Sheffield’s sporting prowess ‘worse than Northampton and Wigan’, claims study

A tearful Wednesday manager Carlos Carvalhal at end of the play-off final
A tearful Wednesday manager Carlos Carvalhal at end of the play-off final
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Sheffield has fallen down the rankings of the country’s best sporting cities and towns to 18th - behind the likes of Northampton, Wigan and Bristol.

Despite being the hometown of some of the nation’s best athletes - including cricketer Joe Root, footballer Jamie Vardy, Olympian Jessica Ennis-Hill, world champion boxer Kell Brook and Masters winner Danny Willett - the research by the University of Bath and ESPN put the city well below winner Leicester.

Sheffield fell by five places from its 13th place ranking in 2015.

The study was worked out on factors including local talent, atmosphere at sporting events and the value for money of tickets.

It also asked over 5,000 people across the country about how often they participate in sport, while also examining transport links to sporting venues and the number of different professional sports in each city.

The trophy-winning history of Sheffield Wednesday and United was also taken into account, as well as the number of people employed in sports-related jobs in the city.

Danny Willett, the 2016 Masters champion

Danny Willett, the 2016 Masters champion

Last season saw Sheffield Wednesday agonisingly miss out on promotion to the Premier League in the play-off final, while Sheffield United endured another season of disappointment in League One.

Following Leicester’s against-the-odds Premier League triumph last season, the city jumped 17 places from the 2015 study to first place this year.

It took top spot from Manchester, which was second, ahead of Liverpool, London and Leeds.

The university study said: “Leeds’ performance was largely a function of the very good recent results of Leeds Rhinos, winners of the Challenge Cup and Super League, and Yorkshire County Cricket Club, winners of the County Championship.”

Doncaster finished 27th in the study, with Barnsley in 31st.

At the other end of the scale, Blackpool was the bottom-placed city for the second year in a row as their football club endured more turmoil.

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