ON 18 June, Leixlip native, Emma Byrne led the Republic of Ireland women’s team out on to the field at Tallaght stadium for a friendly against Austria.
On a glorious summer evening, the Arsenal and national goalkeeper, saw her side get a 2-2 draw in what was a competitive preparation for the FIFA World Cup qualifiers later this year, starting with a home game against Slovakia on 22 September.
The relatively shy and retiring Kildare star, who has almost a hundred caps for the Republic and numerous other awards, at UEFA and FA level, is due to get married in Leixlip this Friday, 28 June.
Her husband to be is Marcus Bignot, a Birmingham born professional footballer and the knot will be tied at the Church of Our Lady’s Nativity shortly after 13.00 in the presence of her parents, Tim and Laura, brothers, Stephen and Johnny and sister Amy.
Recently awarded in the Town Council Civic awards, Emma was wished well at the 21 June County Council’s Celbridge area meeting.
Cllr. Anthony Larkin said: “We don’t herald our own enough. If Emma Byrne was a man they would have named Leinster after her in terms of what she had done.”
An Arsenal player since 2000, she has been capped 98 times for the Republic. Emma began her soccer career with Leixlip Utd’s U.12 side.
She represented Kildare GAA sides before being capped for Ireland at U.16 level.
- Henry Bauress