Firing on all fronts. Leicester is voted Britain's greatest sporting city

 
Oliver Gill
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Crystal Palace v Leicester City - Premier League
Leicester's fans have been lauded by their sports stars (Source: Getty)

Leicester City may be making a stuttering start to their defence of the Premier League title but last season's heroics helped them jump to the top of the UK's greatest sporting cities of 2016.

Leaping 17 places and pushing Manchester down to second place, Leicester's success wasn't just down to its football team.

Leicester Tigers made the Aviva Premiership rugby play-off finals meanwhile Leicestershire are currently riding high in county cricket, pushing for a promotion place from Division Two with only four games left to play.

The survey, prepared by ESPN in conjunction with the University of Bath calculated the ranking based on 12 separate factors.

Fans said that value for money in sport was the single most important factor, meanwhile match day atmosphere and the success of professional teams were also highly valued.

Read more: Hull to be whipping boys and why Leicester won't be top six

"It’s hard to explain exactly what impact last season had on this city but just by walking around the streets you can see there’s blue in almost every shop window," said Leicester City captain Wes Morgan.

"This has always been a sporting city, with great local support for all of our teams and sportspeople, and it is good to see that status earning recognition from a wider audience," said Leicester Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill.

Lineker At Leicester
It is uncertain what effect Gary Lineker presenting Match of the Day in his underwear would have had on Leicester's ranking (Source: Getty)

Bournemouth may have battled against the odds to remain in the Premier League last season but this didn't stop them from plummeting down the rankings. Of the 49 cities it dropped the most – 24 places down to 46.

Wales struggled to secure the Six Nations title but Cardiff was still topped the rankings as being the best city for rugby. Leeds crested the charts for rugby league and cricket, meanwhile just down the road, York was second from bottom after seeing its football side slide out of the football league. Blackpool remained bottom.

Read more: Ladbrokes calls time on giant football odds after Leicester City win

Returning to Leicester and the city's football team, Morgan also revealed how he is capitalising on the city's sporting prowess.

"I'm involved in a tattoo shop in the city centre and since we won the league I’d say around 70 per cent of the tattoos we do are LCFC­ themed," he said.

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