Larne Football Club pays tribute to former manager

Jim McKinstry.
Jim McKinstry.

Larne Football Club has paid tribute to a former manager Jim McKinstry who died on Sunday.

Jim, and the McKinstry family, have been associated with the club for more than half a century.

He successfully captained Larne in the Steel Cup decider of 1964, and then, as manager, claimed the first of the four in a row Steel and Sons Cup triumphs, beating Glentoran Seconds in the 1968 final.

As a player, the “towering defender” also turned out for Cliftonville, Distillery and Glenavon. He collected two caps for Northern Ireland’s Amateur side between 1957-1959, as well as Schoolboy caps prior to that, in the late 1940s.

Off the pitch, Jim made a “significant contribution” to the club, taking temporary charge of the team alongside secretary Billy Simms in 1975, as well as having a spell as vice-chairman of the club.

Son John played for the club for the best part of two decades, a “rugged defender in the mould of his father”.

Jim was well-known as owner of a greengrocer’s shop, which bore the family name, formerly at Dunluce Street.

The McKinstry family also owned a greengrocer’s shop in Ballyclare.

The club said that he was also an “accomplished golfer”, like the two generations which have followed.

A spokesperson for Larne Football Club said: “His warm, friendly and helpful character were known to many, whether through football, golf or business circles. We unite in sending the entire family our sympathies.”

Mr. McKinstry’s remains will be removed on Wednesday, at 11.15 am, from his home at Branch Road, Larne, to arrive at St. Anthony’s Church for 12.00 noon Mass. Funeral afterwards to Larne Cemetery.

He is survived by sons John, Gary, Peter.