London can rightfully be called soccer capital of Europe. This English metropolis is home to no fewer than fourteen clubs at various levels of professional soccer. Some of these clubs have a modern new stadium as their home ground, while other clubs play their home games in those typical English nostalgic stadiums.
In this article you will get an overview of the professional soccer clubs in London.
Arsenal Football Club
Arsenal FC is one of the leading soccer teams in Europe, which plays their home matches in the Emirates Stadium. The club was founded in 1886 by workers from the weapons factory The Royal Arsenal in Woolwich, South London. As a result of this history, the club is also nicknamed "The Gunners". In 1913 they moved to the neighborhood Highbury in North London, which led to great rivalry with Tottenham Hotspur, which is also located in the north of the British capital.
Arsenal won the English title thirteen times and the FA Cup ten times. Of all professional clubs in London, Arsenal is present at the highest English professional soccer level the longest.
Barnet Football Club
Barnet FC was founded in 1888, but only plays professional soccer since 1991. The nickname ‘The Bees’ is derived from the black - yellow striped shirts the players wear. Remarkably, Barnet's home ground, Underhill Stadium, is also used by the reserves of Arsenal FC. Barnet has a remarkable rivalry with Brentford, who are also nicknames ‘The Bees’. This rivalry is good natured and games between these two clubs are called ‘The Battle Of The Bees’.
Brentford Football Club
As just mentioned, is the nickname of Brentford FC ‘The Bees’ and you can also find the small insects in the club logo of this British soccer club from the London Borough of Hounslow. Brentford Football Club was founded in 1889 and moved to Griffin Park in 1904, where they she currently still play their home games.
In 2006 fans of the club, gathered in Bees United, The Brentford Supporters’ Trust, acquired the majority of the shares with the aim of giving the ordinary football fan a greater say in the future of Brentford FC.
Charlton Athletic Football Club
Charlton Athletic FC, nicknamed ‘The Addicks’, are from Charlton in the London Borough of Greenwich. The club was founded in 1905 and they play their home games in The Valley Stadium, which was just after World War II the biggest stadium in England. Charlton FC won the FA Cup once, 1947 was the year they could lift this prestigious trophy.
Chelsea Football Club
Chelsea FC also known as The Blues, referring to the color of their home kit, is based in West London and is one of the leading teams in the Premier League and in Europe. Despite the name, the club is not based in the Chelsea district in London, but in neighboring Fulham. The home ground of this London based soccer club is Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea, founded in 1905, won the Premier League four times and the FA Cup six times. The Blues got a financial boost in 2003, after Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich took over the club.
Crystal Palace Football Club
Crystal Palace FC is from South Norwood, London and their nicknames are The Eagles and The Glaziers. The club was founded in 1905 by workers at The Crystal Palace, a glass building originally erected in Hyde Park in Londonto house the Great Exhibition of 1851. Their main rivals are Brighton & Hove Albion, Millwall and Charlton Athletic.
Because of financial problems Crystal Palace was sold in 2010 to a consortium of supporters.
Dagenham & Redbridge Football Club
Dagenham & Redbridge FC is from Dagenham, in the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham. This soccer club was founded in 1992 after a merger between Redbridge Forest and Dagenham. The nickname of this club is The Daggers and they have local rivalries with AFC Hornchurch, Leyton Orient and West Ham United.
Fulham Football Club
Fulham FC are the oldest football club in London. They were founded in 1879 as Fulham St Andrew's Church Sunday School and the club has various nicknames: The Cottagers (referring to their home ground ‘Craven Cottage’), The Whites, The Lilywhites and The Badgers. Fulham was in 1997 taken over by Mohammed Al Fayed, owner of Harrods.
The biggest rivals of Fulham FC are Chelsea, who are also based in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. The matches between those clubs are called the SW6 Derbies, referring to the postcode of this London district.
Leyton Orient Football Club
Leyton Orient FC from East London, was founded in 1881 and they are the second-oldest league club in London behind Fulham. Since 1881 they only have spent only one season on the highest level of English football, which happened in 1962/1963. Their nickname is ‘The O’s’ and they play their home matches in the Brisbane Road Stadium.
Their main rivals are West Ham United, although this local derby rarely takes place, since the clubs have spent most of their history in different soccer divisions in England.
Millwall Football Club
Millwall FC is also known as The Lions and they are located in South Bermondsey in the London Borough of Lewisham, South East London. They were founded in 1885 as Millwall Rovers, changed their name to Millwall Athletic from 1890 until 1910. Since then, the club is known as Millwall FC.
The hooligans of this club are among the most feared of English football and over the years, the Millwall fans received a lot of criticism. The fans didn’t care too much and the Millwall supporters' chant demonstrates that: ‘No one likes us, we do not care’.
Their fiercest rival is West Ham United and the derby between those two clubs is considered one of the most passionate derbies in soccer.
Queens Park Rangers Football Club
Queens Park Rangers FC are also known as The Hoops or QPR. They are based in Shepherd's Bush, Hammersmith and Fulham in west London. QPR was founded in 1882 and it took exactly 100 years to win a major prize in English soccer: they won the FA Cup in 1982. The Hoops’ home ground is Loftus Road. Queens Park Rangers’ main rivals are Brentford, Chelsea and Fulham.
Tottenham Hotspur Football Club
Tottenham Hotspur FC, often referred to as ‘The Spurs’ are from Tottenham in North London and they play at the White Hart Lane stadium. The Spurs were founded in 1882 as Hotspur FC and since then they won the FA Cup eight times, the football league and the UEFA Cup twice and in the 1962/1963 season they also won the European Cup Winners Cup.
Tottenham Hotspur has a historic rivalry with Arsenal. Games between those clubs are also known as the North London Derby.
Watford Football Club
Watford FC was founded in 1881 and they play their home games at Vicarage Road, a stadium their share with rugby club Saracens. The club is well-known for having a famous former owner and current honorary life president, which is Sir Elton John. The main rivals of Watford are Luton Town, QPR and Crystal Palace.
West Ham United Football Club
West Ham United FC is from Upton Park in East London and they are also known as The Irons or The Hammers. Those nicknames refer to the history of the club: West Ham United was founded in 1895 as Thames Ironworks Football Club by the Thames Ironworks and Shipbuilding Company. In 1900 The Hammers were reformed as West Ham United.
The home kit of West Ham has the same colors as Aston Villa from Birmingham, which are claret and blue. This is the result of a bet in 1899, when Aston Villa players lost a bet to a father of a West Ham player. Because the players could not repay their wager, they gave him the Aston Villa kits as payment and reported subsequently the kits ‘missing’.
Since the 70’s West Ham United is often linked to hooliganism and there is a real intense rivalry with Millwall.
Other Soccer Articles
If you are interested in soccer, then please refer to my other soccer articles:
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- Protect yourself with soccer shin pads
- Stadiums of the Premier League
- Stadiums of the Eredivisie, the Dutch Professional Soccer League
- Euro 2012 - European Championship Soccer in Ukraine and Poland
- UEFA Europa League 2010, The Group Stage
- UEFA Champions League 2010, The Group Stage
- Sepp Blatter, President Of The FIFA, Soccer World Governing Body
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- Best Museums in London
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- Attractions in London: Westminster Abbey
- Attractions in London: Madame Tussauds London
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