List of Most Popular Sports in the United Kingdom

List of Most Popular Sports in the United Kingdom

Sports have always held a popular place in the United Kingdom, with many passionate fans and the origin of many sports taking place here. In the United Kingdom currently, the most popular sport for most is football, or as Americans call it, soccer. Other sports such as tennis, rugby, cricket, and badminton are also popular within the United Kingdom. 

While cricket may be the official National sport of the United Kingdom and was created there in the 17th century, there are only 18 professional clubs compared to soccer, which has an impressive 98 clubs across the nation. The United Kingdom is also home to one of the world's most prestigious sporting events, the Wimbledon tennis tournament. The variety of sports available to residents of the United Kingdom has garnered millions of amateurs and professionals alike to watch or participate in sporting activities each year.


The most popular sport in the United Kingdom also happens to be the most followed sport in the entire world: soccer. With almost 7,000 clubs playing each week and the professional leagues generating close to 22 billion euros in revenue yearly, the interest in soccer is undeniable. The most popular professional soccer league, the British Premier League, is aired in 188 out of 193 countries worldwide. With that level of exposure, soccer is without a doubt the most popular sport in the United Kingdom.

What is the most-watched sporting event in the United Kingdom?

The top watched sporting event in the United Kingdom is the UEFA Euro Soccer Cup, which pits 24 national teams from across the world in a winner takes all tournament. Last year, when the England National team made a run to the finals, its matches topped the broadcast charts. The semi-final round of the Euros, which saw England defeat Denmark, garnered 27.6 million viewers, while the Finals, in which England lost to Italy, had 30.95 million.

How many people play sports in the United Kingdom?

The United Kingdom has a large number of participants in its sports; there are almost 3 million professional athletes among the United Kingdoms' top 4 pro sports, soccer, tennis, rugby, and cricket. Of the most significant two, soccer has the most participants, accounting for 1,866,203 athletes alone, and tennis following close behind with 696,900 participants. Many people enjoy sports outside of professionals, with 89.15% of children between the ages of 5-11 and 90.76% of kids age 11-15 participating in some kind of sport daily in the United Kingdom. With such large participation percentages, there is no shortage of homegrown talent.

Who are the most famous athletes in the United Kingdom?

When it comes to big-time names, the United Kingdom has no shortage of options. With sports being such a large part of the nation's pride, numerous notable athletes hail from the United Kingdom. World-class soccer stars like Gareth Bale, Wayne Rooney, and Harry Kane have long been household names. The United Kingdom has also produced many top golfers, such as Rory Mcllroy and Justin Rose. Tennis legend Sir Andy Murray is also from the United Kingdom.