If it’s multiple football clubs you’re after on your visit to any particular city then there’s no question that London takes the biscuit. The capital of the United Kingdom boasts not one, not two, not even three of four stadiums. Instead there are a grand total of fourteen different grounds where football is played within the borders of London itself, presuming you’re only willing to go down as far as League Two. Go down further than that and you’re looking at a number closer to the forty mark.
In alphabetical order, starting with the clubs in the Premier League, you’ve got Arsenal, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United. There are other clubs like Watford that are on the border of London, but that don’t count towards this particular topic. Meanwhile down in the Championship there four more London clubs, with Brentford, Charlton Athletic, Fulham and Queens Park Rangers. At the time of writing Fulham are aiming to get back into the top-flight, so they could have achieved it by the time you’re reading this.
Shift down to League one and you’ll find Millwall, holding their own in the third division of English football. One division down and you’ll encounter AFC Wimbledon, the club formed when the original Wimbledon had financial problems that forced them to relocate to Milton Keynes, Barnet, Dagenham & Redbridge and Leyton Orient. Fourteen clubs playing professional football in the same city is remarkable and you could spend the best part of your time just trying to visit the grounds within the borders of the capital, should you wish to.
How’s this for a remarkable statistic: Despite having eleven less clubs than London, Birmingham as a city has the same number of European Cups to its name as the nation’s capital. Aston Villa, who play their games at Villa Park, won what is now known as the Champions League in 1982, a full thirty years before Chelsea would manage it.
Birmingham City are Villas main rivals, though nearby West Bromwich Albion have never been the Villains biggest fans, either.
There are two big football clubs in Bristol, with neither being a big fan of the other. That’s hardly a surprise, of course, considering the two clubs’ proximity to each other. Bristol City was formed in 1894, eleven years after Bristol Rovers was founded as Black Arabs Football Club.
The two clubs played each other for the first time in 1897 and have played 105 times as this article goes to press.
Liverpool is the most successful footballing city in England, with Liverpool and Everton having won 55 major trophies between them. The red half of the city outshines their blue brethren on that front, with 41 of those trophies sitting in the Anfield cabinet. With five European Cups, Liverpool are also the most successful British club when it comes to European football.
Everton might not be able to compete when it comes to shiny things, but Goodison Park is one of the oldest purpose-built football grounds in the UK and was also the first stadium to have undersoil heating.
It’s a similar story in Manchester, with the red side dominating the blues when it comes to trophies won. United have won forty major competitions, presuming that you don’t include the likes of the Charity Shield and the Cup Winner’s Cup.
Manchester City have come into the game a little bit more in recent years, but even then they’ve only won thirteen trophies, so less than half of the amount won by their bitter rivals. Despite the dislike between the two cities, Liverpool and Manchester have together won more European Cups than the rest of the country combined.
Not that we’re suggesting that you should tour England based on the number of European Cups in each city, but Nottingham is worthy of a shout on that front too. In two years, under the management of Brian Clough, Nottingham Forest won more of Europe’s biggest club competition than London has to date.
There’s a rivalry between Forest and, well, most clubs in the country, but Notts County are the closest of all of those rivals.
Technically Stoke boasts two football clubs, with Port Vale coming under the jurisdiction of Stone-On-Trent. The other club is, of course, Stoke City and they’re the side that most people most readily associate with the city.
That’s for a number of reasons, not least of which is the fact that Port Vale have never played top-flight football, whilst Stoke City have won the League Cup in days of yore.
Sheffield boasts two of a few things, including major universities and top-class theatres. It’s the football clubs we’re interested in, however, with both Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United playing their games there.
This is one occasion when a club typically associated with the colour blue is more successful than the one that plays in red, as Sheffield Wednesday have won eight trophies compared to United’s five.