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Biggest Football Rivalries In Britain – Top 20

Biggest Football Rivalries In Britain

Britain is home to some of the most fierce rivalries in the world. Some of these matches are so intense that they are not just played on the pitch but also off it, which sometimes results in violent clashes. Let us have a look at some of the biggest football rivalries in Britain.

Here are the Top 20 Biggest Football Rivalries In Britain

20. Hearts vs Hibernian (The Edinburgh derby)

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Edinburgh is the home of two of Scotland biggest clubs in Heart of Midlothian and Hibernian. The two football clubs were founded in the late 1800’s with Hearts being founded in 1874 and Hibs a few years later in 1875, that year was to mark the pairs first meeting which Hearts won 1-0 but it was the starting of a rivalry that was to last in the years to come and the pair were to meet more frequently.

Hearts have the better record in derbies, with 141 wins to 85 wins by Hibs in 322 competitive matches. There have been 638 Edinburgh derbies to date, meaning that almost half of all derbies have been played in local competitions and friendlies. Hearts hold a lead of 283 wins to 205 wins by Hibs overall.

19. Chester vs Wrexham (Cross-border Derby)

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The derby is called cross-border because Chester is from England while Wrexham is a Welsh club.The clubs are 12 miles apart, though Chester’s Deva Stadium straddles the England–Wales border, and its pitch lies entirely in Wales.

The Cross-border derby is often considered to be one of the biggest rivalries in the lower leagues of English football, due to the close proximity of Wrexham and Chester as they are the largest settlements in the area and the only clubs in that area to have played in The Football League.

The Welsh-English divide also makes it unique to other football derbies in Britain, as national identity is a large part of the two teams.Wrexham edged the English-Welsh derby with 70 victories against Chester’s 54.

18. Leeds vs Man United (Roses rivalry)

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It is among one of the oldest and biggest football rivalries In Britain. The rivalry originates from the strong enmity between the historic counties of Lancashire and Yorkshire, which is popularly believed to have its origins in the Wars of the Roses of the 15th century. Although the cities of Leeds and Manchester lie over 40 miles apart, the tradition is upheld and this strong feeling can still be seen between the two clubs.

Manchester United has won 47 of these matches compared to Leeds’ 27.

17. Derby County vs Nottingham Forest (East Midlands derby)

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Football matches held between Derby County and Nottingham Forest are often called the East Midlands derby, and there is a fierce rivalry between the two East Midlands clubs.

Since 2007 the winner of this fixture has won The Brian Clough Trophy, named after the legendary football boss who managed both sides. According to a survey on football rivalries it is the 11th fiercest rivalry in English football, with 9 out of 10 fans from both clubs pointing to the other as their fiercest rival.

Out of the 101 meetings in major competitions between these teams so far, Nottingham Forest has won 40 matches compared to Derby’s 38.

16. Oxford United vs Swindon Town

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Swindon versus Oxford is one of those intense derby games that is rarely appreciated and understood outside of these parts. Here is a match full of passion and with its fair share of violence on and off the pitch over the years.

Lying 30 miles apart, they share a sporting rivalry that has thrived through the years, and is displayed at its most volatile when the two teams meet on the football field. Swindon has won 23 meetings between these two, compared to Oxford’s 17.

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4 thoughts on “Biggest Football Rivalries In Britain – Top 20

  1. Would it not be more correct to say the Celtic v “the Rangers” rivalry is the *result* of the ethnic and religious divisions in Glasgow, rather than a contributor? In fact, the divisions are so strong that they need the rivalry, to the point that it managed to survive the death of one of the teams; if the rivalry led to the divisions, the divisions would have become less significant when Rangers died, instead those divisions led to the creation of a new Rangers side that everyone pretends is the same team.

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