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RL / Football Fan Crossover


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In the towns where there is both a pro/semi pro RL and football team, why are the differing levels of fan crossover like - ie do people tend to polarise into one camp or the other, or support both? I’m thinking;

Wigan, Oldham, Rochdale, Halifax, Huddersfield, Leeds, Bradford, Hull, Doncaster, Barrow.   

Have left London, Newcastle, Sheffield and Birmingham out for obvious reasons, though comments welcome! 

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14 minutes ago, Eddie said:

In the towns where there is both a pro/semi pro RL and football team, why are the differing levels of fan crossover like - ie do people tend to polarise into one camp or the other, or support both? I’m thinking;

Wigan, Oldham, Rochdale, Halifax, Huddersfield, Leeds, Bradford, Hull, Doncaster, Barrow.   

Have left London, Newcastle, Sheffield and Birmingham out for obvious reasons, though comments welcome! 

I think there is a large crossover in Leeds, but not just with the Rhinos. Leeds Utd tend to draw from a much larger area (primarily because of the dense concentration of RL clubs in that area.)

So where United draw most of their support from means that a large number of Rhinos, Trinity, Cas, Fev, Dewsbury, Batley and Hunslet fans also go to Elland Road.

I haven't seen much, if any animosity between Rhinos and United fans, but I may just not be noticing it!

Edited by Barley Mow
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When I used to follow Saints home and away there would often be Saints fans wearing Liverpool, Everton and Man Utd merchandise as well as Saints gear.

I’ve also seen Bolton Wanderers-St Helens flags at Saints games.

There’s also some link up for some between liking Saints and Wigan Athletic (although how common that is now I don’t know).

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I'm thinking that RL fans are more likely to follow football than the other way round, mainly because of the unequal size of the codes and the media coverage relative to that. 

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When I grew up in north Bolton a lot of people liked Wigan and would follow their great sides of the 80s/90s both on telly and in person.

Some would have a connection to Wigan, but thinking back many saw it as the chance to see a great sporting team.

They might be football fans first and foremost, but Wigan had pulling power too.

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10 minutes ago, RayCee said:

I'm thinking that RL fans are more likely to follow football than the other way round, mainly because of the unequal size of the codes and the media coverage relative to that. 

I've made the point before when people make out that if RL died that RL fans would just become RU fans. They wouldn't, in my experience the vast majority would simply just become more hard core Football fans.

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28 minutes ago, Damien said:

I've made the point before when people make out that if RL died that RL fans would just become RU fans. They wouldn't, in my experience the vast majority would simply just become more hard core Football fans.

Indeed. There are about three hundred other things I would do before becoming an RU fan. And the 300th thing is drop dead.

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2 hours ago, Barley Mow said:

I haven't seen much, if any animosity between Rhinos and United fans, but I may just not be noticing it!

There's not much but some of us do our best 😁

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Well, I've not been to the JJB for a good few years but one of the chants used to go "Wigan rugby, eff the latics" to the tune of "Take me home, country roads". So there wouldn't appear to be much love lost there...

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3 hours ago, Eddie said:

In the towns where there is both a pro/semi pro RL and football team, why are the differing levels of fan crossover like - ie do people tend to polarise into one camp or the other, or support both? I’m thinking;

Wigan, Oldham, Rochdale, Halifax, Huddersfield, Leeds, Bradford, Hull, Doncaster, Barrow.   

Have left London, Newcastle, Sheffield and Birmingham out for obvious reasons, though comments welcome! 

In my view regarding Huddersfield, the towns clubs has always drawn fans from outside the town, more so the football club, who still draw a large support from outside Huddersfield and especially around North Kirklees, Heavy woollen and Spen districts, these people also tend to follow their local RL clubs or, as in the past, have glory hunted at Leeds and Bradford, so the Giants miss out on these.

There seems to be more Giants fans that support Town than vice versa, due to the above mentioned, but football attracts many many thousands of casual sports fans, HTAFC for example, saw their fanbase almost doubled by the time they won promotion to the Premier League.

Many of the regular Fartown fans have moved out of the area and haven't been replaced and the people who are moving into the town are now mainly students, many foreign, or they are commuters who have no affiliation with the town.

In recent years, there's been a lot of animosity between Huddersfield's football and rugby fans mainly due to the football clubs' supporters group and chairman having a vendetta against Ken Davy, which is quite sad now.

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Based on the Wigan and Huddersfield examples above that is a massive shame, with both clubs missing out on fans if more people supported both of their town’s clubs. 

