Dublin’s Bohemian Football Club

Bohemian FC is the oldest football team in Ireland. It was started in September 1890 and was one of the instigators of what is now known as the Eircomloi League of Ireland.

It has the unique attribute of being the only team never to drop out of the League’s first division. Only one other team, Shelbourne, has been in the League since its inception.

Throughout its history the club has experience both good times and bad. Perhaps its lowest ebb was a 34 season run that saw no silverware in the trophy cabinet.

Many fans point to the club’s prolonged amateur status as the explanation for these dark times. During this period Bohemian FC successfully brought many new players into the game, but as the opportunity for a professional carer beckoned, many of these aspiring footballers left to follow a more lucrative professional career with Bohemian FC’s competitors.

1969 finally saw an end to this drain of talent as the club turned professional and signed its first pro player – a landmark moment in the club’s history.

The following decade would signal a change in Bohemian’s fortunes as they went on to secure both league and cup titles and establish themselves as a major force in the Irish game.

To date, the Bohemians, as they are affectionately known, have recorded 10 League of Ireland titles and 7 Irish Cup titles – an unprecedented achievement. They have managed to do the “double” on three occasions, the most recent of which was 2008.

They have also gone through to Europe and competed in the UEFA Cup and the Cup Winners Cup, although so far with only moderate success. This should however be tempered by the status of the game in Ireland and the resources that the club has at its disposal.

In Ireland football is more often referred to as soccer to avoid confusion with the indigenous sport of Gaelic football which is a different game completely and achieves a higher national status.

Bohemian FC’s colours are red and black and this has been the case since 1893. Tradition has, and remains, and important part of Bohemian FC’s special history.

Supporters of Dublin’s premier club tend to be from northern Dublin and attendances are in the region of 2,000 to 4,000 fans per match. The fans refer to Bohemian FC as either the “Gypsies” or the “Bohs”.

The club are based at the Dalymount Park stadium, their home since 1901, however moves have been made to sell the ground for redevelopment and build a new stadium at Harristown. Legal and financial complications are currently holding this process up.

Despite these hiccups, the future of the club looks positive and with success on the field continuing to reach ever higher levels, Bohemian FC look set to dominate Irish football for some years to come.

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