What are your favourite sports teams?


Advertisement


TheLocalYokel

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 14, 2009
14,365
343
Wurzel Country
Yes
  • Thread starter
  • Admin
  • #1
Those who love sport will surely be missing it in these unprecendented times. As a bit of light relief I wondered which teams members support and why. I've selected what are probably the three most popular team sports in the country for my favourite clubs, but it doesn't have to be football (whichever code including rugby union and rugby league) or cricket. It could be perhaps ice hockey or basketball.

Coming from the West Country where top professional sport rarely reaches the heights, certainly not at football, I'm probably more easily pleased than those who reside in a sports-rich area.

Because this peripheral region of the country is something of a sporting backwater I will back any West Country club, even Bristol Rovers, when they are not playing one of my favourite clubs.

I'm one of those people equally interested in association football (soccer to rugby men, Americans and Australians), rugby union football and cricket. My particular favourites are:

Association Football - Bristol City

I grew up in two villages in Somerset (Somerset proper in those days, not the unitary authority of North Somerset that now governs that area) a few miles to the south of Bristol, just down the road from what is now Bristol Airport, although it didn't attain that status until I was in my early teens (and not interested in aviation in the slightest then).

Traditionally Bristol City draws much of its support from the south of the city and its region, whereas Rovers fans come predominantly from the north and the east. The west is home to several well-off suburbs where interest in football is not sky high. In the council estates that have stealthily sneaked into the west mainly since WW2 support is evenly divided amongst the two football clubs. All this of course is a generalisation.

In fact, my first visit to a professional match was to watch Second Divison Bristol Rovers beat First Division Portsmouth 2-1 in the FA Cup in the mid 1950s at the old Eastville Stadium, now home to Ikea and other retail outlets (In today's terminology that would be Championship club against Premier League club). I was around 9 or 10 at the time and was taken by a neighbour who was once a Falkirk goalkeeper and whose brother was playing for Pompey that day.

I sensed I was a City fan at heart. They are never 'Bristol' as some national commentators insist on saying or writing - that is apt to give most of their fans apoplexy. If they are not 'City' they are 'Bristol City'. It also helped that they were running away with the Third Division South title that season, so I used to take myself to their homes games by bus as their winning run continued. I doubt that many 10-year olds would be allowed to travel on their own into the city from the countryside to a match these days.

I've never been able to follow them at matches as often as I would have wished. I played regularly from my teens and after that work commitments made it impossible to habitually go to matches. When our son began to play football in local leagues I followed him and the same applied to his son (our grandson) when he took up the game.

I still hope but not expect to see them in the Premier League. At least I watched quite a number of their matches when they were in the old First Division for four seasons from 1976.

Rugby Union - Bristol FC

I try to forget they have now been saddled with the sobriquet 'Bears' - makes them sound like a cuddly nursery group.

Although I grew up in Somerset Bristol was the place many people from my area of the county worked, and most resorted to the city for leisure, sport and shopping. Having gone to a rugby-playing grammar school at Weston-super-Mare my interest in the game grew alongside my round-ball affiliations.

Until the advent of professionalism towards the end of the last century Bristol FC was consistently one of the top English clubs. The mid-1950s John Blake era (he was captain) saw them as the unofficial best club side in the UK. Blake's team is reckoned to have pioneered 15-man running rugby in this country.

In those days there was no league or cup competition. All games were 'friendies' except they weren't. They were challenge matches. Bristol used to have regular matches against the major South Wales clubs as well as against the top English sides. Some Sunday newpapers ran unofficial league tables based on the results of these 'challenge' matches. Although all top rugby union players then were amateurs, it was a loose interpretation of the word. Boot money was prevalent and many top players were drawn to a club by the promise of a well-paid job by wealthy committee men.

When professionalism dawned towards the end of the 20th Century for some unaccountable reason no-one with any real money took on Bristol. They slumped and spent much time in the second tier (Rugby Championship) although their suffering was nowhere near as dire as another leading club of the 20th Century - Coventry.

Steve Lansdown the Bristol City owner bought Bristol Bears about ten years ago, and also owns Bristol Flyers basketball team, Bristol City Women FC and other sporting interests all under the umbrella Bristol Sport. His aim and that of coach Pat Lam is to make Bristol the top club in Europe within five years. They share the revamped Ashton Gate with Bristol City and, until this season was halted by the virus, stood third in the Premiership table. Lansdown said last week that the virus effects will have no bearing on his continued commitment and investment into his sports clubs.

I have watched the club sporadically for the past 60 years but, as with Bristol City, other commitments often intruded to prevent regular visits.

Cricket - Somerset CCC

My first acquantance with this most inconsistent of all county sides, at least until the early 1970s, was attending the annual cricket festival at the dilapidated but characterful Clarence Park ground at Weston-super-Mare. It was not a club ground so the wicket at best was usually 'sporting' and the pavilion little more than an enlarged garden shed.

