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Sport in England

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Sport in England

1. Introduction 3 2. History of Sport in England 3
2.1. Development of Sport in England 3
2.2. Traditions 3 2.2.1. The Royal Shrovetide Football 3 2.2.2. Cooper's Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake 3 2.2.3. The Boat Race 3 3. Pub Sports 3
3.1. History 3
3.2. Bowls 3
3.3. Skittles 3
3.4. Darts 3
3.5. Cue Sports 3 3.5.1. History 3 3.5.2. 8-Ball 3 3.5.3. Snooker 3 4. England and the Olympic Games 3
4.1. Olympic Triumphs of England/ Great Britain 3
4.2. Olympic Games on English Ground 3 4.2.1. 1908 Summer Olympics in London 3 4.2.2. 1948 Summer Olympics in London 3 4.2.3. London 2012 3 5. Golf 3
5.1. History 3
5.2. Famous English Golf Players 3
5.3. Golf in England Today 3 6. Tennis 3
6.1. History 3
6.2. Great English Tennis Players 3
6.3. Tennis in the English Society Today 3 7. Cricket 3
7.1. History of Cricket 3
7.2. Rules 3
7.3. Cricket Idols 3 8. Rugby 3
8.1. History 3
8.2. The Six Nation Championship 3
8.3. Rugby in England Today 3 9. Football 3
9.1. History 3
9.2. English Football Today 3
9.3. Famous English Football Stadiums 3
9.4. Famous English Football Players 3 9.4.1. Sir Bobby Charlton 3 9.4.2. Sir Geoff Hurst 3 9.4.3. Heroes in the Recent Past 3 10. Conclusion 3 11. References 3 1. Introduction

The following paper deals with sport in England. Because of the wide range of this topic, this paper will just go into some interesting subjects of English sport. The text will give you information about the history of sport in England and some interesting traditions. It will inform you about some of the most popular and important individual and team sports as well. The purpose is not to explain the whole system in detail, but to give you an expressive insight view in the English sport and its influence on the country. 2. History of Sport in England 3.1. Development of Sport in England

The roots of English sport go back to the time when Christ was born. In that time sport was nothing to spend your free time with, but it was a necessary training to survive and to improve the quality of living. These sports were for example boxing, archery, javelin throw or even ice skating. The only sport to entertain people in that time was the gladiator fight. At that small amphitheatres were built in England time and slaves had to fight for their lives to entertain the people just like in the ancient Rome. The gladiators also fought against each other on horses. This could be seen as the basis for the jousts in the medieval times. The Romans might be the determining factor for the enthusiasm for sports the English established since that time.
But the Romans did not only bring their crucial sports to England,but also brought ancient ball games to the Island. For example an early version of Volleyball called “Follis”. The goal was to keep a ball, made of leather, as long possible in the air as by punching it with the hands. The Romans also could be made responsible for the invention of Rugby. The game “Harpastum”, which they brought to England, is very similar to Rugby. There were two teams trying to put a ball behind the opponent’s line and therefore nearly everything was allowed.
With the arrival of the Angles and Saxons the basic sports for survival came to the fore again. They preferred activities like hunting or fishing instead of playing with balls. The next revolution of sport in England began in 1066 with the landing of the Normans. They forced to bring the knight tournaments, also called joust, to England. These tournaments had a large influence on the country and its society. The knights who fought against each other in these competitions were celebrated like heroes.
The tournaments themselves were huge events like football cups are today. Those tournaments were very famous until the 17th century. In the 15th century archery more and more reached the status as a sport beside the status as an instrument of war or hunting. There were competitions all over the country.
Early Football
Also early forms of football, tennis or cricket were played in the Middle Ages. Football matches between whole villages were held in that time. Some of these matches are still played today. Since the 18th century many sports slowly developed in the way they are played today. Also the organization of each sport and common rules were introduced bit by bit. In the 19th century more and more sport associations like the Football Association (1863) or the Rugby Football Union (1871) were established. That led to the fact that many sports spread all over the country in just a short period of time. Since the Middle Ages England was always known as a sport fascinated country and virtues like an iron will to win or fair play were always connected with English sportsmen. Nowadays this opinion about the English sport is also very strong in the world and England is seen as the mother country of several sports like football, rugby, tennis or cricket. 3.2. Traditions

In England there are several sport traditions and some of them seem to be very strange in the eyes of foreigners. The following paragraph will introduce you some of them. 3.3.1. The Royal Shrovetide Football

Royal Shrovetide Football
A very old traditional sport event is the Royal Shrovetide Football Match in Ashbourne. It is believed that the origins of that match go back to the 12th century, but nobody can say that for sure because in 1890 the Shrovetide Committee office burned down and all the documents were destroyed. The earliest reference left to this game is from 1683. The game itself is a mix of football and rugby and it is widely believed that the first match took place after an execution. The “ball” was the head of the dead man. The two teams which are fighting each other are the Up’Ards and the Down’Ards. People who live north of the River Henmore Brook are part of the Up’Ards, the ones who come from the south are the Down’Ards. The playground is the whole city, excluding the churchyard, the cemeteries and the town gardens. The two goals are about 3 miles away from each other. The match is played over two full days, Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday, the days on which the Lent before Easter begins. There just a few simple rules for this game. The ball must not be transported by tools or motorized vehicles. Also playing after 10p.m. is forbidden. The only rule for the safety of the competitors is that murder and manslaughter is forbidden, everything else to transport the ball or to prevent the opponents to reach their goal is allowed. It is considered as a great honour to be the Turner-up, which means to be the one who starts the game. In the past, lots of very important people like King Edward VIII or Prince Charles played that role. Since 1890 the game proceeded every year except 1968 and 2001. In those years the game was cancelled because of the Foot-and-mouth disease. 3.3.2. Cooper's Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake

