Johnny Byrne (footballer)
||This article may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. (December 2007)|
John 'Budgie' Byrne, manager of Hellenic FC of Cape Town, South Africa, early 1970s
|Full name||John Joseph Byrne|
|Date of birth||13 May 1939|
|Place of birth||West Horsley, England|
|Date of death||27 October 1999(aged 60)|
|Place of death||Cape Town, South Africa|
|Height||1.74 m (5 ft 8.5 in) |
|–||Guildford City Youth|
|1962–1967||West Ham United||156||(79)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
John Joseph "Johnny" Byrne (13 May 1939 – 27 October 1999) was an English professional footballer who played as a striker. He played for Epsom Town, Guildford City Youth, Crystal Palace, West Ham United, Fulham, Durban City, Hellenic and England. He was nicknamed "Budgie" due to his constant chattering.
Byrne started his career playing for Epsom Town and Guildford City Youth, before moving to Football League club Crystal Palace, signing a professional contract on his 17th birthday in 1956. After a steady first two seasons, Byrne became a first team regular, and was popular with the Palace fans. In the 1960–61 season, Byrne scored 31 of Palace's 110 goals (his strike partner Roy Summersby netted 25), as Palace reached the Third Division. He left Palace having scored 96 goals, then a post-war record.
West Ham United
Following this, he did not stay a Third Division player for long, and the First Division beckoned, as Ron Greenwood paid a Second Division British record transfer fee of £65,000 to take "Budgie" to West Ham United in 1962. Greenwood would later compare Byrne with Argentine footballer, Alfredo Di Stéfano. The fee being made up of £58,000 plus ex-Palace striker Ron Brett who was valued at £7,000. Byrne's debut came on 17 March 1962 in a 0-0 draw at Hillsborough against Sheffield Wednesday. He played eleven games in his first season, scoring a single goal, in a 4-1 home win against Cardiff City, in April 1962. 
The 1962-63 season saw him score 14 goals in all competitions, only one behind leading scorer Geoff Hurst. In the 1963-64 season he beat Bobby Moore, who finished second, to the "Hammer of the Year" award for the season, as West Ham won the FA Cup.  Byrne had amassed 33 goals from 45 games in all competitions for this season overtaking Hurst as top goalscorer. This included FA Cup goals in the fourth round against Leyton Orient, the fifth round against Swindon Town and two in the sixth round against Burnley.
The 64-65 season saw West Ham playing in both the 1964 Charity Shield and in European football having won the previous year's FA Cup. West Ham and 1963-64 league champions, Liverpool, shared the Charity Shield having drawn the game at Anfield, 2-2 with Byrne scoring one of the West Ham goals. In Europe West Ham competed in the 1964–65 European Cup Winners' Cup. Byrne scored in the first round against La Gantoise, the third round against Lausanne and a goal in the semi-finals against Real Zaragoza. Unfortunately, for Byrne, he was injured in the match and did not play in the final against Munich 1860 at Wembley Stadium which West Ham won 2-0
In the 1965-66 season West Ham were again in European football as holders of the Cup Winners' Cup. They also reached the 1966 League Cup Final. Again Byrne was on the scoresheet in the Cup Winners' Cup, in the second round against Olympiakos, the third round against Magedeburg and in the semi-final against Borussia Dortmund where they were eliminated from the competition. He scored five goals in six games in the League Cup including one in the first-leg of the final against West Bromwich Albion which West Ham won 2-1. Albion won the second leg, at The Hawthorns, 4-1 to take the trophy by an aggregate score of 5-3.Byrne finished the season with 17 goals in all competitions, someway behind Geoff Hurst, who, on the verge of his 1966 World Cup victory, scored 40 goals in 59 games.
Return to Crystal Palace
Byrne left West Ham in 1967, returning to Crystal Palace scoring five goals in his first season back. This took his total for Palace to over 100 goals putting him 4th on Palace's all-time scorers list at the time.
In 1968 he moved across London again, this time to Fulham.
Byrne played for Fulham for only one season before moving to South Africa, to play for the now defunct Durban City, alongside some of his former Fulham teammates, such as Johnny Haynes. He became manager of Durban City, but spent most of his coaching career at Cape Town club Hellenic. He even played for them during an injury crisis in 1980, coming on as a late substitute in a league match against Johannesburg club Dynamos just short of his 41st birthday. He also coached at Cape Town Spurs and for Michau Warriors in Port Elizabeth. Spurs was his last job in 1998.
Byrne played for England at both youth and under-23 levels. In November 1962 Byrne was called up to the England team, despite playing outside the top two divisions at the time, one of only five post-war players to achieve this. Byrne played the whole of the 1–1 draw against Northern Ireland, part of the 1962 British Home Championship, at Wembley Stadium.
He got his first (and second) England goal in the 1–8 win over Switzerland. On 16 May 1964, possibly Byrne's greatest achievement came, as he scored a hattrick, in Lisbon, in England's 4–3 win over a Portugal team that contained the likes of Eusébio. However he missed out on a place in the eventually victorious England squad, at the 1966 FIFA World Cup.
He died suddenly following a heart attack in Cape Town in October 1999, aged 60.
- "Johnny Byrne". www.englandfootballonline.com. Retrieved 2 November 2013.
- "John 'Budgie' Byrne | News". The Guardian. 12 November 1999. Retrieved 23 October 2013.
- "Johnny Byrne Palace legend who outclassed Eusebio". www.mirrorfootball.co.uk. Retrieved 1 November 2013.
- "Alf Ramsey Picks The Team: Budgie’s 1964". Wordpress.com. Retrieved 2 November 2013.
- "Welcome to the Wonderful World of West Ham United Statistics - Johnny Byrne". www.westhamstats.info. Retrieved 1 November 2013.
- "1st Division 1962-63". www.westhamstats.info. Retrieved 1 November 2013.
- "Game played on 02 May 1964". www.westhamstats.info. Retrieved 1 November 2013.
- "FA Cup Final 1964 - Preston 2 West Ham 3". www.football-england.com. Retrieved 1 November 2013.
- "Game played on 15 Aug 1964". www.westhamstats.info. Retrieved 1 November 2013.
- "Zaragoza head pre-season plans". www.whufc.com. Retrieved 1 November 2013.
- "1965-66 League Cup". www.statto.com. Retrieved 2 November 2013.
- "1st Division 1965-66". www.westhamstats.info. Retrieved 2 November 2013.
- The others were: Tommy Lawton, 4 caps while playing for Notts County in 1947–48, Reg Matthews, 5 caps while playing for Coventry City in 1955–56, Peter Taylor, 4 caps while playing for Crystal Palace in 1975–76 and Steve Bull, 2 caps while playing for Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1988–89.
- "Portugal v England, 17 May 1964". www.11v11.com. Retrieved 1 November 2013.
- Johnny's page in the "Palace Legends" section of the official website
- Johnny Byrne Profile at Football England