Somerset usually finished bottom of the County Championship but they would suddenly have a good season before reverting to type. They always had big hitters who played like village cricket club blacksmiths. They would rather score 150 all out in a couple of hours than graft to 300 all day. Very entertaining but as we didn't expect them to win anything we went for the enjoyment of watching the slogging.

Everything changed in the early 1970s when a famous Yorkshireman came west to eventually captain the Somerset odd balls. Brian Close played to win and within a few year his legacy turned the side into the most exciting in the country - at least in limited over cricket. They suddenly found themselves with international superstars - Viv Richards, Ian Botham, Joel Garner with England players (West Countrymen at that) in Brian Rose and Vick Marks, and a plethora of solid county pros all in support. They won one limited over competion after another but never what true cricket fans consider the most important - the County Championship.

They still haven't although they have finished second on six occasions this century, including the last two seasons.

For many years in the 1970s and 1980s I was a member of Somerset CCC and followed them all around the county. Actually then they played some home matches outside Somerset in Bristol at such grounds as Imperial and Brislington. Bristol is neither in Somerset nor Gloucestershire (nor in the short-lived and mostly unloved county of Avon either) but for cricketing purposes the River Avon that flows through the centre of the city divides the counties. Everything to the north of the river is regarded as cricketing Gloucestershire and everything to the south cricketing Somerset. The city has two football clubs and effectively two cricket teams because many in south Bristol are Somerset supporters.

Sadly for us in the north of the 'county' commercialism dictates that Somerset now play all their home matches at their Taunton headquarters - no more rustic soujourns at Glastonbury or the annual Bath and Weston cricket festivals, or those suburban Bristol grounds. The memories can never be removed though and I still watch them occasionally 'in the flesh'. I like Taunton as a town too so it's always a double pleasure to visit.
 

Rob c DSA

Premium Member+
Subscriber
May 27, 2017
449
193
40
worksop
Football

Primary Sheffield Wednesday - family have supported the club for 80 years with thousands of games watched between us, four of us current season ticket holders and have been for many years traveling all over the country to watch games. Football has always been number one and takes up in normal times a lot of our week with two kids also playing, luckily I still have time for aviation though.

Secondary Celtic FC - Been to Celtic Park before, guess the old favourite second team thing went further always watch them on TV the ground at capacity when you "You'll Never Walk Alone" is sung is far better than at Liverpool spine tingling.

Cricket

Yorkshire even though I live in Nottinghamshire Sheffield is nearer to home than Nottingham and sports fans generally side towards Sheffield and Yorkshire far more. Watched both sides though over the years. Notts used to play the odd home game in Worksop where I live

After that its not really teams although Barcelona were great to watch for a number of years sadly Sky lost the tv rights more sports stars themselves three really. Two golfers and one footballer.

Lionel Messi - Simply a genius with a football the greatest player of all time in my opinion didn't see the likes of Pele but Messi has done it against the best for so long Pele in his time played some quite poor opposition in nothing more than freindlies or exhibition matches.

Lee Westwood - Worksop born and bread and the reason I got in to golf was his dad being my school tutor and gave me some gear to start playing with. Always followed his career.

Tiger Woods - Simply took his sport to another level the best sportsman that has lived in my life time he has had his problems however for 10 years he was golf he did a huge amount for the game over that first decade or so when he was one of the most iconic people on the planet. Coming back to win another major in The Master in 2019 was a major achievement after all his problems over the last decade.
 

Ray Finkle

Moderator
Staff member
Apr 22, 2012
12,761
265
Birmingham
Football - Birmingham City F.C.

I have been following 'The Blues' since the late 80's and have vague memories of the club under the ownership of the Kumar brothers but I think the early 90's was when my interest really kicked off. Relegation into the third tier of football was a low point but the following year, Barry Fry's first full season in charge, saw immediate promotion as league champions. I think that may also have been the year that we won the Auto Windshields Trophy with that golden gold from Paul Tait.

The club seemed to have change in direction with the appointment of Trever Francis as manager although he never managed to gain promotion despite three play-off campaigns. Steve Bruce finally got us into the Premier League and I had the pleasure of watching players such as World Cup winner Christophe Dugarry.

Despite a ninth place finish in the Premier League and a 2-1 win over Arsenal to lift the League Cup, relegation inevitably followed and we have been a struggling Championship side ever since, not helped by plenty of off the field shenanigans.

Like the airport that serves our great city we remain ever hopeful that one day full potential will be realised but it's an everlasting waiting game :)

My wife is from South Yorkshire and her family are all huge Sheffield Wednesday fans so I do keep an eye out for their results. Despite the friendly rivalry I do like to see other Midlands clubs doing well and hope for a time that Birmingham, Villa, West Brom and Wolves are all battling it out in the top flight.