Cooper's Hill Cheese-Rolling
Another fantastic tradition is the Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake. This competition is held annually on the Spring Bank Holiday on Cooper’s Hill in Brockworth. The rules are very simple. A cheese is thrown down the hill and the one who is able to catch it is the winner. The cheese also counts as the prize. Although the event sounds very simple, it is really hard to reach the cheese or just to reach the bottom of the hill unhurt. The competitors reach speeds up to 110 km/h by running, or mostly even falling, down the hill. The cheese is a traditional Double Gloucester, a typical cheese for this region. In times of the Second World War, the cheese was replaced by a wooden plagiarism, because food was barely. Nowadays people come from all over the world to attend the race. Due to the limited number of starters, most of them come in vain. Because of the huge rush of people in last the years and the insufficient security measures the event is cancelled in 2010. The people from Brockworth hope that it will be re-established in 2011. 3.3.3. The Boat Race
Teams of Cambridge (left) and Oxford (right)
The Course

The Boat Race is probably the most famous boat competition in the world. The race is between the two eight-man sculls of the Cambridge University and the Oxford University and always takes place in March or April. The race was founded by two students named Charles Merivale (Cambridge) and Charles Wordsworth (Oxford) in 1829. Since that year the loser of the race is challenging the winner to a return race. In 1845 the race was held on the River Thames, between Putney and Mortlake. The track is about 4 miles long and is bounded by the University Boat Races Stones on the right side of the River. Since 1856 the Boat Race is an annual event, with the exception that between 1915 - 1919 and 1940 - 1945 the race was cancelled due to the wars. In 156 races until 2010 there were some really interesting and remarkable races. In 1849 two races were held. Cambridge won the race in March and afterwards Oxford challenged them for a re-race in the same year, with the reason that their team was not fit enough in March. Cambridge accepted the challenge and the re-race was held in December. This race was also won by Cambridge but as they committed a foul, Oxford was declared the winner. Ten years later another unusual incident happened when the boat of Cambridge sank. In 1877 the official result was a tie. It is said that the reason for that is, that the referee was drunk and sleeping when the boats crossed the finish line. The biggest lead a team ever had was in 1900. Oxford was beaten by twenty lengths. In 1912 the race had to be repeated because during the first try both boats sank. The fastest time a team ever admired since the races were held on the current track was made by Cambridge in 1998 with 16 minutes and 19 seconds. Cambridge also holds the record for the longest winning streak with 13 consecutive wins between 1924 and 1936. Since that time, exactly since 1930, Cambridge holds the lead of wins. Since 1927 the Boat Race is covered by the media, first on Radio and since 1938 on TV. Nowadays the race is a huge international event and is watched by about 250.000 people live at the banks of the Thames. The event is broadcasted by TV in 180 countries all over the world and about 120 million people watch it. It is one of five British sport events with the highest TV-ratings besides the F.A. Cup Final or the Formula One Grand Prix of Silverstone. 3. Pub Sports

4.3. History

Pub Sports have a long history in England. Even in the time when the Romans came to England people were playing games like Draughts in the taverns. In the 1495 this culture was widespread and so the King forbid this kind of indoor games because of the well liked reason that it would keep the men away from their archery training. That prohibition had no long success and did not last for a long time. Over the years many card and dice games became very popular, but also the board games were still popular. In addition sports for noblemen like Bowls became well-liked pub sports. Today there are numerous of pub sports and some of them are explained in the following paragraphs. 4.4. Bowls

Bowls is very similar to Bocce. Two bowlers are playing against each other. The game is divided into so called ends and normally every player has four balls in each end. The balls of the opponents differ in the colours. The bowlers must roll the balls as near as possible to the target called the Jack. The special thing about a Bowls ball is that they are flattened and that one side is a bit heavier than the other and so the ball rolls on a crooked line. The scoring system is equal to the scoring system of Curling. The ball which lies closest to the Jack at the end of the end scores. Additionally every ball of the same colour which lies closer than the closest different-coloured ball scores as well. When a player wins a certain number of ends he wins a set. Usually the player to win two sets first wins the game.
The roots of Bowls go back to the Middle Ages. First it was a sport for the populace until it was banned by King Edward III in the 14th century. Despite the ban the game was still played secretly. The name Bowls first occurs in 1511 when Henry VIII renewed the ban on the game. Similar to the History of Tennis, Henry played the game himself and so bowls became a noble sport, “the sport of kings”.Whether Henry tried to establish the game as a sport for the aristocracy, this try failed. Bowls still was very popular in the populace and disliked by the aristocrats.
Although the ban was not lifted the exercise of Bowls was tolerated. In 1845 the ban was finally lifted. Shortly afterwards first official clubs and associations were founded. Today the game is, as well as in earlier times, often played in pubs. Besides that the sport is practiced in clubs by amateurs and even professionals. Apart from the indoor version of Bowls there are many players who prefer to play it on grass. The game is dominated by British players and since 1979 just two men from outside of England, Wales and Scotland won the World Bowls in a pub
Championship. This annual tournament is always staged in the UK. The BBC registered about 3 million viewers of the Bowls World Championship. 4.5. Skittles

Skittles is a kind of bowling. There are different versions of skittles in Britain, but the goal is always the same, to knock down as many pins or skittles as possible by throwing a ball. The differences between the versions are the ways the skittles are placed and their look. The origin of the game lies in the German sport “Kegeln” which was firstly played by German munches in the third century A.D. First influences of the game in Britain go back to the 14th century. Until the 19th century often a cheese was used instead of a ball. Over the time also a table version was invented which could be played in pubs easily. Most versions of Skittles are using nine pins, but there is also a very popular version called “4 Corners” which uses only four pins. Today skittles is very popular in the entire country.
London Skittles

