Sport in Manchester

Sport in Manchester

Sport in Manchester and especially football are an important part of the city's culture.

Many first class sporting facilities were built for the 2002 Commonwealth Games, including the Manchester Velodrome, the City of Manchester Stadium, the National Squash Centre and the Manchester Aquatics Centre.

Manchester is a successful sporting city with many famous sporting people heralding from the city as well as from the surrounding area of Greater Manchester. Manchester has competed twice to host the Olympic Games, being beaten fourth to Atlanta in 1996 and third to Sydney in 2000.

It was announced in 2005 that various sporting arenas around the city will be used as training facilities prior to the 2012 Olympics in London.


Two Premiership football clubs, Manchester United and Manchester City, bear the city’s name. United is one of the most prestigious and successful clubs in the world, and arguably the most popular worldwide (they allegedly have 333 million supporters). Manchester City's ground is at the City of Manchester Stadium; Manchester United’s Old Trafford ground, the largest club football ground in the United Kingdom and England's only UEFA elite stadium, is just outside the city in the borough of Trafford.

Manchester City has more localised fanbase than Manchester United, but United have more fans, both locally and nationally, than City. [cite book |last=Brown |first=Adam |title=Do you come from Manchester?": a postcode analysis of the location of Manchester United and Manchester City season ticket holders, 2001 |url= |format= |accessdate=2007-05-03 |series= |year=2002 |publisher=Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester Institute for Popular Culture |location=Manchester] The Manchester postal district includes the (strongly United supporting) city of Salford but also Prestwich and Whitefield in Bury (with one of the largest City supporters clubs) and areas such as Denton, where United also have strong support. This research was done before City moved to the larger (48,000 capacity) City of Manchester Stadium, and well before the expansion of United's Old Trafford stadium which now accommodates 76,000. The truth is that nobody knows for sure which team has the most local support and that the figures are probably too similar to call. What is beyond doubt is that United's nationwide and international support far exceeds that of City, so City have a larger local proportion of their overall fan base.

Manchester is also important to the history of football. In 1886 a meeting was held in the city for representatives from the UK's football associations, and the International Football Association Board, which makes the rules for the game, was formed following this meeting.

Rugby union

Although many of the big rugby teams in the north west of England play rugby league, Manchester's rugby teams have a long tradition of playing rugby union.

Manchester Rugby Club, was founded as the "Manchester Football Club" in 1860, eleven years before the formation of the Rugby Football Union, the club is one of the oldest rugby union clubs in the world along with Blackheath Rugby Club and Liverpool St Helens F.C.. The club's ground is located at Grove Park in Cheadle Hulme, and is divided into different sections - 1st XV, 2nd XV, Warriors, Ladies, and Mini, Juniors, Colts. [ [ Manchester Rugby Club] ] "See main article: Manchester Rugby Club"

Broughton Park Rugby Union F.C., is one of the oldest rugby union clubs in England and was established in 1882, just one year after the Lancashire County Rugby Union was founded and eleven years after the formation of the national Rugby Football Union. The club has had a number of different grounds in its time, mainly in the Salford/Prestwich area, but also in the south of Manchester. Since 2004 its present new facility is at Hough End in Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester. Originally the club had only one senior side, but now fields four senior sides and supported by one Colts (U19), four youth (U13-U17) and four mini (U8-U12) teams; a total involvement of some 220 players each week. Broughton Park R.F.C. is the City of Manchester's highest placed representative in the Rugby Union Leagues. [ [ Broughton Park Rugby Union F.C.] ]

Old Bedians Rugby (Union) Club was founded in 1954 by Des Pastore as an Old Boys club for St Bedes College. Originally based in Chorlton Old Bedians became one of two Didsbury rugby clubs in 1965. In 1991 car thieves torched a car in close proximity to the clubhouse and the club burnt down, following this the current two storey brick structure was built.

The club, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2003/2004, is located on Millgate Lane in the heart of Didsbury Village, in the south of Manchester, close to neighbouring areas Withington, Fallowfield, Burnage, and Stockport.The club fields three teams each week, the 1st team plays in the North Lancs Division 1, the 2nds, and 3rds play in Miller Homes Leagues in Division 4 south and 5 south respectively. The club also has an established junior section and was fortunate enough to be awarded lottery funding for this section in 2007.