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3 hours ago, Gerrumonside ref said:

When I used to follow Saints home and away there would often be Saints fans wearing Liverpool, Everton and Man Utd merchandise as well as Saints gear.

I’ve also seen Bolton Wanderers-St Helens flags at Saints games.

There’s also some link up for some between liking Saints and Wigan Athletic (although how common that is now I don’t know).

I have a couple of mates who are Saints season ticket holders & Tics season ticket holders, and also Man Utd & Saints.  I‘ve been a few of Tics & Man Utd games when a ticket is on offer. I’ve asked them “what happens if both the RL/Footy are on the same day”, they said “it depends on how the clubs are doing and who they’re playing”. 

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2 hours ago, Damien said:

I've made the point before when people make out that if RL died that RL fans would just become RU fans. They wouldn't, in my experience the vast majority would simply just become more hard core Football fans.

Id sooner watch Mrs Brown’s Boy’s than become a fan of the other code. 

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2 hours ago, Dave T said:

Indeed. There are about three hundred other things I would do before becoming an RU fan. And the 300th thing is drop dead.

Jeez - only 300 ?

I was thinking more along the lines of three million.

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I watch both York City FC and the Knights, but in general there doesn't seem to be much crossover. Certainly there isn't much interest in the Knights from fans of City. I was hoping to see more collaboration from the two clubs, particularly when they now share a stadium, but this doesn't seem to have materialised, probably because the football club is run by incompetents.

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2 hours ago, wilsontown said:

I watch both York City FC and the Knights, but in general there doesn't seem to be much crossover. Certainly there isn't much interest in the Knights from fans of City. I was hoping to see more collaboration from the two clubs, particularly when they now share a stadium, but this doesn't seem to have materialised, probably because the football club is run by incompetents.

Shame isn’t it, you’d think they (and others such as the Halifax clubs for example) could help eachother out. Even sell combined season tickets at a discount, that sort of thing. 

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In Hull, there always seems to have been animosity from a large percentage of Bluddy Targers fans towards Hull FC. I worked alongside a scaffolder some years back who lived in Scarborough and was an avid Hull City fan and always referred to Hull FC as "Black and White sh*te". I asked him about his loathing as they play different sports and why he didn't also loathe Hull KR but he couldn't really answer either question.

This animosity has only got worse since the event of sharing the same stadium. Comments in the local media and on social media from Hull City fans calling RL fans "eggchasers" and much worse, fuelled by the one time Hull City Chairman Paul Duffen suggesting once on live radio that "RL fans can't write can they?".

I know a very small number of Football fans that follow both Hull City and one of Hull's RL clubs but I doubt it would reach double figures.

Personally speaking, I can't imagine why any RL fan would also want to follow football, after watching a full bloodied, fast and exciting RL game, watching football is like watching paint dry.

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I doubt there is much crossover in Salford. I have crossed over from Rugby League as my main sport to football, having become disenchanted with London RL. I think League is a better game, but the atmosphere at football and general culture is far more fun and I have been welcomed with open arms at Salford City. 

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4 minutes ago, Quinskolar said:

I doubt there is much crossover in Salford. I have crossed over from Rugby League as my main sport to football, having become disenchanted with London RL. I think League is a better game, but the atmosphere at football and general culture is far more fun and I have been welcomed with open arms at Salford City. 

Have you moved from London to Salford? If so have you given Salford or Swinton a go? 

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8 minutes ago, Eddie said:

Have you moved from London to Salford? If so have you given Salford or Swinton a go? 

Nope I moved to London 40 years ago. I watch Salford City online and when they play in the south with a few home games during the season. No Salfordian would switch to Swinton!

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I cant stand football

Driving through netherley in liverpool on a saints match day, i noticed quite a few people in saints tops

Widnes have fans from speke and garston area of liverpool

 

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4 hours ago, Eddie said:

Based on the Wigan and Huddersfield examples above that is a massive shame, with both clubs missing out on fans if more people supported both of their town’s clubs. 

I think there’s been an historical divide in Wigan between the football and rugby league club going back decades.

When a lot of people started leaving 60’s/70’s Liverpool to settle in parts of Wigan they tended to get behind the non league football club (as a second team) as natural soccer fans.

Around about that time they had a good run in the FA Cup getting Manchester City and big crowds kinda followed.

Fast forward to today, subsequent generations plus the general Premier League football boom and Wigan have acquired a decent fanbase.

I still think the worst thing to happen to all British sport apart from football has been the Premier League boom, the bringing of top stars to England and the hogging of the spotlight.

Although maybe now it is all about esports.

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