Cliff Byrne 'gutted' by Scunthorpe United departure

Departing Scunthorpe United defender Cliff Byrne  has admitted that he was "gutted" to be one of 10 players released by the club.

Byrne, 30, made 266 league appearances for the Iron in a nine-year stay.

Josh Lillis, Andrew Wright, Eddie Nolan, Sam Togwell, Michael O'Connor, Jordan Robertson, Garry Thompson, Aron Wint and Ashley Palmer have also left.

"I was gutted when I was told, I thought I'd done well enough," Byrne told BBC Radio Humberside.

"I didn't have any reason to see it coming so when the manager turned around and told me my contract wasn't being extended it was quite a shock.

"To have been here as long as I have and then not receive an offer was quite hard to take."

Byrne moved to Glanford Park from Sunderland in 2003 and twice helped the club into the Championship.

The club have offered the Dublin-born defender a benefit match and it is something he is keen to participate in.

"It's something I'd definitely like to take part in to get some closure. I'm very fond of the place and of the fans," he continued.

"It would be a great chance to say goodbye.

"I wasn't expecting to be offered it at all. When you get told you're leaving you expect all ties to be severed but the chairman has been very persuasive and wants to see it go ahead."

Boss Alan Knill told BBC Radio Humberside letting Byrne go was a difficult choice.

"It's a difficult day but you have to make these decisions," he said.

"It was very hard to let go of Cliff because everyone knows what he's done for this club. We all recognise the service he's given here."

The club have taken up the one-year option on forward Bobby Grant's contract, keeping him at the club until next summer.