Sport in Yorkshire – Part 1

Sport in Yorkshire is taken very seriously and the county prides itself on having some of the strongest sides in the country. This is especially true of the sports that field representative sides from the county and every Yorkshire side that steps on to the field, or the court, on the track, or even in the pool, will truly believe that they are representing the strongest county in the country. The emblem worn on every Yorkshire representative shirt, or vest, is the white rose. The flower represents the House of York which the county sided with during the English Civil War. During the battle, they were opposed by the Hose of Lancaster, whose symbol was the red rose, and this has been adopted by Yorkshires fiercest rivals Lancashire.

Cricket at Headingly

Nowhere is the battle more keenly contested that on the cricket field where the encounters have become known as the “War of the Roses”. These two sides have historically been two of the strongest counties in English cricket, and Yorkshire has regularly produced many cricketers who have gone on to represent their country.

Between 1968 and 1992 the cricket side would only contain players who had been born within the borders on the county. However, this rule no longer applies and the current side reflects the multi ethnic population of the county. The side has won the County championship on 33 occasions, which is 14 times higher than any other county.

Yorkshire play the majority of its home games in Leeds at the Headingly Cricket Ground which, over the years, has hosted numerous England matches. The side also plays at Scarborough Cricket Club and in past years has also played in Sheffield Bradford, Hull, Middlesbrough and Harrogate. The county has a number of professional football teams, but there is currently only one who play in the Premiership and that is Huddersfield Town. The side was promoted at the end of the 2017 season and was a favorite to be one of the teams that would be relegated at the end of the 2018 season. However, an unexpected good year has resulted in them retaining their place for the 2018-2019 season.

The McAlpine Stadium home of Huddersfield Town

The largest football team in the county is Leeds United who have won the football league title on three occasions and the FA cup once. They play their home games at Elland Road and the Stadium is often filled with over 30,000 spectators, despite the fact that their team last played in the premiership back in 2004.

There were six Yorkshire sides that played the 2017-2018 season in the championship, which is the second tier of English football. There are a number of keenly contested local derbies, including Middlesbrough against Hull, and Sheffield United against Sheffield Wednesday. The home ground of Sheffield Wednesday is Hillsborough Stadium, which has capacity of 39,732. The stadium has hosted 27 FA cup semi-finals and has also seen World Cup matches and European Championship games being played in the tournaments of 1966 and 1996 respectively.

Sadly it was also the scene for the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest in 1989 when 96 supporters lost their lives. Following the tragedy, the Taylor Report was published and since then has seen the implementation of all-seater football stadiums in the United Kingdom.