PortCities London
You are here:  PortCities London home > People and places
Text Only About this Site Feedback
Explore this site
About maritime London
Early port
Tudor and Stuart port
18th-century port
19th-century port
20th-century port
People and places
Port communities
Crime and punishment
Leisure, health and housing
Thames art, literature and architecture
The working Thames
London's docks and shipping
Trades, industries and institutions
Port of science and discovery
Historical events
Ceremony and catastrophe
London in war and conflict
Fun and games
Things to do
Timeline games
Matching games
Send an e-card

Port pastimes

River trips
Send this story to a friendSend this story to a friend
Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version
View this story in picturesView this story in pictures



Thames Ironworks FC.
View full size imageThames Ironworks Football Club.

Sport has always been popular, especially football. Many workers from the port played for their local pub football team and employers often started up teams.

West Ham United's original players were in fact employees at the Thames Ironworks. They gained their nickname 'The Hammers' from the days of hammering rivets.

All along the river, there were famous rowing races as well as 'Sports Days' where dockworkers could compete in games ranging from donkey races to treacle pudding races.

John used to belong to a sports club: 

Quotation marks left
It was a sports club and we were, of course, all members of that club: cricket, football, tennis, whatever game… snooker. And of course everyone used to pay so
Quotation marks right
much a week and when they'd got enough money they'd have a trip…


Charlton Football Training Session
View full size imageCharlton football club training session.

Sport remains a favourite pastime for many Londoners. Local facilities provide venues for people to play a huge range of sports from football to skateboarding.

What has diminished however, are the strong ties to local teams, particularly in football, thanks to the increased international status of the sport.

Chris lives in London but supports Portsmouth:

Quotation marks left
I watch football on TV…. I'm a Portsmouth fan myself, so if Portsmouth come to London, if I can afford it, I go. I've watched Portsmouth play at Millwall, Charlton and
Quotation marks right
Queen's Park Rangers.



Find out more
GalleriesVideoThe 20th century port video gallery
From 1914 to the present day
StoriesThe 20th-century port
The changing fortunes of Docklands and the port
Related Resources
Related Images4 Images
National Maritime Museum/Royal Observatory GreenwichNew Opportunities Fund 
Legal & CopyrightPartner sites:BristolHartlepoolLiverpoolSouthamptonAbout this SiteFeedbackText Only