Cricket - Warwickshire CCC

Warwickshire play their home games at Edgbaston Cricket Ground which is situated just outside Birmingham City Centre, some thirty odd miles from Warwick. Before being swallowed up by Greater Birmingham the borough of Edgbaston was once part of the historic county of Warwickshire which the club represents.

My interest started in the 90's around the time that the great Brian Lara achieved the highest score in first-class cricket, 501 not out vs Durham, I think that game saw a club record of 810-4 declared. Since then Warwickshire have seen relegations, championship wins and victory in the last ever B&H cup.

These days I don't get go to Edgbaston as often as I would like.

The Warwickshire Bears first T20 game was against Somerset in Taunton where they won by 19 runs. Gloucestershire were the only team they lost too that season and The Bears finished second to them in the division and qualified for finals day as the best runner-up. After beating Leicestershire in the semi-final they lost to Surrey in the final who had secured victory over Glouscestershire in their semi.

In 2014 Warwickshire Bears changed their name to Birmingham Bears for the T20 competitions. Although I am a proud Brummie myself and love to see the city represented I'm not a fan of the switch and still refer to them as Warwickshire.

Rugby

Not a sport that is represented well in Birmingham.

Moseley were the main team for Birmingham reaching the finals of the John Player Cup on three occasions during the 70's and 80's, although they lost all three. The early 90's saw relegation and in 1998 the club entered administration resulting in them selling their home The Reddings to a housing developer, the last game there was in May 2000. The University of Birmingham hosted home games for five years after which they moved to a 5000 (1450 seated) capacity site on Billesley Common where they remain to this day playing in the third tier.

Up until fairly recently the nearest top level Rugby would have been either Worcester or Leicester but Wasps move to
Coventry's Ricoh Arena in 2014 finally bought Premiership Rugby to the Midlands.

My main interest in Rugby has been at an international level but if I ever get round to attending a Wasps game that may well change.

I did go through a phase of watching Formula 1 but only really have a passing interest these days. I try to make an effort to watch the World Snooker Championship and Wimbledon and have been known to sit through a bit of golf if the mood takes me.
 

Brummiegem

Well-Known Member
Apr 10, 2014
676
93
Birmingham
My main sporting love has always been football.Aston Villa has always been the team I have followed since around 1975/6.The glory years of the early 80s were obviously the main highlights.I have attended some very memorable matches over the years.
Seeing them beat Birmingham City 1-0,home and away in the Coca-Cola cup(sorry Blues fans),the season we won the trophy are amongst my favourite memories.Also the second leg of the semi -final against Tranmere was a night of nerves and tension,but we got to the final against Manchester United,and the rest is history.
Unfortunately the return to the Premier league has not gone to plan.
Football to me is all about money,and I no longer enjoy it as much as I once did.
I do follow England ,but I find International Football frustrating,especially as England always promise much and then deliver very little.

International Rugby Union however is a sport I thoroughly enjoy more these days.England over the years have provided me with some of my favourite sporting memories.
Winning the World Cup in 2003,and reaching the final in last years World Cup,provided some very memorable matches.
I keenly follow the Six Nations each year,though this years event was cruelly cut short at a very exciting point in the competition.
I do attend matches at Twickenham when I can get tickets.There is an atmosphere there that I find difficult to describe,especially when England are playing well and 'swing low ,sweet chariot' rings around the stadium.It is definitely one of those where you have to be there,to really understand .

I also follow Warwickshire and England cricket teams.I have yet to attend a game at Edgbaston,although it is on my list of things to do.
I occasionally watch F1 races,when on the tv,although I don't really follow it that closely.

It will be interesting to see how sport copes with the lack of spectators in the coming weeks and months.It will also be interesting to see how fans cope as well,knowing they cannot go to see their chosen team.
It appears that a lot of sport will be on the TV in the next few weeks,something i am sure all wives and girlfriends are looking forward to.
 

JENNYJET

Platinum Member
Subscriber
Subscriber
Subscriber
Dec 15, 2015
976
193
60
ASTWOOD BANK, WORCESTERSHIRE.
My Football revolves around Manchester United, the Women's team also, mainly because a parent went to the same school as George Best at the time he was being nurtured by United and as it was a family thing I stuck with them although the other parent tried to make me a Birmingham fan, he failed. Confusion set in when another parental school friend was identified as Derek Dougan and Wolves scarves appeared in the house.

I prefer Rugby League as I cannot understand Union. Wigan is the team I follow.

Lancashire for cricket.

I used to follow golf when Greg Norman was playing and F1 when Eddie Irvine was driving.

I earnestly hope all sport resumes as soon as because I have withdrawal symptoms
 
Top Bottom