England has had a long and storied history with sports. Two of the three biggest sports in the world have their origins in England, and England’s national teams in both of these sports (football and cricket) are some of the best in the world. On top of that, England is also home to some of the most popular football clubs in the entire world. Manchester United, for example, was for a long time the most popular football club around the globe and is considered by many to be the greatest club in the history of the sport.
The English are also huge fans of sports betting. In fact, it isn’t just the English, but rather the whole of the United Kingdom that is the capital of gambling and betting in Europe. Millions of pounds are spent on football betting in the UK alone, annually. It is also in the UK that online betting sites like by clicking this link are the most popular. But the question we aim to answer in this article is, what are the biggest sports in the United Kingdom? We will answer this question in regards to the most-watched, played, and betted on sports in the country.
It should come as no surprise to anyone that football is the biggest sport in the United Kingdom. Indeed, football is the most popular sport in the entire world, with over 5 billion fans around the globe. It dominates the European, South American, African, Australian, and Asian sports scenes, and it is still largely popular in the United States and in Canada.
Football betting is a huge industry in the United Kingdom, with millions of pounds being spent on wagers annually. It is also massively popular in terms of participation, and many children start playing the sport from an early age.
Originating in the 19th century, rugby union is another of the United Kingdom’s most beloved sports. Named after the Rugby School, where it was first invented, the game has spread from the United Kingdom to numerous countries around the world, most notably, Canada, France, Australia, South Africa, Uruguay, etc. American football is hugely inspired by the sport as well.
In England, the biggest competition includes the Premiership, which was first founded 35 years ago. The United Rugby Championship is another annual rugby event, which sees competitors from multiple UK countries go up against each other.
Cricket is the United Kingdom’s national sport, and the second most popular game in the country. It is also the sport with the longest history in the United Kingdom, having its origins in the 15th century. At first, it was played among regional teams, until it became globally popular in the 18th century.
Today, cricket is the second most popular sport globally, with 2.5 billion fans worldwide. The popularity of the game comes from the UK and its commonwealth nations (such as Australia and New Zealand), as well as South Asian countries such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, etc. where cricket enjoys huge popularity.
Honourable Mentions Apart from the three aforementioned sports, the residents of the United Kingdom also enjoy horse racing, which just barely didn’t make the list, golf, badminton and tennis. Boxing is also pretty popular, and Ireland hugely enjoys games like Gaelic football and hurling.