Updated pictures: Scunthorpe United fans turn out in force for the Cliff Byrne Benefit Game
Almost 3,000 fans gathered at Glanford Park yesterday afternoon (Sunday) to say a final farewell to long-serving defender Cliff Byrne.
Iron legends like Alex Calvo-Garcia, Chris Hope and Paul Hayes returned to North Lincolnshire to honour another during the Irishman's specially-arranged Benefit Game.
The match saw a Select XI, made up of players who Byrne played with during his nine years with United, beaten 9-2 by the Wembley 2009 team Byrne captained to success in the League One play-offs.
The former Sunderland defender, who made more than 300 appearances in claret and blue before being released at the end of last season, played 45 minutes for each side.
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Goalscorers for the Wembley team were Hayes (3), Ben May (2), Byrne, Grant McCann, Calvo-Garcia and Ian Morris, while Celeveland Taylor and Byrne struck for the Select side.
As he was substituted to a standing ovation in the final few moments, the Iron legend thanked those fans that had turned out to say goodbye and had made his time at the club so enjoyable.
"It's been a terrific day from start to finish," said Byrne.
"I'm really overwhelmed (about the attendance).
"The support I've had from the players in wanting to come and play has been second-to-none. Some couldn't be here today, others could come but couldn't play but you can see from the dugouts they've still made a terrific effort.
"I'm very thankful for my time at the club. I've had a thoroughly enjoyable nine years and enjoyed every single minute.
"Thanks to all of you for welcoming me into the town, your club and your hearts, as I have done with you.
"All that's left for me to say is a massive thankyou to everybody from the bottom of my heart.
"I want to wish every single one of you all the best for the future."
Before the match, Byrne's former team-mates were asked about their time playing with the 30-year-old defender, who on Friday signed a one-year deal with Scunthorpe's League One rivals Oldham Athletic.
Goalkeeper Joe Murphy said his fellow Dubliner has been one of the best captains he had played under.
"He's a top player and a top bloke and I'm sure everyone here thinks the same."
Friend and former defensive partner Mark Jackson described Byrne as a 'fantastic player to play with' while Russ Wilcox hailed his 'attitude, application and endeavour'.
Nigel Adkins, the Southampton manager who made the Irishman captain at Glanford Park, was also full of praise.
"Cliff epitomises everything you want at Scunthorpe United," he said.
"Russ spoke about his attitude and application and he also knows how to get the best out of those around him - that's why he had the armband on.
"But we should not forget his ability either. He's got plenty of miles left because he's a great athlete."