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Biggest Football Rivalries In Britain – Top 25

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 25 Biggest Football Rivalries In Britain

25. Dundee FC vs Dundee United FC

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The Dundee derby is a football match between Dundee and Dundee United. The clubs are based yards apart in the city of Dundee, the fourth-largest city in Scotland.

Dundee is the older of the two, having been founded in 1893, compared to Dundee United which was founded in 1909 as Dundee Hibernian following the demise of Dundee Harp, a club founded by Irish immigrants in 1879.

In domestic head-to-head matches, United are quite far in front; the teams have played each other 167 times, Dundee United winning 78 compared to Dundee’s 48.

24. Chelsea vs Leeds

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Given that around 200 miles separate Elland Road from Stamford Bridge, this is no local derby. Yet it carries that intensity and has done for decades. This is an accepted fact in English football, yet why?

The rivalry first emerged in the 1960s after a series of fiercely contested and controversial matches. The two clubs were frequently involved in the pursuit of domestic and European honours culminating in the 1970 FA Cup Final, which is regarded as one of the most physical matches in English football history.

In the Official Chelsea Biography, Leeds were cited as one of Chelsea’s major rivalries. It is unarguably, one of the biggest football rivalries in Britain.

23. 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.

22. 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.

21. 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.

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4 thoughts on “Biggest Football Rivalries In Britain – Top 25

  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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