Old Bedians Rugby Club is well known for its social side and can be regularly seen drinking in Didsbury on Saturday night. As well as this they have an annual Sportsmans Dinner with such rugby legends as David Duckham and Jeff Probyn. [ [ Old Bedians Rugby (Union) Club] ]

Didsbury Toc-H Rugby (Union) Club was founded in 1924 as "Toc H Manchester" and was situated in Victoria Park. After moving to various sites the club arrived in Didsbury and in 1986 the name was changed to "Didsbury Toc-H" to identify with the location of the clubhouse. The club, which celebrated its 80th anniversary in 2003/2004, is located at Ford Lane in the heart of Didsbury Village, in the south of Manchester, close to neighbouring areas Withington, Fallowfield, Burnage, and Stockport.The club fields four teams each week, the 1st team plays in the North Lancashire & Cumbria league, the 2nds, 3rds, and 4ths play in competitive "intermediate leagues". The club also has an established junior section.The "Toc-H" part comes from a soldiers club at Poperinghe in Flanders in the First World War. Soldiers and officers could get a respite from the battlefields. This place was named Talbot House in honour of a young lieutenant who was killed in action the year before. Signallers pronounced the letters 'T' as 'Toc' and 'H' as 'House'. When the rugby club was founded, Manchester soldiers called the new club as "Toc-H Manchester". [ [ Didsbury Rugby (Union) Club] ]

The City of Manchester also has other rugby union teams: the University of Manchester Rugby Club, [ [ The University of Manchester Rugby Club] ] and Manchester Village Spartans RUFC. [ [ Manchester Village Spartans RUFC] ]


Old Trafford cricket ground, located in the Metropolitan Borough of Trafford, was originally the home of Manchester Cricket Club, but became the home of Lancashire County Cricket Club in 1864 upon the club's formation. The ground is on Talbot Road, Stretford, where it's been since 1856. It has been a test venue since 1884 and has hosted three World Cup semi-finals.cite web |url= |title=Cricket ground makes 150 not out |author=Anon |publisher=BBC Online |date=2007-05-09 |accessdate=2007-05-23] After the 2005 Ashes Test, when more than 20,000 fans had to be turned away, [cite web |url= |title=Ashes to Ashes |author=Anon |publisher=BBC Online |date=2006-04-21 |accessdate=2007-05-23] the decision was made to expand the ground. The redevelopment plans to expand seating from 20,000 to 25,000 but possibly move to a new site. Though the site of Trafford Town Hall—which had been considered as a possible site—is no longer available, Lancashire Chief Executive Jim Cumbes has insisted that he wants Lancashire’s ground to remain in Trafford. [cite web |url= |title=Old Trafford Re-Development Plans Continue |author=Anon |publisher=Lancashire County Cricket Club |date=2007-01-26 |accessdate=2007-05-23] Nearly £25m is expected to be invested in the redevelopments at Old Trafford. Similar to its counterpart, one end of the Old Trafford cricket ground is called the Stretford End, the other end of the ground is called the Brian Statham end.

peedway racing

Motorcycle speedway racing has been staged at four venues in Manchester. The first events were staged at the greyhound stadium in Kirkmanshume Lane in 1928 and was known as Belle Vue Speedway. Speedway activities continued under the Belle Vue name at the stadium in Hyde Road from 1929 to 1987, without any breaks even during the war years of 1939 - 1945, when the stadium was sold and redeveloped. Speedway racing returned to the greyhound stadium in Kirkmanshume Lane in 1988 and continues to operate there. The speedway team are known as the Belle Vue Aces.Peter Craven, Ove Fundin, Peter Collins, Jason Crump are amongst the riders who have won World Championships when riding for the Aces.The White City stadium was used in the pioneer days from 1928 to 1930 and a training track at Newton Heath operated in the in the early post war period. [ [ "History of The White City Track"] ,, retrieved 15 July 2007.]

Other sports

The Manchester Titans are the only American Football team in Manchester, they play in the British American Football League, Division 2. The Titans play at Broughton Park Rugby Club, Mauldeth Road West in Chorlton. With the gridiron game having been popular in the region in the past with teams such as the Spartans and the All-Stars, the Titans were formed in 2003 and have experienced continual growth with the 2007 season finishing 7-2-1, and getting to the playoffs semi-finals.

Belle Vue Stadium in Gorton is home to the Belle Vue Aces speedway team and also hosts regular greyhound races.

Manchester also has an ice hockey team called the Manchester Phoenix who moved into a new purpose-built arena called the Altrincham Ice Dome in February 2007. The city was previously home to the Manchester Storm ice hockey club who in 1997 played in front of the largest audience ever to watch an ice hockey game in the United Kingdom when 17,245 people saw the Storm defeat the Sheffield Steelers 6-2 at the MEN Arena.

Manchester also has two roller hockey teams; which have combined and reached the cup final against Bury St. Edmunds (at U13 level only). [ [ National Cup Finals & AGM venues in Manchester] . URL accessed 11 November 2007.]

Boxing is popular in Manchester. It's the home of Ricky Hatton.

ee also

* Sport in England
* Sport in the United Kingdom


External links

* [ Visit Manchester, the official tourist board]

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