Call goes out to support London Irish book

The sad demise of London Irish Holdings has not derailed publication of a new book chronicling the rich 125-year history of the club.

Written by former London Irish press officer Paddy Lennon, the 380-page coffee table book London Irish: 125 Years of Passion in Exile (below) has been in production for several years and will be packed with never-before-seen photographs and memorabilia.

Originally supported by both the professional and amateur arms of London Irish, publishers Vision Sports Publishing (VSP) have agreed to proceed with publication without the agreed funding after the professional club was suspended from the Premiership and the administrators were called in.

London Irish supporters can help get the project over the line by pre-ordering a special limited Collectors’ Edition of the book, signed by club legend Topsy Ojo and including an evocative print of the club’s first-ever team from the 1898-99 season. The book will come in a smart, embossed slipcase with each copy numbered between 1-500.

If VSP receive 500 orders or more of the Collectors’ Edition, the full print run of the book can go to press and all those who have contributed in this way will have their name (or that of a chosen person) included in a Roll of Honour at the back of the book.*

These Collectors’ Edition copies are only available for pre-order at £60 (€70) each up until 24 July at londonirishbook.com. They will then be distributed in October, at the same time as the publication of a more traditional format edition that will have an RRP of £40 (€50).

“The recent sad events affected so many people associated with the club, not only the players and staff of the professional club but also the wider London Irish family,” said Lennon. “The outpouring of emotion has made the publishers and myself more determined than ever to complete this project and ensure that the rich history of the club is properly documented.

Call goes out to support London Irish book

A spread from the London Irish book, the regular edition of which is due out in October (VSP)

“The book tells the story of the club, revealing its true origins for the first time for example, and features the many personalities that shaped it over the decades. It is also a treasure trove of historical artefacts, including an honour cap from the very first season, that I have spent the best part of a decade unearthing with the help of many passionate supporters.

“We also acknowledge that while this book will not have a particularly happy ending in one context, the club lives on not only in the amateur side of things but in the hearts of thousands for whom the club has – at one time or another – been a special home from home.”

Call goes out to support London Irish book

A supporter waves an Irish flag during a match at Gtech Community Stadium in Brentford (Getty Images)

A donation from sales of the book will be divided between the amateur club’s Injured Players Fund and the London Irish Foundation.

*If the minimum quantity is not reached then all funds will be returned before 31 July 2023.

Download the digital edition of Rugby World straight to your tablet or subscribe to the print edition to get the magazine delivered to your door.

Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.