Top 10 Most Popular Sports In The UK You Should Know

Top 10 Most Popular Sports In The UK You Should Know

The UK is a country that has a great history of participating in sports. From The Olympics to the Cricket World Cup to the FIFA World Cup, the UK has participated in almost every major tournament in almost every major sport. Almost 40% of the males and 31% of females play sports at some level in the UK. Now the question is which are the most popular sports in the UK? In this blog, we will be ranking the top 10 most popular sports in the UK that are played widely. 

Here Is The List Of Popular Sports In The UK

Before starting the list, we have to tell you that this list is based on a survey conducted by one of the UK’s biggest sports data analytics firms, YouGov in 2023 and the viewership of each sport in the country. So, let’s start with the list of popular sports in the UK right away. 

10- Rowing

Rowing is the sport of racing boats by oars, and it has a very long and deep history. The origin of the sport dates back to the ancient Egyptians. Rowing might not be popular in the entire world but it is one of the most popular sports in the UK. The people in the UK enjoy it very much, especially the fierce rivalry between Cambridge and Oxford. 

Followers – 500 Thousand

9- Hockey

Hockey is a sport that is loved by millions of people in the world, so it’s no surprise that it is one of the most popular sports in the UK. There are many types of hockey, skate, ice and a few others. However, in this case, we’re talking about field hockey. England and hockey have a lot of history and the British hockey team is one of the best in the world. 

Followers – 673 Thousand

8- Basketball

Primarily an American sport, Basketball is played by pretty much every country in the world and it is also one of the most popular sports in the UK. People from all age groups love playing basketball in the UK. There are many basketball leagues in the UK out of which, two are the most prominent, the British Basketball League and the English Basketball League. 

Followers – 1.34 million

7- Golf

Golf is considered the sport of the rich people but this hasn’t stopped people from playing the sport and making it one of the most popular sports in the UK. The popularity of this sport is rising day by day and the establishment of new gold clubs has given players even more accessibility than before. Along with this, the country has a deep connection with Golf and even hosts one of the most prestigious amateur tournaments in the world, ‘The Challenge Cup’. 

Followers – 3.36 Million

6- Horse Riding

The next sport in the list of popular sports in the UK, Horse Riding  might come as a surprise but it is one of the most popular sports in the UK and the country hosts almost 10,000 racing events in a year including some prestigious events like Royal Ascot, Aintree Grand National, and Cheltenham Horse Racing festivals. Moreover, the sport generates more than 3.4 billion GBP in revenue. 

Followers- 4.03 million

5- Boxing

Have you ever watched a boxing match? If yes then you might know exactly why it is on this list. Along with the whole world, Boxing is also one of the most popular sports in the UK. The sport of boxing has been quite prominent in the UK for a long time now. Boxing is also known as ‘The Sweet Science’ due to the approach one has to take in order to be good at it. This term was also coined by an Englishman, Pierce Egan, all the way back in 1813. 

Followers- 4.71 million

4- Cricket

Cricket does not need an introduction, it is the second most-watched sport in the world and 4th on the list of the most popular sports in the UK. Cricket was first played in the UK in the 16th century and after that, the colonial enterprises of the British helped expand the game into many different countries. 

Followers- 10.09 million

3- Tennis

Tennis is one of the most prestigious and revered sports on the planet. The sport has always been associated with class and status. The UK is home to one of the most prestigious grand slam titles in the world, Wimbledon. Mostly people of the 60+ age group watch Tennis but with time, youngsters are also taking an interest in the sport.

Followers- 11.44 million 

2- Rugby

If you know anything about the UK, you know that Rugby is the lifeblood of the people of the country. There are two major Rugby leagues in the UK, the Rugby Union and the Rugby League. Out of these two, Rugby Union is the one that is famous outside the UK. Although there are some differences in both leagues, the main rule set is still the same which promotes competition. Rugby is also a very brutal sport that leaves no margin for error and people seem to like that. This makes this sport one of the most popular sports in the UK. 

Followers- 11.45 million

1- Football (Soccer)

It’s no surprise that Football takes the top spot on our list. There isn’t any other sport bigger than Football. With the most viewership in the world and in the UK, Football is among the most popular sports in the UK. The history of football in the UK goes back centuries and in that time the country has given some of the best football players in the world

Followers- 25.57 million

Our Take

The UK is a sporting nation that takes great pride in all the accolades their countrymen have achieved. People from all age groups play these sports. Some of the most prestigious tournaments of the sports we mentioned above take place in the UK, making it an integral part of these sports. 

FAQs

Football is the most popular sport in the UK by participation.

- No, Football has far more viewership and participation from the UK.

 The United Kingdom is home to some of the biggest football teams in the world like Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and many others. 

 Rugby and American Football might look the same to people who don’t know about them, but they are miles apart when it comes to gameplay and rule set.

 

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