4.6. Darts
Dart Board

Darts was most likely invented in England in the 19th century. Various legends exist about the invention of the game. One of them is that some people threw broken arrows on wine casks. However the game was founded, it became very popular in the early 20th century with the invention of darts made out of brass. Before that they were made of wood. The players try to throw the darts in certain fields on a board which brings different numbers of points. The rise of darts was very quick then. The sport spread all over the world and became one of the most played pub sports in the world. Very quickly pub tournaments and federations were established. In the 1970s the British Dart organisation was founded and so the British Dart players were covered under a common roof. Many tournaments got more and more popular and the prize money increased. That led to the fact that more and more players became professionals. Today the BDO organizes over 800 tournaments per year. The most common version played in tournaments is the 501. That means a player has 501 points at the beginning and has to go down to zero. The last throw must be placed in one of the double-fields. Otherwise the score will not count. Probably the most famous and popular Dart player in the world is Phil Taylor. He is the most successful player ever with 15 World Champion Titles. He also made six televised nine-dart finishes, which means he scored exactly 501 points with using only nine darts. This is the lowest number of darts which is possible. The interest of English people in darts is huge. The tournaments are nowadays watched by up to 10.000 people and about 120.000 viewers on TV in England. 4.7. Cue Sports 4.8.4. History

Cue sports are played in England since the medieval times. These games were very popular especially among the upper class. During the years a number of different variations developed. The most popular ones are 8-Ball and Snooker. 4.8.5. 8-Ball

In the 8-Ball version of Billiards there are 16 balls; the cue ball, seven solid, seven striped (in earlier times often seven yellow and seven red) and the black “Eight Ball”. The cue ball is the ball which is hit with the cue to sink the other balls. Before the break the table is open, which means that no player has a certain kind of balls. After a player sinks the first ball he has to sink all balls of that kind. If the cue ball touches no ball or the player sinks an opponent’s ball it is a foul. The way the players deal with fouls is different all around the world. Also there are often used different rules in pubs than in tournaments. After sinking the last of his balls, the player has to sink the Eight Ball. There are also many different ways to deal with that. One way is that the Eight Ball must be sink in the pocket which lies opposite to the pocket you sank your last ball in. You can find a Billiard table in nearly every pub in England and that shows how popular that game is there. 4.8.6. Snooker
Snooker Table

The modern type of Snooker was invented in India in the 19th century. In 1885 just a short time after its invention the game was brought to England by the Billiard champion John Roberts. A Snooker table is a bit bigger than a normal Billiard table and has smaller holes. The balls are also smaller. The players have no own group of balls. There are 15 red balls which have a value of one point and six coloured balls with increasing values from two to seven. The players have to sink alternately a red ball and a coloured ball. The game is divided into frames. The player with the most points at the end of a frame wins it. The game is won when a player had wins a certain number of frames. But you cannot only score by sinking balls but also if your opponent commits a foul. That means that there is a chance to win a game even if there are not enough points left on the table to take the lead. If this case appears, a player requires Snooker, which means he must lay the cue ball in a position where the opponent is not able to hit the required ball directly.
The highest score you can make in a break is 147, called a maximum break. Up to now only 41 players achieved a maximum break in an official competition. A break with more than 100 points is called a century break. The players with the most maximum breaks ever are the English Ronnie O’Sullivan and the Scottish Stephen Hendry. They are said to be probably the best players ever. Some other icons of this sport are Joe Davis (the first to achieve a maximum in an official competition), John Higgins or Steve Davis. Since 1977 the World Snooker Championships are held annually in Sheffield. This is the most important tournament in the world. The total prize money for this event is about £1.500.000. The BBC covers the event live since 1976. Because of its difficulty the game is more popular for watching it than for playing it. 4. England and the Olympic Games

Olympic rings 5.8. Olympic Triumphs of England/ Great Britain
England has a great Olympic history, although there was never a “Team England”, but a “Team Great Britain”. That means that there is a United Team for all British Olympian athletes. Therefore, in this paragraph not only the English Olympic triumphs and stats will be presented, but also the British. Great Britain is one of just five Teams which attended every modern Olympic Games. The lion’s share of the British medals was earned by summer athletes. Just 20 out of the 706 Olympic medals of Great Britain were earned at Winter Games. With these 706 Medals, which include 247 Gold Medals, Great Britain is one of the five most successful Olympic Teams of all time. Despite that the team was just able to win the Medals Table once. This was in 1908 during the Games of London. The most successful British Olympic is the English rower Steve Redgrave who won 5 Gold Medals and one Bronze Medal between 1984 and 2000. Rowing could be seen as the best discipline of British Olympic Teams, as some of the greatest British Olympics were rowers. Besides Redgrave, two other rowers are members of the five best British Olympics. Principally Britain was always very successful in sports which have to do with water, like swimming, sailing or water polo. Furthermore many of the best British Olympics were cyclists, like the three times Gold Medallist Bradley Wiggins or the four times Champion Chris Hoy. While Hoy won his medals only at rack races, Wiggins won his on track and street races. Over all Games added together Great Britain won 63 medals in cycling, which means that only France is more successful with 86 medals. But there are not only superb summer athletes in Britain. In 1984, at the Winter Games of Sarajevo, Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean won the Gold Medal in Ice Dancing. Their performance was one of the best performances a pair ever showed.

5.9. Olympic Games on English Ground

5.10.7. 1908 Summer Olympics in London

Olympic Gold Medal; London 1908
The first Olympic Games which were held in England were the Games in London in 1908. Originally the Games were given to the city of Rome. But as it became clear that Rome was not able to finish their preparations in time, the IOC decided to award the Games to London. The Olympic Games started on April 27th and finished on October 21st. 110 events in 22 sports were staged. The Games were opened by King Edward VII and for the first time the Teams were introduced while walking behind their flags. This ritual exists until today. In 1908 the number of competitors increased by a huge amount compared to the three Games before. More than two thousand athletes from 22 countries fought for the medals, including 37 female athletes. With 146 Great Britain won the most medals and as well the most Gold Medals with 56 ones. The Olympic stadium was the White City Stadium with a capacity of nearly 100.000 spectators. The Games had been a great success and are said to be the best organized Olympic Games in the early 20th century.

