With the Manchester Derby tonight, It just got me thinking
Just what is the fiercest rivalry in the UK?
For me, it's Newcastle v 5under1and.
It has been violent, marred by hooliganism and at times the away spectators have been banned. You name it and the Tyne & Wear derby has got it. One of the most notorious derbies in England, the derby is a special occasion for fans and players alike.
Lets face it, both Sunderland & Newcastle United are not really fighting for the Premier League title. So the rules are simple here, this is about pride and domination. And, of course, the award of trolling the losing side till the next derby arrives.
The example of the notoriety between the two sides can be felt from the last time these two sides met at SJP. The match ended in a 1-1 draw and both sets of manager & others hurdled a bit too much abuse at each other. Though, both Alan Pardew and Martin O’Neill admitted it was a ‘not so intelligent’ behavior on their part. But that’s how the Tyne-Wear derby goes. The emotions run very high and a loss is just not acceptable in those parts.
But the rivalry is not limited to football, in fact it sprouted much earlier. To be precise, during the English Civil War during 1642 to 1651. Newcastle and Sunderland are just 10 miles apart at best and during the Civil War Newcastle were Royalist and Sunderland were the opposite, the Parliamentarian. Even the industrial revolution saw both sets of cities competing against each other in every kind of trade.
During the 1996-97 Premier League season Sunderland placed a ban on Newcastle fans to come and watch the derby at Roker Park, as the then home ground of Sunderland was aging and for security reasons too. Newcastle reciprocated the decision in the next fixture at St. James’ Park.
A large number of supporters too have been arrested from both sides as they tried to invade the pitch. The Tyne-Wear derby has got its fair share of pitch invaders. It’s not that uncommon. And as a safety measure the Northumbria police will provide twitter updates for fans this Sunday.
But, Sunderland vs Newcastle United is one of the most exciting game of Football in the world, for fans and neutrals alike. The intensity at which a game is played between these two sides ranks up with some of the best rivalries of the world.