Weaste Cemetery

Biographies of people buried between 1990 & 99

David Byrne (1905 - 1990)

David Byrne was a Footballer who played for several Irish clubs as well as his country and a number of English clubs including Manchester United. He was the first League of Ireland player to score 100 goals.

He was born in Ringsend, Dublin on 28th April 1905. He was the youngest of eleven children and had the nickname "Babby". David was short in stature, only 5 feet 5 inches and played as a forward. He was fast and effective in the air as well as on the ground and forced goalkeepers to make mistakes. His senior career began in 1926 and finished in 1939. He played for a number of Irish football clubs including Shamrock Rovers, Shelbourne, Coleraine, Glentoran, Larne, and English clubs Bradford City, Sheffield United and Manchester United.

David Byrne represented his country (Irish Free State) three times, scoring on his debut in a friendly against Belgium which they won 4-0.  He played against Spain in 1931, and against Belgium again in 1934 which was a World Cup qualifier.

In 1926, the 21-year-old signed for Shamrock Rovers where he top-scored for the club with 17 League goals. Rovers were unbeaten that season and won the League Championship. The following season, David transferred to Bradford City, but only made 3 appearances, scoring once. The team finished 6th in Division 3 (North). In 1928-29 season David was back in Ireland playing for Shelbourne where he was top scorer with 15 goals, helping them to win the League.

Between 1929 and 1932 David played for Shamrock Rovers again, scoring 45 goals in three seasons. He was top goal-scorer in seasons 1929-30 and 1930-31. He won four FAI cup medals in a row and scored in the finals in 1930, the 1931 replay, 1933 and 1933 replay. In all he scored 98 League and Cup goals for Shamrock Rovers and is the 6th highest goal-scorer in their history.

In 1932 he signed for Sheffield United in Division 1. Despite losing to Arsenal 9-2 on 24th December, they still managed to finish 10th. However due to economic pressure the club had to release him and he returned to Ireland.

David's third visit to England saw him signed up with Manchester United for season 1933-34 in the old Second Division. He scored on his debut against Bury on 21st October 1933, but the team lost 2-1. He scored twice against Grimsby Town on 26th December although United lost that match 7-3. David only appeared in four matches and United finished 20th avoiding relegation by one point. His last appearance was on 30th December 1933 in a 3-0 defeat against Plymouth Argyle and he left Manchester United in February 1934 to join Coleraine in Northern Ireland.

It is not known how and when he came to Salford, but it is believed he lived in Smyrna Street, off Cemetery Road, Weaste. He used to be a regular at the "Widows Rest" pub (the Royal Hotel) on the corner of Eccles New Road and Cemetery Road. David died on 17th May 1990 aged 85 and was buried at grave J941 in Weaste Cemetery.