Even though the Victorian era is littered with a lot of poverty and trouble for many of the citizens of England, they still found a lot of time to enjoy sports. In fact, still the most popular sport in the world today, Football (Soccer) really did originate as more than just a casual game.
In fact, it was during the Victorian era in 1871 that the first ever Football Association Cup (FA) was played. Many football clubs started to pop up such as Aston Villa and Everton. Although they were primarily organized by churches to encourage people to attend church, some were set up by employers with the intention of bringing in good players to win more games.
It is shocking that the game only originated as a way to keep people healthy. People began to get so serious about it that, by 1891 penalty kicks and other rules needed to be established to ensure that the game was played fairly. It was in 1880 that the first match between Australia and England was played. The sport of Football quickly began to attract large crowds with many fans.
Where Was Rugby Originated? The History of Rugby: An exploration of the origins of the rugby.
Victorian women’s sports
The sport for women though was certainly croquet. Victorian women were considered to lack in both strength and technique in anything that they did. Therefore, croquet was supposed to be a sport that did not require either.
The Victorian people, particularly women, really did enjoy it. It never caught on with men like it did women at that time, but it was a sport that both men and women could play together so it was certainly something that the people enjoyed and took seriously.
Cycling also became extremely popular in the Victorian era. The safety bicycle was up for sale in 1885 and was by far the cheapest form of travel. A lot of times the evening hobby would be for men and women alike who lived in town to ride their bikes out into the countryside. It was a good pastime that eventually caught on as a sport later on.
Aristocratic Games: A look into the sports and recreational activities of the Victorian upper class.