A Swedish man with a very unusual connection to Larne has realised a long-held ambition by paying a visit to the town this week.
The special visitor has a rare name in his native country: he’s called Larne.
And ever since he found out he shares his name with the town, it has been his mission to travel to Larne and see the place for himself. Larne Wallisson and his wife, Sol-Britt, arrived in the town on Tuesday and were hosted by Mayor Martin Wilson in the Town Hall.
Larne was presented with a plaque to commemorate the visit, and the Mayor provided a brief overview to help give his guest a flavour of the town.
The occasion was made even more special by the fact that it was Larne’s 65th birthday, as well as his 15th wedding anniversary.
He told the Times: “From what I have learned, there are only nine men with the name Larne in Sweden.
“My mother picked the name after she meet someone called Larne on a trip. She said to herself that if she ever had a son, she would name him Larne.
A sports journalist from a small village named Höllviken, south Malmö, Larne is an ardent Tranmere Rovers FC supporter.
“From time to time I look for the results of Larne FC to see how the team is doing,” he added.
“My whole life I have wanted to visit this place, and I am very happy to finally be here in ‘my own town’ with my wife.
“We plan to find some good pubs and restaurants in Larne to celebrate my birthday and our wedding anniversary.
“Then we will take a trip along the Antrim Coast Road, as I have heard it is very beautiful.
“During our trip we are spending three days in Belfast and three in London, but our visit to Larne is definitely the highlight for me,” he concluded.