Although England is just one part of a small island nation, with a population of around 56 million, it is a powerhouse of sporting prowess. Known as the creators of multiple sports and games, exported globally via the British Empire, the sport remains deeply ingrained in English life. Here’s a breakdown of the most popular sports in the country.
Without a doubt the most popular sport in England, association football is a national obsession. The rules of the modern-day game were penned in the country, Sheffield to be exact, in the late 1850s. In fact, Sheffield FC is recognized as the world’s oldest football club.
In those days, players were amateurs and would do a day’s work in the country’s factories and mines, before turning out for their local team. People who worked alongside their sporting idols and football clubs played a key role in bringing communities together.
Those days are long gone, but the idea of the football club as the heart of the community, especially outside of the Premier League, remains. Which goes a long way to explaining why the game is so intertwined with everyday life in the country.
England’s European Championships final defeat against Italy in 2021 was viewed by 31 million television sets in the country. And of course, those figures are not streams mentioned on Way To Hunt’s most popular streaming services.
Much like football, cricket is another game created by the English and exported globally. The sport, which has been played in one form or another since the 16th century, is not as popular as it once was, with participation numbers have fallen to around 300,000.
However, the game is enjoying something of a resurgence in recent years. The creation of T20 cricket, a shorter and more exciting format that appeals more to youngsters and casual fans of the game, undoubtedly has a lot to do with that.
This is the format played in the IPL, which attracts many of the game’s top cricketers, on lucrative contracts. The combination of fast-paced action and the world’s best players draws millions of viewers from England, many of whom enjoy the format as a betting medium.
Rugby comes in two different flavors; League and Union. Traditionally, Rugby League is seen as the more working-class version, more popular in the north of the country. Union is historically the game of the upper classes, played in English private schools.
Rugby Union tends to attract more viewers than League. The 2021 Six Nations clash between rivals England and Scotland attracted 8.7 million viewers in the country, its biggest audience for over a decade.
Perhaps more closely associated with Scotland, where it has been played since the 15th century, the English love golf too. England has produced many top-class golfers over the decades, including Lee Westwood, Justin Rose, and Nick Faldo.
Golf can be expensive for people to play, so it is often enjoyed as a spectator sport. Majors such as the Open pull in upwards of 6 million viewers, for instance. At least part of its popularity on television is due to the fact that English people love to bet on golf.
The odds on golf tournaments tend to be big, so golf bettors can place small, low-risk bets and potentially win large sums of money. In order to find the best odds, bookmaker comparison sites are used. At SBO.net, punters can find a whole host of information about various betting sites, ensuring that they are getting the best possible odds, while also finding bookmakers that are reputable and safe.
Boxing remains a popular participation sport in England, particularly in more working-class areas. There are more than 900 boxing clubs up and down the country, with more than 20,000 associated members.
England has produced a seemingly relentless stream of top-class champions over the years, all of which have helped to ensure that boxing remains popular in the country. In 2018, when Anthony Joshua fought Joseph Parker, more than 1.8 million viewers stumped up the additional price for a pay-per-view package.
England is home to one of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments. The Championships at Wimbledon, whose history dates back to 1877, have been known to draw tens of millions of viewers throughout the country.
Tennis can be expensive and inaccessible to many, which perhaps goes some way to explaining why it’s been so long since England produced a true great of the game. But despite this, it remains a popular spectator sport.