South Shields celebrated promotion to EBAC Northern League Division One last week and by 5pm on Saturday they were at the centre of worldwide media attention.
The Mariners secured their promotion with a 1-0 win at Easington Colliery on Thursday night and followed that up with a 3-0 win at Tow Law Town on Saturday.
And it is during that game that striker Warren Byrne scored a goal that had become an internet sensation.
Two minutes into the second half, with his side two goals up, Byrne seized upon a headed clearance on the edge of the area before flicking the ball up twice, the second flick went over his head and he then volleyed it into the far corner.
The goal was published on the club’s official YouTube channel and soon started to attract attention across the globe.
That meant that Mariners Press Officer Daniel Prince has had a busy time in the past few days and revealed the scale of the attention that the goal has received.
He said “The response to Warren’s goal has been incredible. He says that his phone has never stopped – I’m very much in the same boat! The amount of notifications on the club’s Twitter and Facebook accounts has been unbelievable.
Within minutes of the goal being posted to YouTube, it had attracted over 1,000 hits, and it quickly snowballed from there. The last time I checked, it was approaching 2million hits across various platforms, which is phenomenal exposure for Warren (pictured right) and the club.
We’ve had requests to use it from broadcasters across the world, and players like Warren – who have dedicated so many years to playing in the Northern League – deserve a moment like this.
The goal was no fluke, either, as Warren has been scoring spectacular goals all season. Everyone at the club is delighted for him, because no one deserves this more than him. He’s a top player and a top man”
Major news networks seized upon the strike, including US broadcasting giants Fox and the video has been shared by Twitter users across the globe.
The attention is something new for the man that scored the goal and Byrne admitted that he is shocked at the reaction to, what he called, “the best goal I’ve ever scored”.
He commented “It has been crazy. It’s definitely the best goal I’ve ever scored. When I heard about the number of views that it had – and all of the worldwide broadcasters who’d got hold of it – I couldn’t believe it.
I had lots of family members ringing and texting me, saying they couldn’t believe it either. It’s incredible, and my phone has never stopped”
You can view the goal below:
Images: Peter Talbot