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Leeds: One of the UK’s Leading Cities of Sport

As a city, Leeds has developed hugely over recent years as a centre for booming business, students and for way of life. Proven by the fact that this week, the Lonely Planet named Leeds at fifth in their Best In Europe 2017 list due to its cultural and nightlife scene. But there is one thing that Leeds has been famous for down the decades and that is its sport. People and families considering a move to Leeds will immediately think of the city’s well-known ties in the sporting world and being one of the UK’s most famous sporting cities. And what makes Leeds so famous in sport within the UK and across the world is its success across a whole manner of sports.


When asked what the first thing that springs to mind when asked about Leeds, many people in the UK would surely say “United”. The city’s football side is one of the most well-known and well supported in England. This is largely down to some of the success that the club had in England and Europe in the 1970s as well as having famous players such as Jack Charlton, John Charles & Eric Cantona down the years. Leeds also has lower league sides in the city with the highest placed being Guiseley AFC who are in English football’s fifth tier.

Leeds also has one of the most famous rugby league teams in the world. Leeds Rhinos are one of the most recognisable sides with honours including seven Super League titles, thirteen Challenge Cup wins and three time world champions. The Rhinos are one of the most well supported clubs in England. Rugby League is well known across the city with multiple lower league sides, the most successful being Hunslet Hawks.

Yorkshire County Cricket Club also play out of Leeds and are the most successful county cricket club in England winning the title a record 33 times. This made all the more staggering due to the fact that YCCC only allowed players born in Yorkshire to play for them up until 1992. The first overseas player to represent Yorkshire was Sachin Tendulkar.

Rugby Union is well-known in the city with Yorkshire Carnegie (formerly Leeds RUFC, Leeds Tykes  & Leeds Carnegie) playing in England’s second tier.

Famous Venues

With famous teams come famous venues. Elland Road is the largest sports specific venue in the city hosting just under 40,000 people. It is the traditional home of Leeds United and was a selected venue when England hosted the European Championships in 1996. Elland Road has also hosted multiple rugby events including rugby league world finals and internationals as well as being a host venue for the 2015 Rugby Union World Cup. The venue has also been used as a music venue on multiple occasions.

Leeds Rhinos, Yorkshire Carnegie and Yorkshire CCC all play at the complex at Headingley Stadium. There are two separate pitches with a two sided stand splitting the rugby stadium and the cricket ground. The venue has been used since the 1890’s and has hosted some famous events including England test matches.

Another newer venue in the city which has been used for boxing, darts and wrestling events is the brand new Leeds Arena which opened in 2013. The arena was host for the prestigious BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards in 2013.


The 2014 Tour de France Grand Depart, which began in Leeds put the city and Yorkshire on the map for cycling. Fans in Leeds and Yorkshire really took to the event and lined the streets to support the cyclists. Since then the annual Tour de Yorkshire cycling event has also been popular and often runs through areas of Leeds.

As well as this, Leeds hosts an annual half marathon and 10k runs through the city centre while Roundhay Park currently plays host to fourth stop in the World Triathlon Series with Leeds born athletes Alastair and Jonny Brownlee taking part.

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Britannia Turnbulls of Leeds