5.10.8. 1948 Summer Olympics in London

Logo of London 1948
Forty years after the first Games in London the city hosted the Olympic Games for the second time. Actually the London was selected to be the host city in 1944 but because of the Second World War the Games were cancelled. So London hosted the Games four years later. Although the city and its inhabitants still suffered from the damages of the war the Games were not been given to an alternative host. The Olympic Games should be a chance to forget about the dark time of war and to look forward into a bright future. This purpose did not fail. Because of the low budget after the war no new stadium or grounds and no Olympic Village were built. The official Olympic Stadium was the Empire Stadium, better known as the (original) Wembley Stadium. The opening and closing ceremonies and a few competitions took place there. Altogether there were over 4000 athletes, about ten per cent women, from 59 countries competing in 19 disciplines. The best Team was the U.S. Team with 84 medals (38 Gold Medals). Great Britain just won 23 medals (3 Gold medals), but that was no reason for the Londoners not to celebrate this event after the war. One reason for the peaceful atmosphere surely was the fact that Japan and Germany were not allowed to send athletes and that the upcoming enemy, the Soviet Union, abandoned their start. The most successful athlete was the Dutch track and fielder Fanny Blankers-Koen with four Gold Medals.

5.10.9. London 2012

In 2012 the Olympic Games will take place in London for the third time. London is the first city in the world which is honoured to host the Games three times. London prevailed against the competitors Paris, Madrid, Moscow and New York. The Games will start on July 27th with the opening ceremony in the new built Olympic Stadium in Stratford. Over 10.000 athletes will run, fight and swim in 34 venues. Some of these venues are well known places like the All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon for example. It is expected that over 9 million people will watch the events of 26 Olympic sports. As whole Britain is looking forward to those Games, it should be very successful Olympic Games. 5. Golf 6.10. History
Golf is a very popular sport in England and can look back on a long history. Most people think that the earliest known reference of Golf was made in 1452, when the Scottish King James II forbid his people to play the game of “Gowf”, because it was keeping them from their archery training. For that reason it is generally accepted, that Golf is a Scottish Sport. However that is just true up to a certain point, because there are records, which prove, that in 1297 the Dutch played a game with the goal to reach a target with a stick and a ball. The one, who needed the fewest number of strokes, was the winner. Nowadays also the Chinese claim to be the inventors of Golf, because they found hints, that in the 10th century the Chinese people played a game called “Chuiwan”, which is also very similar to Golf. The Blackheath Club in 1874 St. Andrews Golf Links
But why is Golf then widely known as a British game? The reason for that is that the origin of modern Golf is based in St. Andrews, Scotland. In St. Andrews the oldest Golf Course in the world is located and also the first official “Rules of Golf” were written down there in 1754. The Royal an Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, as it is called today, is still one of the most influential golf organisations in the world, as they still lay down the “Rules of Golf”. The first English Golf Club was The Blackheath Club in South London, which was founded in 1766. During the 18th and 19th century Golf spread all over the world and became very famous, especially in the British Colonies.
In 1860 the first Open Championship, nowadays better known as The British Open, took place in Prestwick, Scotland. There were only eight competitors, three Scotsmen and five Englishmen. The English were well beaten by the Scottish and a huge class difference became obvious. For the next 30 years, until 1890, only Scottish Players won the Open Championship. In 1890 John Ball from Hoylake, a small town western of Liverpool, was the first Englishmen who was able to win the British Open. From this day on, English Golfers became more and more successful. 1894 was one of the greatest years in the English Golf history. Not only that famous John Henry Taylor, one of the best and most successful English Players ever, won the Open for the first time, but also the Open were firstly held in England, at the Royal St George's Golf Club in Sandwich. In the following years English Golfers were able to smaller the gap between them and the Scots.
Also since that time, and even today, Golf is widely known as the sports for the aristocracy and for rich people. This prejudice is probably based on the fact that Golf became a very elitist sport in the 19th century. The first Golf courses which were built for Golf after the Rules of St. Andrews, did not allow women to play Golf for example. A sign saying “No dogs or women allowed” could be found on nearly every Club House in the World at this time. That meant that Golf developed from a sport of the people to a sport for the elite. The sport has to fight against this image until today.
At the end of the 19th century Golf became more and more popular and many British Golf Players became Professionals. Because of this the PGA, the Professional Golfers’ Association, was found in 1901. In the following years Golf became a lot more liberal and women and average earning people began to have a bigger influence on the sport. For example the former Caddy Francis Quimet, who was born in a poor family, was able to win the U.S. Open. That shows that Golf was not longer just a sport for the wealthy. Also the number of tournaments for women increased in that time. The next milestone in Golf history was 1927, when the first Ryder Cup between Britain and the United States was held in Massachusetts. This cup became the most important golf competition in the world and is still played every two years. The only difference since then is, that nowadays the U.S. team plays against a Team Europe. This European Team is still strongly influenced by British Players. In 2008, six of the twelve Players in the European team were born in England. 6.11. Famous English Golf Players

Harry Vardon
Nick Faldo

The first English Golf Hero was the earlier mentioned John Henry Taylor. Until 1913 J.H. Taylor won the British Open five times and so he is on the tied second place in the All-Time-Leaderboard of wins of the Open Championship. The only person who won the Open more often is the great Harry Vardon. He won the British Open six times and is probably the best English golfer of all times. Vardon is not only the Player with the most Open titles, but also the first Player who was able to become British Open Champion and U.S. Open Champion. Vardon, also called “Mr. Golf” set up many records and some of them are still unbroken, like the record of 14 consecutive wins on PGA tournaments. Vardon is said to be one of the best Golfers ever, besides Players like Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods. In the recent past players like the tree time British Open Champion Sir Nick Faldo, Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter or Justin Rose became the icons of English Golf. 6.12. Golf in England Today

Today Golf is one of the favourite sports in England. In 2010 there are 1.881 Golf courses registered in England, by far the highest number of Golf courses in a single country in Europe. By now there are about 800.000 official Golf players in England, which is about 2 per cent of the English population. But the real number of English people who play Golf is even higher. The reason for that is that there is no need to register for golfers in England, because there are a number of public Golf courses. In the last years Golf slid in a little crisis in England. The number of registered players shrank about nearly ten percent since 2010, also the live coverage of Golf events by the BBC decreased from 30 days in 2005 to 12 days in 2010.
England is a very important place for professional Golfers, as it is often the host country of the British Open and the Ryder Cup, which are even today two of the most important tournaments in the world. In 2010 the Ryder Cup takes place in Newport, Wales and The Open Championship will return to the legendary Old Course in St. Andrews. Besides that there are many tournaments within the European PGA Tour based in England. Some of the most beautiful and difficult courses in the world are in England, for example The Royal Birkdale Club in Southport or The Royal Liverpool Golf Club, which are also two of the Clubs that hosted The British Open. 6. Tennis

