Sport in Manchester
Sport in Manchester is an important part of the city's culture. Sports in Manchester include football, athletics and cycling at venues including the City of Manchester Stadium, the Manchester Velodrome and the National BMX Arena.
Manchester City and Manchester United are popular Premier League football clubs in Manchester, United's ground is in Old Trafford, and fixtures between the clubs are referred to as the Manchester Derby. In 2012, City finished first and United second in the Premier League. Manchester has hosted every major domestic, continental and international football competition, including the World Cup in 1966, the European Championship in 1996, Olympic Football in 2012, the 2003 UEFA Champions League Final, 2008, 1893, 1911, 1915 and 1970 FA Cup Final and 1977, 1978 and 1984 Football League Cup Final.
Manchester has competed twice to host the Olympic Games, being beaten into fourth place by Atlanta in 1996 and coming third to Sydney in 2000. Manchester hosted the 2002 Commonwealth Games with many sporting facilities being built for them, including the City of Manchester Stadium, the Manchester Velodrome, the National Squash Centre and the Manchester Aquatics Centre.
Two Premiership football clubs, Manchester City and Manchester United, bear the city's name. Manchester City's home ground, the City of Manchester Stadium, is just outside Manchester city centre in east Manchester and Manchester United’s, Old Trafford, the largest club football ground in the United Kingdom, on the west side two miles from the city centre.
Both City and United, as of 2001, had a highly localised fanbase with the majority of season ticket holding fans in the outer postal areas (BL, OL, SK, and WA) of Greater Manchester and within other counties of the North-west Only a fraction of both clubs' respective season ticket subscribers came from within the central areas of the City of Manchester. The Manchester postal area includes the (strongly United supporting) City of Salford but also Prestwich and Whitefield in Bury (with one of the largest City supporters clubs). This research was conducted before City moved to the larger (48,000 capacity) City of Manchester Stadium, and before the expansion of United's Old Trafford stadium which now accommodates 76,000 meaning that the situation will have changed in the period since it was written.
Further research, published in 2008, has identified that the Manchester region is split with City's support predominantly coming in the south and east of Greater Manchester and the surrounding area and United's in the west. United's nationwide and international support far exceeds that of City. Polls done in the local media suggest that the support of both clubs is split nearly 50/50 within the city and United edging out City with a small majority in all of Greater Manchester.
Aside from their two Premier League clubs, Manchester's earliest known association football club was Hulme Athenaeum, established in November 1863 with its first secretary being Jonathan Nall.  Manchester hosted the first meeting of representatives from the home nations football associations in 1886, and the International Football Association Board, which makes the rules for the game, was formed following this meeting. FIFA adopted the rules and regulations of football laid out by the IFAB when the organisation formed in 1904. Manchester has remained a regular summit location for IFAB meetings since their formation.
Manchester also hosts several other smaller semi-pro and amateur football clubs, the most notable of which is F.C. United of Manchester, who are based at Broadhurst Park in Moston, an area less than three miles north of the city centre. They play in the 6th tier of English football in the National League North after being promoted from NPL Premier Division.
The city hosted the 2002 Commonwealth Games, and athletics events took place at the City of Manchester Stadium, which is now home to Manchester City and sometimes referred to as Eastlands. Next to Eastlands lies the Manchester Regional Arena, which has been used for British athletics trials and the annual Paralympic World Cup which has been held in Manchester since 2005.
The city also hosts the annual Great Manchester Run which has been hosted since 2003 and has become one of the most popular 10 km runs in the UK. In addition, the city also hosts the annual Great City Games, featuring a 110m sprint track on Deansgate in Manchester city centre. The world's top athletes are invited and in 2009 Usain Bolt took part.
||A major contributor to this section appears to have a close connection with its subject. (April 2015) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
Two teams play rugby league in the city, Manchester Rangers, an amateur club playing at Manchester Regional Arena, and Mancunians RL in the South of the city who ground share with Broughton Park Rugby Union F.C. at Hough End, Chorlton.
Rugby League was first played at professional level in Manchester when Broughton Rangers moved to Belle Vue Stadium from neighbouring Salford. Broughton Rangers later changed their name to Belle Vue Rangers then went out of business a few years later and there hasn't been any professional rugby league in the city since.
Burnage Rugby Club play in National 3 and are based near Parrs Wood Entertainment Complex.
Manchester Rugby Club was founded as 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 at Grove Park in Cheadle Hulme. 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, it has played at Hough End in Chorlton-cum-Hardy.
Old Bedians Rugby (Union) Club was founded in 1954 as an Old Boys club for St Bedes College. Originally based in Chorlton, Old Bedians became one of two Didsbury rugby clubs in 1965. The club is on Millgate Lane in Didsbury Village.
