English Soccer: Bristol Rovers' Joe Jacobson is one-of-a-kind

Becomes the first British-born Jew to play in a British professional soccer league in over 25 years.

By JOSH NASON
April 22, 2007 04:24
1 minute read.
English Soccer: Bristol Rovers' Joe Jacobson is one-of-a-kind

bristol rovers. (photo credit: )

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Joe Jacobson has helped make history for the British Jewish community. He became the first British-born Jew to play in a British professional soccer league in almost 20 years. Jacobson, who grew up in Cardiff, Wales, a town with a small Jewish community, made his debut April 22, 2006, when he subbed in for his hometown Cardiff Bluebirds in their League Championship defeat to Norwich City. Jacobson was back with Cardiff on August 22, 2006, making his first start at left back. While Cardiff was defeated by Barnet, Jacobson was named the Man of the Match by local papers. After those matches, Jacobson was placed on loan to Accrington Stanley in November. He then moved in February to Bristol Rovers. Both teams compete in League Two, and allowed Jacobson to gain valuable first-team experience. He has had a relatively quiet season with Bristol, with no goals in five appearances. Jacobson credits the small Jewish community in Wales as a possible reason for his ability to become the first Jew in the British professional leagues. In England, where there is a larger Jewish community, there are typically soccer leagues for Jews, so most Jews do not become integrated in the general youth soccer programs that feed into the professional leagues. In Wales, though, Jacobson had no choice but to turn to the local club. While Jacobson has made history for British-born Jews, he is far from the only Jew in the league. British soccer has seen the arrival of a number of popular Israeli players including Tal Ben-Haim (Bolton), Idan Tal (Bolton), Yossi Benayoun (West Ham), and Ben Sahar (Chelsea). In addition, there are several promising British Jews coming through the ranks of youth soccer who could join Jacobson soon. Jacobson downplays the Jewish aspect. "I just get on with my football, and don't think about the religious side of it too much," he told the Western Mail.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

dudi sela
August 31, 2014
Sela steamrolled by Dimitrov

By ALLON SINAI