The Remarkable Rise of Larne Football Club: A Story of Ambition, Resilience, and Success

In the picturesque coastal town of Larne, Northern Ireland, a footballing revolution has been quietly brewing. Over the past decade, Larne Football Club has experienced a remarkable rise, transforming from a lower-league side to a formidable force in Irish football. This transformation has been driven by a combination of ambition, investment, and a steadfast commitment to success.


Founded in 1889, Larne FC has a long and storied history, but it wasn’t until recent years that the club began to capture the imagination of football fans across the country. The turning point came in 2017 when businessman Kenny Bruce, co-founder of the online property portal Purplebricks, acquired a majority stake in the club. Bruce’s investment injected much-needed resources into Larne FC, allowing the club to modernise its infrastructure, invest in player recruitment, and expand its youth development programs.


Under Bruce’s ownership, Larne wasted no time in making its ambitions clear. The club set its sights on promotion to the top flight of Irish football, the NIFL Premiership, and assembled a squad capable of achieving that goal. With highly-rated manager Tiernan Lynch at the helm, Larne embarked on a journey that would see them rise through the ranks with unprecedented speed.


The 2018-2019 season marked a significant milestone for Larne as they clinched the NIFL Championship title, earning promotion to the Premiership for the first time in 12 years. The club’s return to the top flight was met with great anticipation and excitement among fans, who packed into Inver Park to support their team.



However, promotion was just the beginning for Larne. With continued investment from Bruce and a shrewd approach to recruitment, the club quickly established itself as a force to be reckoned with in the Premiership. In the 2019-2020 season, Larne finished an impressive third in the league, securing European qualification for the first time in their history.


The following seasons saw Larne continue to go from strength to strength, with notable successes both domestically and in European competition. The highest point – to date – of the rise of Larne arrived in 2022 when the club won the Irish Premiership for the first time in their history. The club’s rise has not only captured the attention of football fans but also garnered praise for its commitment to community engagement and youth development.


Off the pitch, Larne has become a beacon of hope for the town, providing inspiration and pride to its residents. The revitalisation of Inver Park, the club’s historic home ground, has been a symbol of Larne’s resurgence, with modern facilities now complementing the historic surroundings. As Larne looks to the future, the club remains committed to its core values of ambition, resilience, and success. 



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With the continued support of its passionate fanbase and the leadership of owner Kenny Bruce, chairman Gareth Clements and manager Tiernan Lynch, Larne’s footballing journey is far from over. The rise of Larne Football Club is a testament to what can be achieved through determination, investment, and a steadfast belief in the power of the beautiful game and the reward of putting faith in a manager to deliver success given ample time to implement his ideas. 


By: Callum McFadden / @Callum7McFadden

Featured Image: @GabFoligno / Niall Carson – PA Images