Belfast Telegraph

Friends of Larne hero Davy Smyth to reunite for tribute

Davy Smyth
Davy Smyth

By Stuart McKinley

Two teams, one made up of those who were part of the club's last senior cup success and the other the team he last played for, will go head-to-head at Larne's Inver Park on Sunday in a tribute match for their popular former midfield ace Davy Smyth.

Smyth, who died in December 2016 aged just 53, remains a cult hero among Larne fans, mainly for the part he played in their 1987 Ulster Cup success when they beat Coleraine 2-1 at The Oval.

Manager Paul Malone, who also led the club to Irish Cup finals in 1987 and 1989, will be back at Inver Park for the game, which doubles as part of Larne's 130th anniversary celebrations. Among Smyth's former team-mates turning the clock back to pull on the red shirt once again will be fan favourites Eddie Spiers and Francis Smith.

Smyth was still actively involved in playing football until just a few months before his death, even though he had been battling pancreatic cancer, turning out for the Northern Ireland Veterans team alongside ex-Larne players Danny Maxwell and Gerry Goodall, as well as Larne Tech Old Boys stalwart Billy McCluggage.

Also lining up will be former Inver Park star Marty Tabb, who was also at Coleraine for their Ulster Cup final defeat to Larne.

"Davy is never far from our thoughts at the weekly practice sessions. Davy was a great friend and character. A pleasure to play with," said Sammy Wright, a former team-mate in the NI Veterans team. Kick-off on Sunday is 2pm and while admission is free there will be a bucket collection and a charity raffle.

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