7.13. History

The game Tennis, in the way we know it today, developed from “Jeu de Paume” or “Real Tennis” as it is called nowadays in England. This old-fashioned game was played with the bear hands of the players. First the game was played in France in the medieval by hitting a ball against a wall just with the hands. Later on the game developed in several ways. The wall was replaced by a human opponent and the ball was not hit by the hands anymore, but by a wooden racket. During the reign of Henry VII Tennis turned from a sport of the populace to a sport for the aristocracy. The main factor for that change was that Henry VII was asked by the clergy to ban the game, because the permanent hits against the church walls disturbed their services and Henry followed the request. However his problem was that he was an avid tennis player himself. So he had to hide his courts and tennis was only played in closed courtyards.
His son, the famous King Henry VIII, played an important role for the development of the game. Not only that he ordered to build many tennis courts, but he also designed courts himself. Furthermore Henry VIII loosed the ban of the game for the people and so the game became more and more popular. Until the Elizabethan time the game was one of the favourite sports in England and enjoyed big popularity by both, men and women. To stop this decay of the sport several prohibitions to keep the populace away from playing tennis were made again.
In the following centuries “Real Tennis” gradually died out and the modern game “Lawn Tennis” became very popular. That is the kind of Tennis which is played until today. The main differences to Real Tennis are the dimension of the court, the use of a real net and not only a piece of cord and the use of rackets with strings. Probably the modern version of Tennis was invented by Harry Gem and Augorio Perera in Birmingham in the middle of the 19th century. They took a racket with strings which was only used for a game called “racket” and hit a ball back and forth between each other on a croquet field. In 1872 both founded the first Tennis club in Leamington Spa near Birmingham. The new kind of Tennis became extremely popular in a short period. Just five years after its invention, the first Championships in Wimbledon took place at the All England Club. The first Champion was Spencer Gore, born in Wimbledon. The Open Championship in Wimbledon is still the most important Tennis tournament in World. In 1884 there was the first competition for ladies in Wimbledon. The popularity of the sport was so big, that Tennis was one of nine disciplines of the first modern Olympic Games in 1896. 7.14. Great English Tennis Players

The Renshaw twins The Doherty brother
The first English Tennis idols were the twins Ernest and William Renshaw from Leamington. Together they won eight titles in the single competition at Wimbledon between 1881 and 1889, while William won seven titles and Ernest just won one. Most times the final was played between the two brothers. Furthermore they won the doubles for five times as a team. William’s record of seven Wimbledon titles is still unbeaten until today. After the “Renshaw era”, there were also two English brothers to dominate the Tennis world, Lawrence and Reggie Doherty from Wimbledon. The elder brother Reggie won Wimbledon four consecutive times between 1897 and 1900 and his younger brother was even more successful with five consecutive titles between 1902 and
1906. Together the brothers won eight double championships and so they were even more successful than the Renshaw brothers. In addition, together they won six
Olympic medals between 1900 and 1908 at the Games in Paris and London

Fred Perry

The next and maybe the biggest English Tennis hero was the great Fred Perry. Perry was the first player ever to make the Grand Slam. This means he won all four Grand Slam tournaments. Even today Perry is the only British player who achieved that and just five more players in the world were able to make that until today. In addition, Perry was number one in the official world ranking for five years. Perry is said to be one of the greatest players the world has ever seen and to be the best English Tennis player of all times. Unfortunately he also was the last English player who was able to win a Grand Slam tournament. Since Perry’s last win of the U.S. Open in 1936 no English or even British male player was able to win a Grand Slam.
But not only English men were successful in Tennis, women like Blanche Bingley Hillyard or Dorothea Douglass Lambert Chambers dominated the Tennis world in the early 20th century. However after the Second World War English tennis players lost their domination and English Champions got rare. The last English Grand Slam title was won by Virginia Wade in 1977. In the recent past, Tim Henman was the one the hopes were pinned on. Henman won eleven titles through his career and was the number four of the world, but he never won a Grand Slam title. Nowadays most English tennis fans are supporting the Scottish player Andy Murray, who is classified as one of the most talented players of today.

7.15. Tennis in the English Society Today

Today Tennis could be seen as a mass sport in England. The governing body of British Tennis is the LTA, the Lawn Tennis Association. The LTA is responsible for all Tennis players and clubs in the whole UK, whether the players are professionals or amateurs. The LTA organizes many Tennis events for children at schools and so they hope to improve the British Tennis in the future. In 2009 nearly ten per cent of the British children between 5 and 10 years were playing tennis during their free time. This shows, that kids do not see tennis just as a part of their school sport programs, but as an interesting sport and hobby. A survey in 2002 shows that 74% of the children up to the age of eleven like Tennis and play Tennis at least once a year, 55% even play in their free time. But not only children are interested in Tennis, also adult people in Britain love this sport. There are nearly 700.000 Tennis club members in Britain and about 1 million people play Tennis regularly. According to the LTA, there are nearly 27 million tennis fans who are following tennis live, on TV, on Radio or on the Internet in Britain. This means that about every second man or women in Britain is interested in Tennis. But why is Tennis still so popular in Britain although there were no heroes like Fred Perry during the last decades? The answer is that there are several reasons which make Tennis very attractive for the British people. One huge reason is that the people believe that Andy Murray could be their next hero and a great champion. Another huge factor is that Tennis is not a very expensive sport in Britain. For just about £10 per month Tennis players can enjoy all benefits of a club membership which includes for example the free use of the tennis courses in their club. For minors that fee is even much lower. If Andy Murray would become a Grand Slam champion or World Number 1, it is quite likely that the so called “Becker-effect”, which happened in Germany during the middle 1980s, will happen in Britain as well. This would mean that the number of British tennis players would increase by a huge number in the next years.

