Ex-Wigan Athletic player makes Irish football history

Jack Byrne (right)
Jack Byrne (right)

Former Wigan Athletic midfielder Jack Byrne made a small piece of Irish history last night after he became their 500th ever senior international.

Byrne, who made two appearances for Latics in 2017, achieved the feat after he was a second-half substitution in Republic of Ireland’s 3-1 victory over Bulgaria on Tuesday.

The 23-year-old introduced himself onto the international stage in fine fashion- after his inch-perfect delivery set-up Kevin Long in the 83rd minute to tilt the match in Ireland’s favour.

Having represented Republic of Ireland at multiple age categories of youth football, Byrne completed his projection by making his first senior appearance.

The once promising Manchester City youngster has had a interesting career to date which has been somewhat impacted by rumoured off-field issues.

Byrne began his senior career on loan at Dutch side Cambuur in 2015.

He received rave reviews in his one-year spell in the Eredivisie after he scored four goals in 27 appearances.

Former Wigan and then Blackburn boss Owen Coyle moved for his signature in the following summer- which was seen as an astute signing for Rovers.

But unfortunately, it didn’t work out at Ewood Park for Bryne as he went on to make 4 league appearances for the club before Blackburn cancelled his season long loan on 6 January 2017.

Later that month, Byrne joined Wigan Athletic for an undisclosed fee, signing a three-and-a-half year deal.

He made two substitute appearances as Latics were unable to survive their second relegation in three years.

Byrne left Wigan Athletic to join Oldham on loan that summer, after he had been training away from the first team at Christopher Park.

The Irishman was a instant hit at Boundary Park as he established himself as a clear fan favourite- scoring a few wonder goals in the process.

The moved turned permanent in January 2018, but his time at Oldham became marred by an undisclosed off-field incident which saw him subsequently released in August 2018.

After an uninspiring few months at Kilmarnock following his departure from Oldham, Bryne returned to his native Ireland with Shamrock Rovers in December 2018.

And Byrne has finally got his career back on track after a difficult few years in football, earning his international cap through his impressive performances for the Hoops.