Didsbury Toc-H Rugby (Union) Club was founded in 1924 as "Toc H Manchester" in Victoria Park. After moving to various site,s the club arrived in Didsbury and in 1986 the name was changed to "Didsbury Toc-H" to identify with the clubhouse at Ford Lane in the Didsbury Village. "Toc-H" 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".
Manchester has an Olympic-standard swimming pool in the Manchester Aquatics Centre, built for the 2002 Commonwealth Games, which is now part of the University of Manchester. The university runs the University of Manchester Swimming Club at the aquatics centre which was formed in 1885.
Old Trafford cricket ground, 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. Built in 1856, the ground is on Talbot Road, Stretford.
A test match venue since 1884, the 155-year-old ground is one of the most famous in world cricket, only The Oval in London can claim to have hosted an England test match earlier and the ground has hosted three World Cup semi-finals. The ground has seen many Ashes moments, including the 1902 Ashes test where Australia won by 3 runs (the closest test match winning margin and one which stood for nearly a century until 1993), "Jim Laker Test" in July 1956 where the England spinner took 19 wickets, Shane Warne's "Ball of the Century" against Mike Gatting and more recently the tense 2005 Ashes Test at Old Trafford when more than 20,000 fans had to be turned away due to tickets being sold out.
Redevelopment plans have existed since the early 2000s (decade) as the cricket ground was in need of renovation, and even a move away to Sportcity nearby Manchester City F.C.'s City of Manchester Stadium was touted as a serious possibility. 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.
Lancashire hold the record for the most tournament wins in the Pro40 tournament (5 times) which ran from 1969 to 2009 and the Friends Provident Trophy (7 times) which ran from 1963 to 2009. Despite this strong one-day success, Lancashire have not won the top tier of the County Championship since 1934. In total they have won the County Championship on eight occasions in 1881, 1897, 1904, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1930 and 1934. However, they still remain one of the top county cricket clubs in the country and Lancashire maintains a healthy rivalry with Yorkshire, which is sometimes referred to as the Battle of the Roses (a pun on the actual War of the Roses which involved Lancashire and Yorkshire on opposing sides).
The National Cycling Centre includes a velodrome, BMX Arena and Mountainbike trials and is the home of British Cycling, UCI ProTeam Team Sky and Sky Track Cycling. The Manchester Velodrome is the UK's first purpose-built indoor Cycling Velodrome, which was primarily built for the 2002 Commonwealth Games. It is near the City of Manchester Stadium. British Cycling have stated their wish to remain based in Manchester, instead of moving to The London Velopark for the 2012 Summer Olympics, as development continues with the construction of a National BMX Arena next to British Cycling's base at the Manchester Velodrome.
The Velodrome has become one of the fastest velodrome tracks in the world and its board tracks consist of 80 kilometres of 40mm Siberian pine on 380 trusses around the velodrome track. The Velodrome is covered by a 122-metre arched roof enabling unrestricted viewing for the spectators. The Velodrome has hosted the UCI World Championships which is the set of world championship events for the various disciplines and distances in track cycling and are regulated by the Union Cycliste Internationale 3 times in 1996, 2000 and 2008 - no other venue has hosted more.
Fallowfield Stadium was an athletics stadium and velodrome in Fallowfield which opened in May 1892 as the home of Manchester Athletics Club after it was forced to move from its home next to Old Trafford Cricket Ground. Fallowfield was most regularly used for cycling by the Manchester Wheelers' Club, who held their annual competition there until 1976.
Motorcycle speedway racing has been staged at five 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 purpose-built 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 continued there until 2015. In 2016 the new £10m National Speedway Stadium with a 6,000 capacity was opened next door to the old greyhound stadium on Kirkmanshulme Lane. The speedway team are known as the Belle Vue Aces. Peter Craven, Ove Fundin, Ivan Mauger, Peter Collins and 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 early post war period.
- Team games
The Manchester Titans were the only American Football team in Manchester; they played in the British American Football League, Division 2.[clarification needed] The Titans played at Broughton Park Rugby Club, Mauldeth Road West in Chorlton. As the gridiron game had 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.
In 2010, Manchester Metropolitan University introduced an American Football team.
Manchester also has two ice hockey teams - Manchester Storm and Manchester Phoenix. The latter club is based in Deeside, North Wales. 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 UK when 17,245 people saw the Storm defeat the Sheffield Steelers 6-2 at the MEN Arena. In 2015 Manchester Storm returned to represent the City of Manchester in the 10-team Elite Ice Hockey League. The team plays out of the Altrincham Ice Dome in Altrincham.
Manchester is also home to two Roller Derby teams, the Rainy City Roller Girls and Manchester Roller Derby, which as well as the traditional women's team also has a men's and junior derby team. The sport continues to grow in the UK and Manchester and roller derby bouts held in Manchester regularly sell out as of 2011.
