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Sheffield has a long history of involvement in sport. Although cricket was the first organised sport, it has gradually been supplanted by football. Both the main two local football teams grew out of cricket teams. Sheffield can claim many firsts in football the most famous one being Sheffield F.C. being the worlds first and oldest football club. Today it has a club in every major team sport in England. Sheffield became the first UK National City of Sport in 1995 and is now home to the English Institute of Sport (EIS).

Today the city boasts two league clubs (Wednesday and United), top flight ice hockey (Sheffield Steelers) and basketball (Sheffield Sharks) and a Premier League speedway team (Sheffield Tigers). Sheffield Eagles is the main rugby league club and operates a level below the Super League.

There are two boxing world champions from Sheffield, Clinton Woods and Johnny Nelson. David Sherwood is a top ten British tennis player from the city and the England cricket captain, Michael Vaughan, was brought up and lives in Sheffield. Joe Simpson, a famous climber also comes from the city.

The largest stadium is Hillsborough Stadium, the home of Sheffield Wednesday, which holds just under 40,000. Don Valley Stadium is currently the largest athletics stadium in the United Kingdom. Bramall Lane is the worlds oldest major football ground and Sandygate, home to Hallam F.C., is the oldest football ground. The World Snooker Championships has been held at the Crucible Theatre since 1977.

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