Toon-Wear Derby 9th Biggest?
What constitutes a "big derby"? Hatred, big clubs, or what? We rate our Toon/Mackem derby the biggest in England ... but are we fooling ourselves? Talksport make it 9th in Britain. TALKSPORT ARTICLE:- 1) Celtic vs. RangersNever will you experience a more hate-filled atmosphere when the two teams contest the Old Firm derby at both Ibrox and Celtic Park. The religious undercurrent has often seen supporters' passion extend beyond the walls of both stadia, although in 1980 thousands of fans rioted in an on-pitch battle in the aftermath of Celtic's 1-0 Scottish Cup win at Hampden Park. 2) Swansea Vs. CardiffViolence has dogged this fixture for years and has even see a former player locked up for his involvement in crowd trouble. In 2002, Dai Thomas was jailed for 60 days and banned from all football grounds in England and Wales for six years. The former striker was caught on camera throwing an advertising hoarding towards Leeds fans during a pitch invasion, while away fans have also previously been banned from even attending games. 3) West Ham Vs. MillwallPerhaps the most notorious of rivalries, meetings between these two - although rare due to the contrasting fortunes of one another - still bring unwanted attention. Trouble erupted as recent as last season in their second round League Cup clash, we blame that Hobbit fella - Elijah Wood. 4) Tottenham Vs. ArsenalFew players would have been brave enough to make the switch across north London and Sol Campbell's decision to join the Gunners from Spurs in 2001 still irks the White Hart Lane faithful. However, many Tottenham fans point to the fact that north London is Spurs' turf and that Arsenal only moved to the area in 1913 from their original Woolwich home. 5) Southampton Vs. PortsmouthIn 2004, then Pompey manager Harry Redknapp infuriated fans when he stepped down and joined Southampton only to return a year later having been relegated with the Saints. This only further soured relations and despite both clubs coming perilously close to collapse in recent times, the 'scummers' (Southampton) and 'skates' (Portsmouth) really do detest one another. 6) Hibs Vs. HeartsThis is one of the oldest, dating back to 1875 and, like Celtic in the Old Firm, Hibs' origins are in Ireland. Both teams have won four League titles in a division dominated by the Glasgow giants, however, Hearts have claimed the Scottish Cup on seven occasions, the most recent in 2006 where they thumped their Edinburgh neighbours 4-0 in the semi-final at Hampden Park. Hibs have won just twice. 7) Man City Vs. Man UnitedUnited's bulging trophy cabinet has no doubt intensified City's loathing for them, who delight in pointing out that their club is actually in Manchester. However, their capture of Carlos Tevez from United together with the Middle East millions Sheik Mansour has injected will have some Blues fans hoping it won't be long until the tides turn. 8) Birmingham Vs. Aston VillaBirmingham, like Man City, may well lay claim to the city given that they are closer to its centre but that doesn't stop Villa fans from pointing to their sizeable collection of trophies, a collection that includes the European Cup and one which dwarfs that of Birmingham's. Passions still run high though and the two Midland titans have been enjoying their more frequent meetings in recent years. 9) Sunderland Vs. NewcastleSunderland fans were no doubt delighted to see Newcastle relegated the season before last and their subsequent struggle since returning to Premier League action will have kept the smiles on their faces. This is another fixture that has seen an away fans ban when Sunderland stopped their Geordie counterparts from attending a fixture in 1996 over concerns for safety at a very old Roker Park. Newcastle responded by doing the same in the return game. 10) Liverpool Vs. EvertonOnly Stanley Park separates the two and despite being labelled the 'friendly derby', those involved will tell you nothing could be further from the truth. The fixture has seen countless classics contested, the 1991 4-4 FA Cup tie and Ian Rush's four goal haul in the Reds' 5-0 1982 win spring to mind. However, the mighty Reds struggle this term will have had the blue half of the city in stitches and their derby day win will have delighted them further.
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