Whether it’s cheering a goal in the dying minutes, celebrating a knockout blow, watching the twists and turns of a waterboard in the Albert Dock, Liverpool has sport running through its veins.

In 2017, Liverpool was ranked as the UK’s greatest sporting city, and it’s not hard to see why. Let’s start stretching to warm up for our whistop tour around the city’s sporting highlights that give you just a little taste of what to expect from 2018. 

On your marks

The first Liverpool marathon was held in 1927 and the Echo described it as the “Greatest Athletic Event the City of Liverpool has ever known”. The first winner, Sam Ferris, went on to compete three times at the Olympics, securing a silver in 1932. Liverpool has always been strong at athletics and its athletes have brought plenty of medals back from Commonwealth and Olympics Games. Gymnastics bronze medallist Beth Tweddle, boxer Natasha Jonas, Paralympian David Devine, cyclist Lora Turnham, wheelchair basketball competitor Fan Haock brought a little London 2012 glory back to the city. 33 members of Team GB athletes that year were either from Liverpool or trained in the city.

#athletics #paralympics #DavidWeir #DavidDevine

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Gloves Off

Whether amateur or professional, Liverpool has long been known for its world class boxers. John Conteh, Tony Bellew, David Price, and of course olympian Natasha Jonas have brought the sport to even greater heights in the city. The Echo Arena or the Liverpool Olympia have staged nights in the ring, but it’ll take a long time to forget the scenes of proud Evertonian Tony Bellew when he fought at Goodison Park. Liverpool even has its own Rocky, Michael ‘Rocky from Stocky’ Fielding, the current British and commonwealth champion, and former WBA Inter-Continental super middleweight champion, who’s from Stockbridge Village.

A little personality

The glitz and glamour, as well as sporting achievements, has returned to the city a number of times as BBC Sports Personality of the Year is held in the city, filmed before an audience of 11,000. The city first hosted the awards in 2008. As well as celebrating sporting highlights from 2017, it’s a chance to shine the spotlight on Liverpool's sporting pedigree.

Looking good, @echoarena 😍 #bbcsport #echoarena #liverpool #SPOTY

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Grassroots Champions

Liverpool doesn’t just have sporting greats, it has the fertile soil needed to grow the sporting stars of the future. Grassroots football in particular has hubs around the city including Heron Eccles Playing Field in Allerton, at Jericho Lane and in Fazackerley. In 2016 it was announced The FA, Premier League and Liverpool City Council would invest millions into their facilities. There are 1,200 teams in the city, and two thirds of them are junior and youth teams. Half a million people play football in Liverpool every year.

The Big Guns

There are few postcodes that house two Premier League grounds on either side of a park. The giants of Stanley Park, Liverpool and Everton, attract hundreds of thousands of football fans to the city, and that’s just for the games. Everton might have just signed for a new stadium at Bramley Moore, but that won’t stop the great names stepping onto the turf at the new Goodison or Anfield.

Game. Set. Match

Launched in 2002, the Liverpool Hope University International Tennis Tournament is now the longest running and the largest tennis exhibition in Europe. As well as up and coming stars, like Corinna Dentoni or Adam Jones, the legends matches have attracted some of the biggest names in the game. Now seen as an annual warm up to Wimbledon, the champions are familiar names, like Ivan Ljubičić, Marat Safin. Caroline Wozniacki and Martina Hingis.

Hit the waves

With all this water it makes sense Liverpool would be a hub for water sports. Whether it’s the Wake Park or the Watersports centre, there’s a chance to plunge the depth and get your sea legs. It might be kayaking, open water swimming or the triathlon. Wakeboarding lovers have also had the chance to watch, with the hosting of the Red Bull Harbour Reach where the world’s top wakeboarders compete and entertain the crowds at the Albert Dock.

The Golf Coast

Nine of England’s Golf Coast’s classic courses are within 20 miles of Liverpool city centre. So it’s not hard to imagine why the British Open comes to the North West so often, with three Open venues in the region. Royal Birkdale, Royal Liverpool, Formby, Ormskirk and more, the city is used to hosting those looking for a little relaxation after a few rounds of golf.

Great memories #theopen #2017 #golf #royalbirkdale #southport #summer

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Race to the finish

One of the glittering dates in Liverpool’s sporting calendar is the Grand National, the world’s most famous steeplechase. Thousands descend on the city for the three day meet, and even more watch at home or have a flutter. But it isn’t just in April that the city hosts the horses. Haydock and Aintree have regular events and are a staple of the racing calendar. The city region also hosts fine stables and training facilities for horses and jockeys.

2018 - The Art of Football

This year, Liverpool's sporting reputation will soar to brand new heights. To celebrate the popular culture of football and Liverpool's 10th anniversary since we were crowned European Capital of Culture, there's a month-long season of events and exhibitions that will begin with the kick of the World Cup itself on June 14th. Expect writers, photographers, music, fashion representatives and football fans to come together to tell the story of real people, places and times that shaped the modern game we know and love today, all across the world. 

With special input from our two football giants, Liverpool FC & Everton FC of course, you're guaranteed to see the nation, and the city’s, favourite sport in a whole new light – in a way you'll unlikely to have ever imagined.

Think you're up for it? Take a look at what's planned below. 

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