Wars of the roses: How the rivalry between Yorkshire and Lancashire still exists today
The Wars of the Roses were a series of English civil wars fought between the House of Lancaster and the House of York in order to gain control of the throne of England, and all these years later a rivalry between Yorkshire and Lancashire still exists.
However, although May 22 will see the anniversary of the beginning of the Wars of the Roses, this rivalry is of a more playful nature than that of the medieval battle many years ago.
The name of this 30 year old battle is said to have derived from the badges used by the two sides, the red rose for the Lancastrians and the white rose for the Yorkists, these still being used to represent the two sides today.
The term ‘Roses rivalry’ is usually used to refer to sporting rivalries between Lancashire and Yorkshire.
This term has been used to describe the rivalries between Leeds United and Manchester United and other traditional East Lancashire and West Yorkshire clubs including Bradford City vs Burnley, Halifax Town vs Rochdale and Huddersfield Town vs Oldham Athletic.
‘Roses Match’ refers to any game of cricket played between Yorkshire County Cricket Club and Lancashire County Cricket Club.
The Rugby League War of the Roses, also known as The Origin Series, was an annual rugby league series played between professional players from Yorkshire and Lancashire. The first ever game was played in 1895 and was held nearly every year until 1991. Although it was revived in 2001 under the name of The Origin Series, it ceased again in 2003, but many supporters are rallying for this tournament to return.
The sporting rivalry between the two counties has even filtered through to University life, with an annual sporting competition called the ‘Roses Tournament’ existing between University of York and Lancaster University. This tournament began in 1965 and has been described numerous times as the largest inter-university sports tournament in Europe.
White vs Red: 10 ongoing rivalries between the two counties
When it comes to the ongoing who trumps who between the white rose county and it’s red counterpart, there are many debates over which county comes out on top, whether it be music, sport or food.
Here are a few of the ongoing rivalries between the two counties:
1. Yorkshire Pudding vs Rag Pudding
One is battery goodness, the other is minced meat and onions wrapped in a suet pastry. Both comforting and both delicious- but which one is the best?
Yorkshire has John Smith's, Lancashire has Thwaites - the battle between the best beer continues.
Lancashire born Oasis are known all over the world, but when BBC 6 Music asked its listeners to vote for which Britpop record was the best Sheffield band Pulp's anthem Common People won. So, who does music better- the whites or the reds?
There has always been an ongoing rivalry between Yorkshire and Lancashire when it comes to rugby, but with Huddersfield inventing the rugby league in 1895 does this mean Yorkshire comes out on top?
Leeds United wear white and Manchester United wear red- the colours of the two roses run deep.
6. Fish and Chips
Although Lancashire entrepreneur John Lees may have opened the first fish and chip shop in the North of England, Yorkshire currently holds the crown for best fish and chip shop in the UK. So, who does the best fish and chips- Yorkshire or Lancashire?
7. Curry houses
Although Manchester has its renowned Curry Mile, in 2016 Bradford was named ‘Curry Capital’ of Britain for the sixth time.
Yorkshire has Yorkshire Tea and Lancashire has Lancashire Tea- but with many people throughout the UK endorsing Yorkshire Tea- is one better than the other?
9. Hot Pot
Yorkshire Hot Pot or Lancashire Hot Pot- the rivalry between food continues.
10. Size of the two counties
With Yorkshire being quite a bit bigger than Lancashire, some Yorkshire folk will debate that this alone makes it better than Lancashire- but does this make Yorkshire better?