Tiernan Lynch’s side claimed their maiden top-flight title last week (April 14) after defeating Crusaders 2-0 at Seaview.
In front of their home fans tonight, the players finally got to lift the Gibson Cup aloft and celebrate the momentous occasion in their own stadium.
Second-placed Linfield were the visitors to the home of the champions, and although the tie finished 1-1, the draw did not dampen the mood among the Larne faithful.
Andy Ryan had put the Inver outfit ahead on 39 minutes, but Linfield equalised just before the hour-mark through Stephen Fallon.
Both teams created chances in the closing stages, but neither could find a winner.
In the final minute, hometown favourite and club captain, Jeff Hughes, who was forced into early retirement in February after sustaining a serious knee injury against Portadown in January, was subbed onto the field to a standing ovation, bringing the curtain down on a glittering playing career, which included earning two caps for NI.
When the final whistle blew, no one from the home support wanted to leave the ground, with thousands remaining to see their heroes crowned champions.
As each member of the playing and backroom staff was welcomed onto the pitch to walk on the red carpet up to the podium, there was a loud cheer from the fans- this had been 134 years in the making and the supporters were going to enjoy every second of it.
Tomas Cosgrove, who had been called forward to lift the most prestigious piece of silverware in the local game, gestured to Hughes to join him and share the moment.
As Queen’s classic ‘We are the Champions’ echoed round the stadium, players, their loved ones, coaches and supporters celebrated the historic milestone.
Club owner Kenny Bruce MBE, who had purchased the club in 2017, addressed the crowd, praising them for backing the team and urging them to get behind the players for the 2023/24 campaign.
Larne’s final game of the season sees them travel to The Showgrounds to face Coleraine on Saturday, April 29 (5.30pm). The count down will then be on ahead of Larne’s first taste of UEFA Champions League football.