- Combat sports
Manchester has also hosted several events for World Wrestling Entertainment, as professional wrestling is not only popular in Manchester, but in the United Kingdom as a whole. Manchester is also the home of The British Bulldogs Davey Boy Smith and The Dynamite Kid.
Major sporting events hosted in Manchester
Below is a list of international sporting events that have been held in Manchester at various venues
- England national football team home stadium – 27 matches
- 1966 FIFA World Cup – Old Trafford
- UEFA Euro 1996 – Old Trafford
- 2003 UEFA Champions League Final – Old Trafford
- 2005 UEFA Women's European Championships – City of Manchester Stadium
- 2008 UEFA Cup Final – City of Manchester Stadium
- 2012 Olympic football – Old Trafford
- FA Cup Finals – 4 matches
- Football League Cup finals – 3 matches
- FA Cup semi-final venue – 46 semi-final matches
- FA Charity/Community Shield – 11
- Old Trafford – 6
- Maine Road – 5
- Cricket World Cup host city - 3
- The Ashes host venue
- Super League Grand Final venue - Old Trafford
- 2013 Rugby League World Cup Final venue - Old Trafford
- Snooker World Championship - 5
- Houldsworth Hall - 2 (1952, 1954)
- City Exhibition Hall - 1 (1973)
- Belle Vue - 1 (1974)
- Wythenshawe Forum - 1 (1976)
- "Horse racing: When stars shone in Salford". Manchester Evening News. 9 November 2011. Retrieved 2011-12-27.
- "Revealed: Sporting mecca at the heart of Etihad's record sponsorship of Manchester City". Manchester Evening News. 9 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-12-27.
- The other counties are Lancashire, Cheshire, Merseyside and Cumbria. Also studied were the Stadium Neighbourhoods, i.e. M14 postal district for City and M16 for United. The M postal area is much more extensive than the City of Manchester.
- Brown, Adam (2002). "Do You Come from Manchester?": a postcode analysis of the location of Manchester United and Manchester City season ticket holders, 2001. Manchester: Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester Institute for Popular Culture. hdl:2173/12506.
- James, Gary (2008). Manchester - A Football History. Halifax: James Ward.
- James, Gary & Day, Dave (2014) The Emergence of an Association Football Culture in Manchester 1840–1884, Sport in History, Vol 34, Issue 1, pp.49-74 http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17460263.2013.873075?src=recsys
- James, Gary Manchester's Footballing Pioneers, 1863–1904: A Collective Biography, The International Journal of the History of Sport (2015), Vol 32, no. 9, pp.1143-1159 http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09523367.2015.1055727?src=recsys
- "The History of the Laws of the Game". FIFA.
- "Move to bring in HawkEye". Manchester Evening News. 5 March 2007.
- Manchester Rugby Club
- Broughton Park Rugby Union F.C.
- Old Bedians Rugby (Union) Club
- Didsbury Rugby (Union) Club
- The University of Manchester Rugby Club
- "Victoria Baths: a brief history". BBC.
- "The University of Manchester Swimming Club".
- Anon (2007-05-09). "Cricket ground makes 150 not out". BBC Online. Retrieved 2007-05-23.
- "Test matches - Smallest margin of victory (by runs)". http://stats.espncricinfo.com. External link in
- "Classic Ashes clashes - 1956, Old Trafford". BBC. 2 November 2006.
- Anon (2006-04-21). "Ashes to Ashes". BBC Online. Retrieved 2007-05-23.
- "Lancashire consider leaving Old Trafford". Daily Telegraph. 4 November 2003.
- "British Cycling will not relocate to London after Olympics". morethanthegames.co.uk. 20 November 2009.
- "Manchester still our base - Brailsford". Sporting Life. February 2011.
- "Manchester Velodrome - About Us". Manchester Velodrome.
- Inglis, Simon (2004). Played in Manchester. Swindon: English Heritage. p. 62. ISBN 1-873592-78-7.
- "History of The White City Track", www.manchesterhistory.net, retrieved 15 July 2007.
- National Cup Finals & AGM venues in Manchester. URL accessed 11 November 2007.
- UKDBA NDL1 League results. URL accessed 14 April 2014.
- "Roller derby makes a play for Manchester sport fans". BBC. 16 June 2011.
Spurred on by the sell-out, Ms O'Connor says Manchester is coming round to the sport "slowly but surely and soon we'll have the whole city".
- Glendinning, Amy (3 February 2011). "Roll with it... after all roller derby is a wonderbrawl". Manchester Evening News.
- "Old Trafford's Ashes target". Manchester Evening News. 6 May 2009.