-0 Drogheda United…1
20.10.09 – Bohemians 3-1 St. Patrick’s Athletic…1
30.10.09 – Bohemians 3-1 Sligo Rovers…1
06.11.09 – Bray Wanderers 1-1 Bohemians…1

2010 Premier Division
16.03.10 – UCD 1-2 Bohemians…1
19.03.10 – Drogheda United 2-4 Bohemians…2
06.04.10 – Bohemians 1-1 St. Patrick’s Athletic…1
16.04.10 – Bohemians 2-3 Galway United…1
08.05.10 – Sligo Rovers 1-2 Bohemians…1
21.05.10 – St. Patrick’s Athletic 3-1 Bohemians…1
10.09.10 – Bohemians 3-1 UCD…1
13.09.10 – Bohemians 2-0 Drogheda United…1
05.10.10 – Bohemians 1-0 Shamrock Rovers…1
22.10.10 – Galway United 3-2 Bohemians…1 (p)
29.10.10 – Bohemians 3-1 Dundalk…1 (p)

2011 Premier Division
04.03.11 – Shamrock Rovers 3-1 Dundalk…1 (p)
11.03.11 – Dundalk 3-2 Galway United…1
01.04.11 – Dundalk 3-1 UCD…1
15.04.11 – Dundalk 1-1 Sligo Rovers…1
02.05.11 – Dundalk 1-1 Shamrock Rovers…1 (p)
12.08.11 – Drogheda United 2-2 Dundalk…1

2012 Premier Division
16.03.12 – UCD 2-3 Bray Wanderers…1
23.03.12 – Bray Wanderers 2-4 Drogheda United…1
30.03.12 – Cork City 1-1 Bray Wanderers…1
13.04.12 – Shelbourne 2-1 Bray Wanderers…1
27.04.12 – Monaghan United 0-1 Bray Wanderers…1*
04.05.12 – Bray Wanderers 2-1 Bohemians…1
11.05.12 – Dundalk 0-2 Bray Wanderers…2 (2p)
18.05.12 – Bray Wanderers 3-3 St. Patrick’s Athletic…2
01.06.12 – Bray Wanderers 3-1 UCD…2
07.07.12 – Sligo Rovers 1-1 Bray Wanderers…1
19.10.12 – Bray Wanderers 1-4 Bohemians…1 (p)

2013 Premier Division
08.03.13 – Bray Wanderers 1-0 Shelbourne…1
24.03.13 – Drogheda United 2-1 Bray Wanderers…1
29.03.13 – Bray Wanderers 2-2 UCD…1
24.05.13 – Bray Wanderers 3-2 Drogheda United…3
08.06.13 – UCD 4-5 Bray Wanderers…4
19.07.13 – Bray Wanderers 1-3 Bohemians…1 (p)
04.08.13 – Bray Wanderers 1-1 Shelbourne…1
08.09.13 – Bray Wanderers 1-1 UCD…1
28.10.13 – Bray Wanderers 2-2 Longford Town…2 **
* Match annulled
** Promotion/Relegation Playoff

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