Yorkshire’s Most Important Sporting Events
The county of Yorkshire is well-known for its sporting prowess, from the most successful professional cricket team in the country, to Premier League clubs and champions, to gold medal winning Olympians like Jessica Ennis-Hill, the Brownlee brothers and Nicola Adams – not to mention its place as the spiritual home and hotbed of Rugby League.
If Yorkshire were a country the 12 gold medals its sons and daughters amassed at the Rio Olympics would have placed it 14th in the overall medal table – outperforming whole countries such as Canada, Argentina and Greece. Part of Yorkshire’s success comes from the sporting roots embedded in the county, where youngsters born under the white rose feel that sport is part of their heritage.
With that in mind, we profile four of Yorkshire’s biggest annual sporting events…
The Headingley Test Match
There’s nothing quite like a test match at Headingley. For some reason, the oval of green inside studentville in Leeds seems to attract cricketing drama like few other places. It might not have the prestige of Lord’s, or the scale of Eden Park, but the sheer love of cricket inside Yorkshire somehow produces sporting moments that live forever. Who can forget Botham’s Ashes in 1981 or Ben Stokes’s superhuman match winning century against Australia in 2019? And with the ground improvements, the stadium now looks every bit the world class arena to match the world class sport.
The Tour de Yorkshire
So quickly has this cycling event become embedded in Yorkshire sporting folklore it’s sometimes surprising to remember it only started in 2015. Born out of the successful rerouting of the first two legs of the Tour de France around Yorkshire the previous year, the May Bank Holiday has now become Tour de Yorkshire weekend. In 2020 there’s even more fearsome climbing for the riders at Buttertubs and Grinton Moor and the start and finish locations have been named as Barnsley, Beverley, Halifax, Huddersfield, Leeds, Leyburn, Redcar and Skipton.
The St Ledger at Doncaster
The St Leger is the oldest of Britain’s five classic flat races and is the last to be run in the calendar year in September. The final leg of the rarely contested ‘Triple Crown’ was originally run way back in 1776 and was initially referred to as “A Sweepstake of 25 Guineas”. You can easily follow every minute from the race using the bet365 app on your mobile. It does not take more than 1 or 2 minutes to download and install the app. Last year, the ever-popular Frankie Dettori triumphed on Logician as the race was followed live across the country.
Snooker at The Crucible
The annual battle of the green baize inside Sheffield’s esteemed Crucible Theatre has served up more tension and drama over the years than the plays that grace the Crucible’s stage for the remaining 11 months of each year. Rocket Ronnie O’Sullivan remains the modern game’s greatest showman and crowd-puller, but for sheer sporting legend nothing can match the Dennis Taylor versus Steve Davis ‘black ball final’ from 1985 – watched by 18.5 million people in the UK, lest we forget.