THERE will be a minute’s applause held ahead of kick-off against Loughgall tomorrow (2pm) to mark the passing of Jimmy White and Jimmy Morton, over recent days.
Jimmy White was a legendary goalscoring hero of the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, while Jimmy Morton has been associated with the club for more than six decades, working in a number of roles at Inver Park.
As a player, Jimmy White had electric pace and became known to fans as ‘Speedy’. He went on to play for Ards, Glenavon and Ballymena, but it was at Larne where he was held in the greatest affection.
He holds the record for the most number of goals in one season, bagging an incredible 96 in one campaign, which included 12 hat-tricks.
Unsurprisingly, his era conceded with a golden period at the club, and he collected a winners medal in the Steel & Sons Cup on no fewer than four occasions, with an Intermediate and George Wilson Cup to add to his collection.
Outside of football he is remembered fondly in the area as a teacher, and also held the role of Principal at Antiville Primary School.
Jimmy Morton, or ‘Morty’ as he was fondly known was familiar figure at Inver Park for over 65 years, until he suffered from ill health little over a year ago.
He could be found at Inver Park daily, tending to the pitch, painting, doing a spot of DIY or whatever else needed done. Indeed it was a 365-day-a-year labour of love, even on Christmas Day Morty could be found at Inver Park.
A popular figure amongst managers, players and supporters, with a quick wit and dry humour, many stories will go down in Inver Park folklore.
There was no-one more pleased than Jimmy at the recent investment by Kenny Bruce. He enjoyed a tour around the ground in September and was truly delighted at seeing up close the new pitch, stand and floodlights and remarked that he was so very thankful that he had been blessed to live long enough to see the huge changes.
Morty will be sadly missed by everyone connected with the club and his service to the club will live long in the memory. A service to give thanks for his life takes place at Larne Reformed Presbyterian Church, Curran Road at 12 noon on Saturday.
The club is also saddened to learn of the passing of Alistair Mawhinney.
In his role as photographer, Alistair covered Larne matches for many years and became a familiar face to many. He will be sadly missed on matchdays.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the surviving members of all three families.