Britain FootballEPLFootballSPLTop 30UK

30 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 30 biggest football rivalries in Britain.

30. AFC Wimbledon vs MK Dons

Embed from Getty Images

With the gall of a tribute band claiming to be the original, MK Dons controversially seized Wimbledon’s history and league position. MK Dons won over some neutrals by being relegated in 2006 and handing the trophies back to AFC Wimbledon in 2007, but they’re still reviled.  It is now one of the biggest football rivalries in Britain.

29. Scunthorpe United vs Hull City vs Grimsby Town (Humber Derby)

Embed from Getty Images

The clubs are based in the River Humber region, with Hull based on the north bank in Yorkshire and Scunthorpe and Grimsby on the south bank in Lincolnshire. The Humber derby is one of the forgotten rivalries in English football, as nowadays it is so rarely contested. With all three teams in different divisions, they have to rely on cup games to face each other.

28. Luton Town vs Watford (Beds–Herts Derby)

Embed from Getty Images

South-eastern English football clubs Luton Town and Watford have been rivals since their respective formations in the late 19th century. In the 1990s, Watford’s signing of former Luton legend Kerry Dixon created a schism amongst the club’s fans, who actually ended up fighting each other over the issue during one home game.

27. Exeter vs Plymouth Argyle (Devon derby)

Embed from Getty Images

Devon derby, which is played between Exeter City and Plymouth Argyle, is one of the biggest football rivalries in England. Fans of both the clubs consider each other as their main rivals. The Pilgrims were the first of the Devon clubs to become professional in 1903. Exeter, traditionally, a rugby city, followed five years later. And they have been rivals since.

26. Blackpool vs Preston North End (West Lancashire derby)

Embed from Getty Images

When it comes to Lancashire we have some pretty tasty rivalries but few come close to the fabled West Lancashire Derby; also known as the M55 derby. These two clubs and their fans despise each other. This derby has taken place across all four tiers of English football, but not in the Premier League yet.

25. Dundee FC vs Dundee United FC

Embed from Getty Images

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.

24. Brighton vs Crystal Palace

Embed from Getty Images

The origins of the tension between Palace and Brighton stems from a series of incidents between the clubs in the 1970s when former team-mate managers and arch-rivals Alan Mullery and Terry Venables were bossing Brighton and Palace respectively. There were cup ties, controversies, coffee thrown from the stands. Thus a deep antagonism was born.

23. Hearts vs Hibernian (The Edinburgh derby)

Embed from Getty Images

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 1800s 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.

22. Chester vs Wrexham (Cross-border Derby)

Embed from Getty Images

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 Welsh-English divide also makes it unique to other football derbies in Britain, as national identity is a large part of the two teams.

21. Leeds vs Man United (Roses rivalry)

Embed from Getty Images

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.

Pages ( 1 of 3 ): 1 23Next »


A sports addict! @subhamchaurasia

12 thoughts on “30 Biggest Football Rivalries In Britain

  • Anonymous

    There is no dld firm. Rangers died in 2012

  • James Beattie

    Rangers were liquidated in 2012

  • Steel River Bhoy

    Rangers? Sorry mate, they were liquidated back in 2012.

  • 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.

  • Who writes this. Think you have missed Palace v Brighton one of the biggest in English football.

  • Gqrdon Robinson RSE

    #1 should of been Sunderland v Newcastle

  • Thanx for the detailed discussion about this topic and being a Manchester United fan myself, it was quite overwhelming for me give this a read. But let me tell you about a different kind of rivalry which is also one of the oldest of all time. Hope you have heard about it, It’s between East Bengal and Mohun Bagan. If you haven’t, I have written a piece myself. u can give it a try if you want.

    From Subhra

    Blog Link: https://www.bengoalie.in/asias-biggest-rivalry-east-bengal-vs-mohun-bagan/

  • Graham Bluenose

    Your unwashed readers just need to check the official records. It’s no 10IAR for celtic and 55 titles for the worlds most successful team whether you like it or not. Well done Rangers.

  • Burnley v Blackburn bigger than Blues Villa.bollox

  • Stephen scogings

    The Ipswich v Norwich derby should be a lot higher because of the long history. Many listed are not derbys , but mere recent rivalrys

  • How is Man United vs Arsenal not included but Man City vs Liverpool is?

  • John Doherty

    You haven’t got a clue .Steve Bruce has managed and played in a lot if them derby’s.. He’s words Blues v villa never experienced any thing like it in England, Compared the first meeting to Gallatasry. He said Newcastle v Sunderland tasty.He said celtic v rangers, Fair enough. Manchester derby all media hype.I remember when it was tasty, Years ago. Liverpool v Everton use to stand together at the height of football violence. Spurs v Arsenal sit next to each other With a rope like you see at the pitures separating them..Other derby s that are still real ,West ham v millwall, 2nd to the Birmingham derby for arrests and disorder. Also up there is pompey v saints

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.