Here’s a bit of ironclad British logic: football is best played with the feet. See the game played as it should be, in Premier League action, at four of the most famous football stadiums that have never hosted a Super Bowl.
Middlesbrough, the Smoggies
Formed in 1876, Middlesbrough played at Ayresome Park for 92 years, before moving to the Riverside Stadium in 1992. They won the League Cup in 2004 and got through to the 2006 UEFA Cup Final. They’re known as the Boros, or the Smoggies.
Middlesbrough itself is an industrial town founded in 1830, though its history as a settlement dates back much further. It was once settled by Angle tribes, and then by Vikings. If you decide to visit, consider a pre– or postmatch climb to the top of Roseberry Topping for majestic views over the North York Moors.
Burnley FC, the originals
Burnley FC was among the founding members of the Football League in 1888 and is one of the very few teams who’ve won all top four professional divisions of English football. Known as the Clarets for their deep–red home shirts, they ascended to the Premier League for the 2016–17 season.
Burnley is in Lancashire, close to the Forest of Bowland, one of Britain’s Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. You can even go gliding at the Bowland Forest Gliding Club. Also in the area is the Singing Ringing Tree, a sculpture made of pipes stacked to play chords as the wind blows through them.
Hull City, the also–rans
The Hull City team, known as the Tigers for their black and yellow stripes, was founded in 1904. They play their home games at the KCOM Stadium, and their highest achievement to date was to reach the final of the 2014 FA Cup.
Hull the place, full name Kingston upon Hull, began as a port town. Back a ways, the monks of Meaux Abbey exported their wool from Hull, and English Civil War battles were fought there. Now you can visit its Old Town and Museum Quarter for history and its many traditional pubs for a pint. Hull is Britain’s City of Culture for 2017, meaning all sorts of events are on offer, spanning theatre, dance, film, music and art.
Leicester City, the power of the King
Some think Leicester City, known as the Foxes, were given a boost of good luck by the late King Richard III. In 2012, the body of Richard III, the last English king to be killed in battle, was discovered by archeologists under a parking lot in the city. In 2015, he was reburied at Leicester Cathedral, just a few miles from the field at King Power Stadium. Where it gets weird: Prior to the discovery, the Foxes had an all–time win percentage of 32. After the reburial? Only one of the greatest upsets in Premier League history, winning the 2016 Premier League Championship against 5,000–to–1 odds.
Leicester’s history stretches back over 2,000 years. If you visit, find the ruins of a Roman bathhouse at the Jewry Wall Museum, and an even older Iron Age hillfort in Burrough on the Hill. If you prefer shopping to history, check out Leicester Market. It’s the biggest outdoor covered market in the whole of Europe.
Want extra time?
Check out the rest of the teams in the Premier League.
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