South Shields FC striker Warren Byrne’s incredible goal has reaped more rewards after he scooped £50,000 for the club by winning a national competition.
Byrne’s stunning strike against Tow Law last month caught the imagination, and has been viewed more than 3.5million times online.
Yesterday, he was announced as the winner of Budweiser’s Dream Goal contest, which judged the best non-league goal this season.
Byrne’s goal was chosen as the best by former England internationals Jamie Carragher and Jamie Redknapp, who hailed the striker in a TV advert which aired for the first time on Sky Sports yesterday.
The prize is £50,000 for the non-league club of Byrne’s choice, which is Northern League Division One side Shields. They are now expected to spend the money on ground improvements this summer.
Byrne has also won a VIP day to the FA Cup final between Manchester United and Crystal Palace at Wembley on Saturday, although as he is on holiday, he hopes someone will be able to go in his place.
It’s amazing to win something like that. It’s a dream come true, reallyWarren Byrne
The 33-year-old was overwhelmed after being announced as the winner yesterday.
He said: “It’s amazing to win something like that. It’s a dream come true, really.
“It’s not just good for me – it’s good for the club and the Northern League as well.
“People elsewhere might not have heard of the Northern League before, so it’s good for the league and hopefully will generate a bit more interest.”
The goal was one of 31 scored by Byrne this season as Shields won the Northern League Division Two title. He joined the Mariners from Seaham Red Star last summer.
The strike was voted as CNN’s goal of the week and discussed by broadcasters worldwide, while the factory worker also appeared on Sky Sports Saturday morning show Soccer AM.
In the advert, former Liverpool midfielder Redknapp hailed the goal as a “beauty”, while Carragher talked about the fans who could be seen in the clip.
Byrne added: “The way the advert was put together was very good, and it’s amazing for me to be on something like that.
“It’s definitely a goal that I’m never going to forget. I’ll it that to my grave.
“When I was interviewed immediately after the game, I didn’t realise how good the goal was. It wasn’t until I watched it back that I realised.”