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Byrne and Keane make it Ireland family affair

Published: Sunday 9 June 2013, 16.54CET
Just 24 hours after Robbie Keane struck a hat-trick on a night when he became the Republic of Ireland's most-capped player, his cousin Jason Byrne passed a domestic milestone.
by Aidan Fitzmaurice
from Dublin
Byrne and Keane make it Ireland family affair
Robbie Keane and cousin Jason Byrne on international duty in 2006 ©Sportsfile
Published: Sunday 9 June 2013, 16.54CET

Byrne and Keane make it Ireland family affair

Just 24 hours after Robbie Keane struck a hat-trick on a night when he became the Republic of Ireland's most-capped player, his cousin Jason Byrne passed a domestic milestone.

One extended Irish family had a weekend of celebrations after some record-breaking feats in Dublin by two veteran strikers.

Jason Byrne scored four goals for top flight side Bray Wanderers AFC in their 5-4 win against University College Dublin FC on Saturday night, a return which took his career total of league goals in Ireland to 203. He is only the second player in the history of the Irish game to score more than 200 times.

Just 24 hours earlier 35-year-old Byrne's first cousin, Robbie Keane, had also been busy, breaking the all-time caps record for the Republic of Ireland when he played for the 126th time in their FIFA World Cup qualifier at home to the Faroe Islands, and a hat-trick in that game saw Keane take his tally of goals for Ireland to 59.

The two strikers will now set themselves new targets. Byrne may try to get close to the all-time goals record (235, held by Brendan Bradley) in Ireland's domestic league, while Keane will attempt to close in on Miroslav Klose, the leading international goals scorer in Europe who has 67 goals for Germany.

"It was a brilliant weekend for the family," Byrne, enjoying a second spell with his first senior club, Bray Wanderers, having also turned out for Shelbourne FC, Cardiff City AFC, Bohemian FC and Dundalk FC, told UEFA.com. "I could not go to Robbie's game against the Faroe Islands as we had a training session that night but I was delighted to see him score three goals, he is an absolute legend in the game and everyone in the family is so proud of him.

"It was a nice weekend for me as well, getting four goals in the game on Saturday. For a while now I had hoped to get to the 200-goals mark, it is a huge personal honour to get there. I don’t know if I will get as far as the record of 235 but I am enjoying my football.

"Robbie says he plans to carry on for five or six more years, hopefully I have a year or two left in me but I plan to keep scoring for as long as I can."

Last updated: 10/06/13 1.00CET

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