Wednesday 22nd June 2022
FOR many footballers across Scotland, the past few days have been about the bleep test and a return to training.
For Declan Byrne, it has been rather different.
While his new Dumbarton team-mates have been plotting the road to a successful season, he has been on the road from Shotts to Morocco.
But it has all been for a truly worthy cause, as Declan was part of a group of family and friends raising money for Myeloma UK.
It is a cause close to the striker’s heart after it affected his family, and the group’s 4000-mile effort has raised thousands of pounds.
And one of the first things he did when he got back was to sign a one-year deal with Sons at Dumbarton Football Stadium this morning.
Speaking to dumbartonfootballclub.com, Declan said: “My uncle Phil was diagnosed with myeloma. He went through all his treatment, and then because of Covid he had to go into isolation again.
“So he moved in with my gran and grandpa for three months, and my dad and I wanted to give him something to look forward to.
“We converted an old camper van and drove from Shotts, right down through the UK, and right through France and Spain.
“We then got the ferry to Morocco. It was a hell of a trip – great memories and a good laugh for the six of us who went.
“I wouldn’t say there were any stand-out moments, but going up over the Pyrenees Mountains was pretty amazing, with the views you get over there and some of the bridges you cross on the route.
“We are probably going to be closer to raising £8,000. We will get it all finalised and get a photo taken with the van.
“We just wanted to raise something for the charity so we are happy with what we have raised.”
Declan will now go straight into match action when Dumbarton play Ayr United in a closed door friendly match tomorrow evening.
Having a proven goalscoring record in what is now cinch League Two, he is looking forward to attacking the division once again in a Sons shirt.
He added: “I’m looking forward to it. I had spoken to the manager before when he was at Stranraer, and I really liked how he was.
“I was happy when he made his interest known this time around, and I am pleased to get it done and get signed up.
“I want to have a good, consistent season and score some goals, and hopefully we can be up at the right end of the table challenging for promotion, but I know all teams will want to do as well as they can.
“I played alongside Aron Lynas and David Wilson for Albion Rovers, and with Brett Long at Elgin City. It’s good to get in amongst it with some familiar faces.
“With the players we have, there is no reason why we shouldn’t be up there challenging at least for the playoff spots.
“I would say we are definitely capable of doing it. It is just a matter of getting everything clicking.”
Declan’s fundraising page can be found here – please make a donation if you can.
Dumbarton Football Club