Barn United F.C.
|Full name||Barn United Football Club|
|Ground||Haslett Park, Carrickfergus|
|League||NAFL Division 1B|
|2017–18||NAFL Division 1B, 10th|
Barn United Football Club is a Northern Irish, intermediate football club from Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland playing in Division 1B of the Northern Amateur Football League. They play their home games at Haslett Park, next door to their local rivals Carrick Rangers. The current club formed in 1954 taking its name from an earlier team, Barn, which played in the Irish League from 1923–1928. As well as Barn's first XI, they field a second team in the Amateur League Division 3B and several youth teams in the East Antrim Youth League.
When Barn United formed in 1954, the club set up its home ground right next to Carrick Rangers' Taylor Avenue home. United joined the Northern Amateur League as a junior club in 1955, before being elevated to intermediate status in 1961. The two clubs shared a friendly rivalry up to the 1970s and both performed well. But in 1976, Carrick shocked the senior Irish clubs when they won the Irish Cup. By 1983, Carrick was playing senior football.
Barn United found new rivals in Islandmagee with the teams meeting annually to play for a trophy. But the fixture was marred by a series of on-field incidents and trouble between the opposing fans. The teams still meet in league and cup matches (their last two meetings being in the 2008/09 Premier division) but the trophy matches are no longer played.
The club's current facilities at Haslett Park are basic but does feature a social club, which was opened in 1981 by Rangers player and Northern Ireland international John McClelland. There is also a covered stand called the Haslett stand which can seat 70 fans. Barn fans often refer to themselves as "barnies" or "barnyarts".
In 2013, left back Alan Green cemented his reputation as a club legend by playing the last of his 904 club appearances. He retired aged 41, with 22 goals in all competitions. Sweeper Christopher Q Walsh, became club captain in the summer of 2014. He is the youngest captain in Barn's history, taking the armband at aged 19. With his moptop hairstyle and penchant for girls, clothes and living the high life, fans often refer to him as "El Beatle", much in the same vein as George Best was. The team's designated penalty taker, he has scored 19 of 36 penalties. The last of which came against South Armagh Rovers in the Northern Bank Mid-Ulster Amateur Shield clash. Barn went on to win the game 3–1.
In the summer of 2017, Barn signed Nathan King from Shankill Boys Soccer Institution. In his first season, Nathan, more commonly known by supporters as The Wing Nut, scored an incredible 8 goals from 10 starts in nets. The nickname The Wing Nut is due to Kings tendency to make several runs down the line when barn are in possession.
During the summer of 2018, Barn United FC also signed Paul “Gibby” Gibson from Glengormley Nuggets of the North Belfast Division. Gibson is a record signing from the club costing United £2.50, a Freddo, and a pack of Amberleaf 3-in-1. Gibson is notoriously known for smoking on the bench before coming on. He claims that the nicotine rush helps and enhances his performance. Gibson has scored 5 own goals for Barn in 2 games and celebrates with an over-the-top celebration whether it’s doing a naked lap or smacking a fan.
- Ground Hopper - Barn United
- East Antrim Youth League
- nifootball.co.uk - (For fixtures, results and tables of all Northern Ireland amateur football leagues)
- H. Johnstone & G. Hamilton (n.d.) A Memorable Milestone: 75 Years of the Northern Amateur Football League, p. 180