7. Cricket

8.16. History of Cricket
Cricket at Lord's Cricket Ground

Up to now it is not clear when Cricket was played first. It is believed that the game was played by the Normans and the Saxons. There are also documents about a game called “Greag” which was played in the 14th century. This is probably an early version of Cricket. The first documental notice of the game goes back to 1598. Children at a school in Guildford were playing “crickett and other plaies”.Over the years the game developed from a school sport to a sport for adults. The first rules were made in the 18th century. In that time Cricket was mainly played in the south-east of England. Areas like Sussex, Kent or London were the strongholds of that sport. The game became extremely popular, especially in the aristocracy, and newspapers were reporting about matches early. In 1744 the “Laws of Cricket” were made for the first time and just a few years later, probably in 1750, the first Cricket club was founded. This club was not founded in the south-east, but in Hambledon, Hampshire. In the 19th century the number of new founded clubs exploded and so a kind of a league system developed. Also the Lord’s Cricket Ground, a Mecca for Cricket players, was built in the early 19th century. It became the home of the MCC, the Marylebone Cricket Club. During the century the game spread all over England and even all over the Commonwealth. The first international matches with English appearance were played in 1859. Some English Cricket players went to America by boat for playing against teams from over there. The English pounded the American teams in every game. In 1882 the legendary series of matches between England and Australia, “The Ashes”, were established. This series is even played today and is one of the most important trophies in the cricket world. The games in The Ashes were played after new rules and that type of Cricket was called Test Cricket. At the end of the century, in 1890 the County Championship was born. That was a national championship. This championship is even played today. From that year on the “Golden Age” of Cricket began. It lasted till World War I. Cricket became the most popular sport in England and players were celebrated like heroes. In 1909 the International Cricket Conference was founded and became the main body of international Cricket. During the 20th century more and more countries joined the conference. In the 20th century the importance of international Cricket grew. Nowadays the international leagues and tournaments like the World Cricket League are the most important competitions. 8.17. Rules

There are some basic rules which lie down on every version of the game. Both teams have eleven players. One team bats and one bowls and defends the field. The goal of the batsman is to destroy the opponent’s wicket. If that happens the batter is out. There are also some other ways a batsman can be taken out, for example if a defender catches the ball before it hits the ground. The goal of the batter is to make as much runs as possible. If he hits the ball out of bound without touching the ground he earns automatically 6 points, the highest score. If the ball goes out but hits the ground first he gets 4 runs. If he just can hit the ball a player can make one or two points.
There are different versions of cricket like First-class, Test or Twenty20. The versions differ in the number of overs which are played. The oldest version is the First-class. The Test version is very similar to that. In that versions both teams will play two bowling and two batting innings. An inning lasts until ten of the eleven batsmen are out. That can take a lot of time and so matches can last up to six days. To shorten that period there were invented some versions with a limit of overs played. A new version called Twenty20 was invented to make the complicated and long game more interesting for the people of today. The number of overs which are played in a inning is limited to 20. That makes it possible that a game just lasts about 3 to 4 hours. 8.18. Cricket Idols W. G. Grace
Graeme Swann

The first English Cricket idol was Thomas Wymark. Wymark played during the 18th century and is considered to be the first great all-rounder of cricket. The most time of his career he played for Sussex. He was a great batsmen as well as a great bowler and therefore he was seen as the best player of his time. The greatest player of the 19th century was Dr. W. G. Grace. He was born in Bristol in 1848. “The Champion” or “The Doctor” were just two of the nicknames people gave him. He played for MCC, Gloucestershire and London County, as well as for the English national team. He played Cricket for over 40 years and many people still see him as the best Cricket player the world has ever seen. Together with other legends like Wilfred Rhodes or C. B. Fry he was part of the Golden Age of Cricket. Nowadays the English Graeme Swann is one of the best players in the world and is ranked number three in the World Ranking of bowlers.

8. Rugby 9.19. History
Rugby Union Game

The Rugby sport developed out of earlier forms of football. The name Rugby comes from the Rugby School on which several kinds of football were played since the late Middle Ages. In 1823 a student called William Webb Ellis caught the ball during a football game and ran towards the opponent’s goal. That moment can be seen as the natal hour of Rugby. In 1845 the first rules of the game were written down. In 1863 the F.A., the Football Association, was founded. Just a short time later some clubs, led by the Blackheath Club, left the F.A. The reason for that were the different opinions about whether the using of the hands is allowed or not. This was the division of Football and Rugby. In 1871 the Rugby Football Union was founded. The RFU is still the leading body of English Rugby. In 1895 the Rugby world was split again. Some clubs, mainly located in the north of the country, separated from the RFU. Since that time there are two versions of Rugby, the Rugby League and the Rugby Union. The more popular version is the Rugby Union and so this text will deal with that version. The game became very popular over the whole British Islands and even in many countries of the Commonwealth. In 1886 the International Rugby Football Board was founded and England joined it in 1890. Until that time the rules of the game were made by the RFU but after that the IRFB made it.
In 1907 the legendary Twickenham Stadium was built. In 1910 the first international Rugby match was played there between England and Wales. The Twickenham is often compared with Wembley as it is the cathedral of Rugby, like Wembley is for Football. Nowadays the Stadium has a capacity of 82.000 visitors. It is the home of the finals of the Premiership and the English Cup. Furthermore it was the host of the World Cup Final in 2001.
Twickenham Stadium
In 1900 Rugby was part of the Olympic Games and until 1924 it was three more times more part of the Games. Until the 1970s there were no big leagues or cups in England. The reason for that was that the RFU was afraid that the pressure on the clubs to pay their players would increase. The only existing championship was the County Championship. This championship is held annually since 1889. In 1971 the Anglo-Welsh Cup was established and so Rugby became a professional sport. The professional influence increased in 1987 when both, the Premiership and the World Cup, were established. The World Cup is named after William Webb Ellis, the inventor of the game. The medial interest boosts by a huge amount since that. Since the season of 1994/95 the games are broadcasted live on TV. Also the World Cups are followed by many fans. In five World Cups the English team just managed to become World Champion once, in 2003.

