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Fun Facts

1Birmingham - We love our sport


  • The city of Birmingham has staged more World and European Championships than any other UK city
  • Birmingham was the first city to be awarded the title National City of Sport and has been awarded the title European City of Sport for All
  • Birmingham is home to sporting heroes Denise Lewis, Dennis Amiss, Lee Pearson, Ian Stewart MBE, Jane Sixsmith MBE and Ann Jones
  • In 2007 Birmingham’s National Indoor Arena (NIA) staged the European Athletics Indoor Championships – the most important athletics event in the UK before the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games
  • In 1850 a local GP began an annual sporting event in Much Wenlock, Shropshire, the inspiration for the modern Olympic Games
  • Edgbaston Cricket Ground, Birmingham’s oldest international sports venue, staged its first Test Match in 1902 when Australia were bowled out for 36 runs!   
  • The Belfry Golf Course, venue for some momentous Ryder Cup challenges, also houses the headquarters of the PGA
  •  Lawn tennis was first played in Birmingham in 1865. The Edgbaston Archery and Lawn Tennis Society, founded in 1860, is the oldest surviving lawn tennis club in the world
  •  The Edgbaston Priory Tennis Club, the venue for the DFS Challenge, has hosted five Davis Cup tennis tournaments
  •  In 1888, William McGregor of Aston Villa FC invited other clubs to play regularised games of football, leading to the creation of the Football League
  •  Aston Villa FC has the largest single stand behind a goal in Europe with 13,500 seats in Holte End.  Aston Villa will also host Olympic football in 2012
  • The National Exhibition Centre (NEC) and the National Indoor Arena (NIA) provide an infrastructure superior to any in the UK with the capability to sustain major events including, in recent years, the World Indoor Championship Athletics and the International Horse of the Year Show
  • The NIA has the UK’s only demountable six-lane 200-metre track. 12 world athletics records have been set at the NIA