HomeUncategorizedLarne FC: 'I travelled for two days to witness title celebrations'

Larne FC: ‘I travelled for two days to witness title celebrations’

  • By Niall Glynn
  • Report from Larne

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The merchants in Larne were excited about the title celebration

“It’s a boost for the town, all good publicity is good – it gives the town a bit of a boost.”

Celebrations begin early in Larne as the town’s team prepares to lift the Irish League championship for the first time in its 134-year history.

The County Antrim Club knew they would do so regardless of the outcome of the match against Linfield on Friday night.

And perhaps it is fitting that the Blues are the opponents.

The Belfast Giants have traditionally dominated the league alongside other members of the Belfast “big four” – Glentoran, Cliftonville and the Crusaders.

On Friday night, Larne, traditionally a loser, had a sunny day.

Walking through the port town on a sunny Friday, you immediately notice the Larne flags on shop windows and residents’ shirts.

Talking to the locals, they really feel proud of what their club has achieved.

If anyone can claim to be a Larne superman, it’s Ally Kerr.

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Ally Kerr traveled many miles to be at Inver Park for the title celebration

A fan since the age of 13 and now a business owner based in the Cayman Islands, he went above and beyond to be at Inver Park, even giving up a skiing vacation in Colorado to return home. home.

“I went from Denver to Miami, from Miami to my home in the Cayman Islands and dropped the kids off,” he said.

“Back to Miami, to New York and across Dublin and from Dublin to here.

“So I think it took me about two days in total to get here.”

To be fair, the town of Larne doesn’t enjoy the best reputations of the past, as Ally admits.

“People often joke that the most beautiful street in Larne is the one that takes you out, but now you see all the young men wearing their Larne shirts, which you won’t see for 20 or 30 years. first,” he told BBC News NI.

“You walk down the street and you can see all the memorabilia in the window and it’s nice to see.”

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Brian McKay says team win could be a boost for Larne

In businesses in town, that positive feeling is echoed.

In clothing store SD Kells, Brian McKay said the success of the football club was a real hit for the town.

“For Larne herself, it’s a bit of positive, well-executed, well-executed news,” he said.

“It’s a boost for the town, all good publicity is good – it gives the town a bit of a boost.”

In the nearby Alan Dorman and Sons hardware store, James Keenan explains winning the title “has brought people together”.

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James Keenan said winning the title brought everyone together in town

“My brother-in-law is a huge Larne fan and he works in England, but every weekend he comes home to watch Larne games and those are times when there can be 20, 30, 40 or 50 people at the match and it was bleak.

“Now let’s see where we are – positive for the town, bringing people together.

“It’s a new energy, you can feel the new energy in the town and with young people feeling that energy, it brings such positivity and that should be pass it on to everyone. It’s amazing.”

Fans at Ballylumford Sports and Social Club were excited for Friday’s game.

Bobby Tolton and Melvin Wilson said they never thought such a night could happen.

“I never thought Larne would win the tournament – it’s amazing what Larne has done this year,” said Melvin, a fan since the age of 10.

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Melvin Wilson has been a fan of Larne since childhood

“It’s all about the investment, because if I told you five years ago that they were going to win the tournament you would look at me and say ‘are you laughing?’

Bobby said: “The Larne fans never dreamed that they would win the Irish Championship.

“They’re hoping to win the Irish Cup, but maybe they think the league is too far away from them and they can’t compete with the likes of Linfield, Glentoran and Belfast.

“It’s great to see Larne’s youth start to participate. Success creates success.

“Great for the town, we’re on the map now.”


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