9.20. The Six Nation Championship

In 1883 the most important tournament, the Six Nations, was founded. Today this cup is played out between the national teams of England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France and Italy. The championship is held annually. At the beginning there were just four nations, which were the British ones to fight for the Home Nations Championship. In 1910 France joined and so the cup was named the Five Nations. Since 2000 the championship is called the Six Nations because of the accession of Italy. The record holder of the most championship wins is England with 25 unshared wins. England has also the highest number of Grand Slams with twelve. A team makes a Grand Slam if it is able to beat all opponents in one Five, Home or Six Nation Championship. In addition England made 23 Triple Crowns, by beating all other three Home Nations in one tournament.

9.21. Rugby in England Today
Martin Johnson

Today Rugby is seen as the national sport of England, whether Football is more popular. There are over 1900 clubs with about 270.000 players in England. The Guinness Premiership, as it is called today, is one of the best leagues in the world. Since the English World Cup win the interest in the sport grew again. In 2009-2010 there were nearly 2 million visitors at Premiership matches. The highlights nowadays are the Six Nations and the World Cup. Two of the greatest Rugby idols in England at the moment are the 2003 World Champion Jason Leonard and the captain of the World Champions in 2003 Martin Johnson. The increasing popularity of Rugby worldwide moved the IOC to decide that a form of Rugby which is played with only seven men will join the Olympic Games again in London 2012. 9. Football 10.22. History

As it was still mention some chapters before, the roots of Football go back on the Roman game Harpastum. But the history of Football is even longer. In China, during the Han-Dynasty, a game called “Tsu’ Chu” was played. This game was a ballgame played with the feet. But this game had no influence on the development of the modern football. In the Middle Ages there were a number of different Football games in England, which developed from Harpastum. During his reign King Edward II banned the game and so it is proved that the game was already played in medieval England. In the 19th century Football was played in entire England but everyone played it with other rules. It is widely accepted that the natal hour of modern Football was on October 26th 1863, when the Football Association was founded in the Freeman’s Tavern in Great Queen Street in London. Therefore England is known as the motherland of Football. The F.A. became the first governing body of Football in the world. That was the part the common history of Football and Rugby divide. On the day the F.A. was founded also the first Football Rules were made. Definite rulings were for example the ban of using the hands and the fixed playtime of 90 minutes. In a short time the sport spread all over the country. The first regular match which was played with the new rules was between Harrow and Cambridge. Harrow won three to one. In 1870 the first international match took place between England and Scotland. England won one nil. The popularity of Football grew incredibly fast and so the F.A. decided to establish the “Challenge Cup” in 1871. That was the beginning of the famous “F.A. Cup”, which became one of the most valuable sport trophies in the world. The first F.A. Cup Final was played in The Oval in London on March 16th 1872. The Royal Engineers beat the London Wanderes in front of 2000 visitors.
The first F.A. Cup
Since the 70s of the 19th century many of the most popular Football clubs in the world were founded, for example Manchester United F.C. (1878), Everton F.C. (1878), Arsenal F.C. and Liverpool F.C. (1892). These clubs are still one of the best clubs in the world. Because of the huge number of upcoming Football clubs the F.A. established “The Football League” in 1888. This league was the best league in England until 1992. Until the First World War teams like Sunderland, Aston Villa or Sheffield dominated the league. The interest on the game grew steadily and so did the attendance figures. In 1901 the F.A. Cup Final was visited by more than 110.000 people. At the beginning of the 20th century, football conquered the world. In 1904 the “Fédération Internationale de Football Association“, FIFA, was founded. The FIFA is still governing body of international Football. In its beginnings the FIFA was not well accepted. England refused to join the FIFA because they did not want to give the power over “their sport” to others.
The "Wembley Goal"
In the following years the English Football became more and more popular. In 1923, when the F.A. Cup Final was firstly held in the legendary Wembley Stadium, more than 126.000 people were watching the game. But also the international Football developed. In 1930 the first World Cup took place in Uruguay. England did not compete in that tournament. England firstly attended the World Cup after World War II, in 1950. The team was beaten by Brazil and the USA and so they were eliminated after the preliminary round. The team was not much more successful in the following World Cups. In 1966 the World Cup was held in England. The team reached the final and was unbeaten. In the final the team had to play against their archenemy Germany. As the game was tied after 90 minutes, 30 minutes extra-time were played. In the 11th minute of extra-time, Geoff Hurst shot the ball. It hit the crossbar and then it dropped down. Nobody, including the referee, was sure whether the ball had been behind the line or not. The linesman Tofik Bakhramov from the USSR finally made a decision. He said the ball had been behind the line. After scoring that goal England won the game by 4:2 and became World Champion. The so called “Wembley Goal” is probably the contentious goal in Football history. Nowadays, with the help of modern computers, it is clear that the ball did not cross the line with its entire body.
In the middle of the 20th century the UEFA was founded and from now on there several international club championships. The European Champion Clubs’ Cup was firstly staged in the season 1954/55. It was the most important club championship in the world. At its beginning the cup was dominated by Real Madrid, which won the all of the first six cups. The first English team to win the European Cup was Manchester United in 1968. Since the middle of the 1970s the English club Football dominated the cup. Between 1977 and 1984 the cup was always won by English teams with the exception of Hamburg winning it in 1983. 10.23. English Football Today

In 1992 The Football League was replaced as the leading league in English Football when 22 teams separated from the league to establish the Premier League. The Premier League quickly became the best Football league in the world and is still the leader of the UEFA Ranking. The best teams in the Premier League are Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal. The teams are always favourites to win the UEFA Champions League, the following competition of the European Cup.
Football is the most popular sport in England by now. Moreover English Football is very popular in the whole world. The games of the Premier League are televised in more than 150 countries in the world. In England there are over 37.500 Football clubs and more than 7 million active Football players. So England is probably the country which is most addicted to Football on the globe.
But whether there are millions of Football fans in England, the English Football also has big problems. There are more and more investors from foreign countries who buy English Football clubs, like Roman Abramovich (Chelsea) and Malcolm Glazer (Man United). The fans are afraid that the clubs will lose its tradition and identity on long-term sight. Additionally the investors are a high risk for the clubs as you can see on Malcolm Glazer and Manchester United. Man United is badly indebted by now after Glazer owns the club for five years. The problem about keeping such persons out of the English Football is, that nowadays most clubs are stock corporations and so the investors can buy the clubs by buying the majority of shares. 10.24. Famous English Football Stadiums

England is probably the country with the most beautiful Football stadiums in the world. There are numbers of beautiful Football stadiums which also have a long history. This paragraph will introduce you three of the most popular English Football Stadiums.

