3 August 2006

Louis Bookman

Eastern European migrants aren’t that new to Ireland, in fact a Lithuanian born footballer played his part in one of Ireland’s earliest successes…

Name: Louis James O. Bookman (born Buckhalter)*
Born: 6 November 1890, Zagaren, Russia (now Lithuania)
Died: 10 June 1943, Dublin
Height: 5.08 ft
Weight: 11.06 st
Position: Outside-Left

Representative Honours: Ireland: 4 Full Caps (1914-1921), 1 Amateur Cap (1912).
Club Honours: (with Glentoran) Irish Cup Runner-Up 1915/16; Co. Antrim Shield Winner 1915/16; (with Belfast Celtic) Charity Cup Runner-Up 1910/11; (with Shelbourne) Leinster Senior Cup Winner 1918/19 (War-time); Leinster Senior League Champion 1918/19 (War-time).

Club Career:
Clubs
Seasons
Signed
Fee
League
FA Cup
Other
Cabra Junior &Dublin Grammar Schools
Youth
-
-
-
Dublin Adelaide
-
-
-
-
-
-
Frankfurt
-
-
-
-
-
-
Belfast Celtic
-
1910
-
-
2/0
-
Bradford City
11/12-13/14
Feb-12
-
32/ 2
-
-
West Bromwich Albion
14/15
Jun-14
£875
16/ 1
-
-
Glentoran
15/16
-
-
*23/ 1
-
-
Shelbourne
16/17-18/19
-
-
6/ 1
-
-
Luton Town
19/20-21/22
May-19
£250
72/ 4
5/1
-
Port Vale
23/24
Jul-23
£250
10/ 0
1/0
-
Shelbourne
24/25
Aug-24
-
8/ 2
-
-
TOTALS

£1,375
167/11
8/1
-
* all games.

Biography:
Louis Bookman (born Buchalter in what is now Lithuania) was a multi-talented sportsman, and won representative honours at both football and cricket. The son of a Rabbi, his family immigrated to Ireland in 1895 to escape the persecution of the Jews in their native land, changing their name to Bookman by deed-poll in an effort to fit in with their new surroundings.

In 1911, when Bookman gained an Irish Amateur cap against England, he became the first recorded Jew to earn international footballing honours. At the time he was featuring for Belfast Celtic, who were just beginning to challenge for honours on a regular basis.

Transferred to Bradford City for the 1911/12 season, Bookman was slow to settle in the English First Division, appearing 32 times in three seasons. During his time in Yorkshire he did break into the Ireland Full international team for the first time, appearing in a 2-1 win over Wales during the 1914 Home Nations Championship – it was a victory that set Ireland on track for their first ever Championship success.

The following season Bookman was transferred to West Brom, making 16 appearances before football was suspended due to the outbreak of the First World War. When Bookman resumed his international career after the War he was on the books of Luton Town, where despite passing thirty, he enjoyed the most sustained first-team football of his Football League career. He added a further three international caps to his total during 1921, including in an impressive 1-1 draw with England.

After a brief spell with Port Vale, Bookman returned to Ireland, signing for Shelbourne for a final season.

In the 1920s Bookman also began to excel at cricket, having signed up with Dublin based Railway Union Cricket Club for their inaugural season in 1919, and later joining the Leinster CC. A left handed batsman and slow left arm bowler, he played at minor counties level for Bedfordshire and represented the Gentlemen of Ireland against the Gentlemen of Scotland.

“A brave and determined outside left who performed well at full back in later years”, away from football Bookman worked in the Irish railway service and then in the jewellery business. He was just 52 years-old when he died in June 1943.


Ireland Cap Details:
19-01-1914 Wales... A W 2-1 BC
26-02-1921 Scotland H L 0-2 BC
09-04-1921 Wales... A L 1-2 BC
22-10-1921 England. H D 1-1 BC

Summary: 4/0. Won 1, Drew 1, Lost 2.



Ireland Amateur Cap Details:
18-11-1912 England. A L 0-2

Summary: 1/0. Won 0, Drew 0, Lost 1.


Additions and corrections by George Glass.

* Bookman's full name has been suggested as Louis James Arthur Oscar or some variation of those names.

1 comment:

David Fine said...

Louis Bookman,an Irish Jew, a forgotten football hero. He did his adopted country proud.

Who was Northern Ireland's Greatest World Cup Player & Team? (select up to eleven players)

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