Most popular sports in United Kingdom


Football (Soccer)

Being one of the most popular games played in the U.K. football follows the traditional league system and consists of hundreds of teams. However, there is what is known as a premier league that consists of only 20 of the most elite teams which are chosen from all over the U.K. Some of them include the Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool. Football is backed by a governing body known as the Football Association and is one of the oldest governing bodies to promote football all over the world. Two of the most famous football championships in the U.K. are the FA Cup and the Capital One Cup. In each of these tournaments, 92 professional football clubs participate each year under 4 main divisions.



Cricket has become the national game of the U.K. and as is common knowledge, Cricket has its root in UK, and has eventually spread to hundreds of countries in the world. During the 18th Century when cricket became very popular, researchers and players met to finalize the legal cricket rules at Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) which was located on Lord's Cricket ground. There are now thousands of cricket teams in the U.K. and at the time of writing, approximately 18 country clubs; 17 in England and 1 in Wales. Each year they compete in what is known as the first class country championship, which is the oldest cricket championship in the world.



Rugby is also a popular sport in the U.K. Earlier, rugby used to be played only by those in the elite class. However, it has now increased in popularity and is played by many all around the country. Like football, rugby is promoted by the U.K. government and is run by the Rugby Football League, popularly known as RFL. Some of the places where Rugby is very popular and major games are held are Yorkshire, North West England and Cumbria leading to final super league.



When we are talking about racket games, badminton is ranked as the most popular racket game in U.K. Badminton has a long heritage in UK. In the year 1893, the Badminton Association of England was established; it grew gradually and now it is known as Badminton England. It is the governing body of Badminton all over U.K and has an international presence. Badminton England is the founding member of the International Badminton Federation, also responsible for providing support to 41 countries of England in both form league structure and club structure.



Wimbledon, perhaps the most popular Tennis tournament, originated in the U.K. during the 19th Century in a small club in the south of London around 1877. In the first ever tournament, the prize amount for the winners was around 26,150 Pounds (about $40,000 in US dollars). Wimbledon is one of the four grand slams which consist of Wimbledon, the French Open, the Australian Open and the US Open. It attracts not only tourists, but also sports lovers and sports critics from all around the world. While it is an individual sport, Lawn Tennis is the 2nd most popular racket game in the U.K.



Another popular game in the U.K. is golf. It is played mainly in England and Scotland and in Scotland there are more than 400 golf courses. U.K. golf is maintained and supervised by the Professional Golfers Association and the biggest tournament in the U.K. is the Golf Open Championship.



Like many of today's most popular sports, the contemporary game of Baseball that is among United State's most popular sports, is considered to have originated in England. British Baseball is a related sport which is similar to the game of rounders and is popular in Wales as well as England.




Field Hockey




Motor Sports


Martial Arts


Water Sports


Cue Sports












Winter Sports

This does not seem very scientific - American football and basketball are minority sports in the UK. Probably a better way to do your survey would be to have a look at which sports main news sites focus on the most. I would say in the UK it goes something like this: Footbal (soccer)......[big gap]....Cricket, Rugby....Tennis....then sports like athletics, cycling, darts, cue sports [mainly snooker]..another gap... Basketball, MMA, American football, table tennis and other obscure sports.
You must have american football confused with rugby or something and as for basketball and baseball ... I don't know why they're there seeing as we don't even have professional leagues for them.
This is not accurate. Rugby is not even in the list?
Baseball more popular than cycling, running or hockey?
Where're rugby league and rugby union?
Britain does not play baseball professional so I cant see how it can be in the top 10.
For a start you cant put the UK as one, for instance in Wales the number 1 sport is Rugby Union, whereas in England the number 1 sport is soccer (football).
In Northern Ireland the GAA sports (Hurling and Gaelic football) are more popular. Either Way Soccer (Football), Rugby Union, Rugby League and Cricket would probably be the most popular sports across the board, not the list this website presents.
Your data omits equestrianism where Britain 3.5 million people ride each year in an industry worth 3.57 Billion and in which the Brits won 226 medals in International competition between 2000 and 2008 (latest data available). It is estimated that 4 billion people will watch the equestrian events at the Olympics. Suggest you review your figures
mahesh patil
Very good. I like your comment. I'm an Indian - I like cricket and live for cricket.
As far as team sports watched 1)Football (Soccer) 2) combined Rugby Union and Rugby League 3)Cricket...if you dont combine both rugby codes then cricket is number 2
after that its a long long drop to Basketball and Ice Hockey. Baseball??????? Nobody At All plays Baseball in the UK, its never even been shown on minor channels... where the hell did you get this information, your possibly getting it mixed up with rounders which is sometimes �played in junior (age 7-11) schools.�
Hopefully cricket will become no. 1 in next few years, because our football always lets us down in world cups. Beckham and Rooney are down whereas Flintoff and Peitersen are our heroes.
I bet this website was made by an American
Unless you're from the UK; like myself. I'd say you're being rather stereotypical...
Also, if you read the top, it says 'most viewed websites in the UK' not most popular, just because we view the type of topic doesn't make it what we watch/like the most.
Where is Rugby?
Shyam Sundar
Whoa! Cricket's so down in the list! It should be in the 2nd place!
I am not a fan of rugby, but its not even on the list!?
Chris Mather
I'm sorry - baseball is not more popular than cricket here! Not sure were you got your information from.
Do these people even know that rugby exists??? Its easily the second most popular in the UK!!!