The stadium at the Anfield Road in Liverpool was built in 1884. Originally the stadium was the home ground of Everton F.C., but in 1892 the club leave Anfield towards Goodison Park. Since that year Anfield is the home of Liverpool F.C. Nowadays the stadium has a capacity of 45,362 people. The stadium hosted a number of games of the European Championship in 1996 and will host matches of the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Anfield is famous for its special atmosphere, especially when the home crowd begins to sing the legendary hymn “You’ll never walk alone”.

Old Trafford
The Old Trafford Stadium was built in 1909 and since then it is the home of Manchester United. The stadium is also called “The Theatre of Dreams” after Sir Bobby Charlton gave it that nickname. The capacity of the stadium amounts about 76.000 people. The stadium hosted the World Cup in 1966 and the European Championship in 1996 as well as the Champions League Final in 2003. The stadium is considered to be one of the most beautiful stadiums in the world. In addition in 1970 Old Trafford hosted the F.A. Cup Final.
The new Wembley Stadium
The old Wembley Stadium

The legendary Wembley Stadium was built in 1923. Since that time the F.A. Cup Finals are played there, with the exception of 1970 when the final was played in Old Trafford. It hosted the finals of the World Cup in 1966 and the Euro in 1996. It also hosted five finals of the European Cup between 1963 and 1992. The famous Brazilian footballer Pele called it once “the Cathedral of Football”. Wembley also is the home ground of the Three Lions, the English national Football team. The old Wembley stadium was closed in 2000 and demolished in 2003. The last goal scored in Wembley was scored by the German Dietmar Hamann. In 2007 the new Wembley opened its gates and since that time the F.A. Cup Finals are played there and it is the home ground of the Three Lions. 10.25. Famous English Football Players

England had generated some of the greatest Football players ever. Because of the large number of English Football heroes this text will just mention a few of them. 10.26.10. Sir Bobby Charlton
Sir Bobby Charlton

One of the best players England ever had, was Sir Bobby Charlton. He was born in Ashington in 1937. Charlton played 19 years for Manchester United as a pro and scored 199 goals in 606 matches for them. He also made over 100 games for the Three Lions. Charlton was a midfielder and he was famous for his dangerous long-range shots. Charlton was one of the heroes of 1966 when England won the World Cup. He also was one of the 21 survivors of the Munich air disaster in 1958. In the crash 23 members of Manchester United died. He won the English Championship three times and each the F.A. Cup and the European Cup once. Additionally he was The European Footballer of the Year in 1966. 10.26.11. Sir Geoff Hurst
Sir Geoff Hurst

Hurst was born in Ashton-under-Lyne in 1941. Most time of his career Hurst played for West Ham United. He won the F.A. Cup once with West Ham and also he won the European Cup-Winners Cup. Hurst is especially famous for his goal in the overtime of the 1966 World Cup Final at Wembley which made England World Champion. 10.26.12. Heroes in the Recent Past
David Beckham
Wayne Rooney

In the recent past there were a number of famous English Football players. One of the most admired ones is Alan Shearer. He was a brilliant striker and was the top scorer of the Premier League three consecutive times. He also was top scorer of the 1996 European Champion as he became European Champion. Additionally he won the Championship in 1995 with Blackburn and he was elected the best English player three times. Another idol of English Football is David Beckham. Beckham is one of the most successful English Football players, but also one of the most controversial players. Altogether he won more than twenty titles with different clubs. But he was also blamed by the English people for getting a red card during the quarterfinals of the 1998 World Cup. Nowadays Wayne Rooney is considered to be the best English Football player. Rooney play for Manchester United and in 2010 he was the top scorer of the Premier League. 10. Conclusion

Sport has ever played a big role in the English society and it seems as if this phenomenon continues in the future. Over 20% of the English adults are practicing sport regularly and over ten million people in England are members of a sports club. This numbers are increasing as you can see that the percentage of young people making sport regularly is much higher. You can say that England is a sporty country which invented many interesting and popular sports and brought them to the whole world.

11. References






- Wymer, Norman; Sport in England: a history of 2000 years of games and pastimes. – London; Harrap, 1949.
- Huba, Karl-Heinz; Fußball-Weltgeschichte : [Bilder, Daten, Fakten von 1846 bis heute]. –Munich; Copress Sport, 2007.

[ 1 ]. Wymer, Norman; Sport in England: a history of 2000 years of games and pastimes.- London(1949) p.14ff
[ 2 ]. Wymer; Sport in England, p. 19
[ 3 ]. Wymer; Sport in England, p. 23ff
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[ 26 ]. Wymer; Sport in England, p. 69ff
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[ 29 ]. BritishTennisAnnual2009
[ 30 ]. Wymer; Sport in England, p. 72
[ 31 ]. and Wymer; Sport in England p. 153ff
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[ 33 ]. Wymer; Sport in England; p. 238ff
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[ 37 ]. Wymer; Sport in England p. 39
[ 38 ]. Huba, Karl-Heinz; Fußball-Weltgeschichte : [Bilder, Daten, Fakten von 1846 bis heute]; Munich (2007),
p. 63ff
[ 39 ]. Huba; Fußball Weltgeschichte; p. 190ff
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[ 41 ].,,12306,00.html
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[ 44 ].{26FDB8E0-B8D9-4B52-B934-D3FC09C0B717}&usecache=false/default.sps?pagegid={26FDB8E0-B8D9-4B52-B934-D3FC09C0B717}
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