Amongst the extensive list of things that make the county of Yorkshire so special, the most important is definitely football. Not only is Yorkshire home to Sheffield F.C, the FIFA certified oldest continually operating football club in the world, but several of England’s most historically successful football clubs too.
Some of the Yorkshire clubs have very passionate fan bases. But, who are the biggest club in Yorkshire? It’s a question that many football fans have been asking for many years. In this article, we will look into some facts and figures to try and rank the biggest football clubs in Yorkshire.
Here are the 10 biggest football clubs in Yorkshire.
10. Rotherham United
Rotherham United was founded in 1925 as a merger between Rotherham County (1877) and Rotherham Town (1899). The club’s colours were initially yellow and black but changed to the red and white around 1930. You will now find them playing home games at The New York Stadium, a 12,000 all-seater stadium in Rotherham itself.
The club has spent the majority of its history in the Football League’s third tier, though its most successful period in recent years found the Millers competing in the Football League Championship during the early 2000s. It has also enjoyed more recent success, reaching the League Two Play-Off Finals at Wembley Stadium in May 2010, and gaining automatic promotion after finishing runners-up in Football League Two in 2012-13.
Notable former Rotherham players/manager include Emlyn Hughes, Tommy Docherty, Danny Williams and Shaun Goater.
9. Doncaster Rovers
Doncaster Rovers was founded in 1879 and are one of only four clubs to win the Division 3/League Two title three times. Their home strip is red and white hoops which has been the main design of the club’s home shirt since 2001. The associated Doncaster Rovers Belles L.F.C. are one of the most successful women’s clubs in English football.
The club now play at the Keepmoat Stadium since their 2006 move from Belle Vue, which they inhabited for 84 years. The 15,000 all-seater stadium was opened on New Years Day in 2007 in a game against Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield Town.
“The Rovers” celebrate some of their great formers players such as Fred Emery, Clarrie Jordan, Harry Gregg and more recently Billy Sharp.
8. Bradford City
Bradford City was founded in 1903, and won the FA Cup just eight years later! They enjoyed two seasons in the Premiership at the turn of the millennium and had a recent upturn in fortunes including a stunning League Cup run to the Wembley final in 2013, after knocking out giants such as Aston Villa and Arsenal en route!
The club’s former players are also looked upon affectionately: Dean Windass, Stuart McCall, Peter Beagrie and John Hendrie are to name but a few! Bradford is definitely one of the biggest football clubs in Yorkshire.
Known as ‘The Tykes’, Barnsley Football Club has played at the highest level nationally, but currently represents the region in the second tier of English football, the Championship. In fact, they have more experience at this level than any other club in the football league!
Barnsley, which has enjoyed a spell in The Premier League, has a fierce rivalry with its Yorkshire neighbours from just up the M1, Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United. As recently as 2006, Barnsley beat Liverpool and Chelsea on the way to the semi-finals of the FA Cup – a competition the club have won on one occasion!
Barnsley FC has produced some notable talents over the years. Their great striker, Tommy Taylor, went on to win two league titles with Manchester United in the 1950s.
6. Hull City
Hull City took the football world by surprise when they stormed into the Premiership with a trademark strike from legendary local hero Dean Windass in 2007. Hull had never (never!) made it into the English top-flight until the perma-tanned Phil Brown took them up in 2008 with a playoff final win over Bristol City.
Since then, they’ve had three separate spells in the Premier League – none of them lasting more than two seasons. Despite mixed fortunes recently they are currently playing in the English Championship now. Hull City is one of the biggest football clubs in Yorkshire now.