PortCities London

Port pastimes



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: 

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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
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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:

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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
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Queen's Park Rangers.


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