SheffieldFootball’s Greenest City
The South Yorkshire city of Sheffield is officially recognised as having several football 'firsts', including the world's first football club, the world's first football ground and the world's first inter-city football derby. Sheffield is where many of the original rules and innovations that still permeate the modern game today, were created and documented.
The football heritage of the city is rooted in one of England's other great sporting pastimes - cricket. In the mid 19th century, it was England's national game. Sheffield Football Club, established in 1857 and officially the world's oldest club, was born out of cricket. So too were the city's biggest football clubs - Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United. In a Victorian climate of heavy industry, Sheffield flourished and developed its global reputation for steel manufacture. This, however, resulted in an increasing need for recreational space for leisure activities, and Sheffield's natural geography provided the perfect conditions for the creation of the cricket clubs and associated sporting clubs that followed.
The city resides in a natural amphitheatre created by several hills (reputedly seven) and the confluence of five rivers. Over a third of the modern, metropolitan borough is located within the boundary of the Peak District National Park. It has an estimated two million trees - more trees per person than any other city in Europe. Over sixty percent of the city is given over to greenspace – with 170 woodlands, 78 public parks, and 10 public gardens.
Sheffield is widely regarded as the greenest city in England and one of the greenest in Europe, with over half of the city's population living within 15 minutes of open countryside. Its lush geographical make-up, coupled with its unique position within the heritage and evolution of the beautiful game, Sheffield can certainly be described as ‘Football’s Greenest City’.