Lancashire v Yorkshire – More than just a simple sporting rivalry?

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It’s approaching that time of the year again were Lancaster and York renew their rivalry in the `war of the roses`, aiming to bring bragging rights back to their respective universities, and counties!


The rivalry is rich in history and symbolises the superiority each county hopes to claim. One way to show this is the battle between the `Red rose` and the `White rose`. Anyone with any affiliation to these counties will know which colour corresponds to each district, and it conceptualises a somewhat serious, albeit fun competition with the host university tending to cement their authority as victors.


The assembling of the two universities is regarded as the largest inter-university sporting competition in Europe. Added to this, there are endless events to participate in, ranging from American football, Snowboarding, Dodgeball and Equestrian; to Ballroom dancing, Clay Pigeon Shooting, Debating, and Chess. Thus, it certainly does embrace a vast array of sporting and intellectual challenges for each institution to acclaim bragging rights and exert their dominance.


The intervarsity competition acclaims the statement of being the biggest in Europe due to its inception dating back to 1965, and not only brings with it a sporting ethos with ego’s on the line, but it also provides an invaluable opportunity to encourage solidarity between the student bodies, staff and alumni of each respective university, whilst also bringing an historic event to the community.


The name of this iconic rivalry, not only derived from the war of the roses between the House of Lancaster and the House of York, is also ascribed to the rivalry in the footballing world between Manchester United and Leeds United. The footballing colours of the two compliment the ethos of the roses rivalry well. But its probably more well known to be attached to the Roses match in the cricketing world between Lancashire CCC and Yorkshire CCC. The first cricket match to take place between the two dates back to 1867, thus many would be forgiven for arguing that this is one of the oldest sporting derby encounters. This is something that both counties should embrace, with archives of sporting excellence on display, does any other distinct rivalry match this?


The obvious caveat to this is the illustrious rivalry between Oxford and Cambridge taking form with the iconic boat race. Like the `boat race`, the `war of the roses` can arguably be held in the same regard with the average Joe being able to identify what each term represents. It represents a rich vein of history and intense battle between the House of Lancaster and House of York, which has been symbolic in a vast array of sports and in the Academic world. Therefore, when this famous spectacle descends upon campus in the next week, it will certainly bring with it its history, but it will also be a chance for Lancaster to add to that history by showing why ROSES ARE RED!


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