Hands up all the Leeds United fans out there that consider Middlesbrough our number one rival?

What, none of you?

OK, that is a little unfair as we have many more reasons to hate other clubs after all.

Hands up if they’re in your top three?

…top five?

…surely someone ranks them in their top ten?

Whilst Middlesbrough v Leeds United may be no more significant that any other game for most Leeds United fans, this weekends game is considered the seasons highlight for our opponents.

It’s not unusual for teams to create unreciprocated rivalries with Leeds United, just look at Millwall and Norwich for recent examples. We were also rated the most hated club in England (a proud moment) in a poll run by the Football Fans Census, so another team hating Leeds United will surprise no one. But with Middlesbrough, things are a little different…

Geographically, they aren’t our closest rival. By current day boundaries, they’re not even in the same county. Since 1968, Middlesbrough was kicked out of Yorkshire and forced to start a new country called “Teeside”. Unaccepted by their neighbours, the Geordies and Sunderland (who contest their own bitter derby match and fail to recognise the existence of Boro), the fans of the unwanted Teeside town have strived to create a derby with anyone they can create even the thinnest of links to.

It’s in this geographical insignificance of Middlesbrough that the Teesider’s cling to their Yorkshire routes and demand acknowledgement from Leeds United fans as genuine Yorkshire rivals.

If Leeds United’s motto is to be ‘everyone hates us and we don’t care’ then it stands to reason that Middlesbrough’s should be ‘nobody cares and we hate it’.

In a shameless attempt to hype up this weekends match, the authors of comeonboro.com have been on a mission to add some validity to this imagined rivalry with a tireless array of posts designed to get a rise from the superior fans of Leeds United FC. Here’s an example of the content from the afore mentioned site;

Unfortunately when you used to come to Middlesbrough in the 70s and 80s, you always ran away when our Frontline appeared and you were never as big and hard as your reputation suggested..

Hands up if you’ve heard of the Frontline..? No one?

I rest my case your honour.

Click here for a slightly more sensible look ahead to the match.

16 Responses

  1. henry vincent lewis

    Welcome back TSS.
    I am not much for geographical rivalries.
    The club I regard as rivals are the ones at the top.
    The ones that can prevent us going up.
    That will probably include the Boro as they have plenty of money and a good manager.
    It is too early to know who will be at the top at the seasons end.
    It’s all so open just now.
    I hope we can sort our defensive problems soon.
    By that I include the midfield, who must get a grip and not let the opposition run through them.
    I know I said this last season and this but our collapses
    have had a lot to do with the midfield.

    Come on the boys.

    • lee

      well said, but also if the scum bags geordies and smelly mackems dont register us then why do they bring a huge turnout to the games we play against them, face facts, Boro are now a north east club, (and i’m a true boro fan, but u can stick ur yorkshire puddings up ur u know what) and we’ve won a cup played in three cup finals in a year and got to the UEFA cup final, mmmm so who’s bigger or better now

  2. Michael Pulford

    Hey lets not put down people who stick to their Yorkshire roots depite the ridiculous Local Government changes in 1974. Im happy to accept Boro as Yorkshire rather than north-eastern.

  3. Dje

    Middlesbrough have two ready and waiting derby opponents for them – Darlington and Hartlepool. They just need a couple of good seasons of relegation to make that dream come a reality. In this, I wish them the best of luck.

  4. Matt BB

    and dont forget youre never too big to plummet to new depths too my smoggy friends.

  5. TheReaper08

    @mattbb Come on now be more welcoming to our visitor.

    @mcg He has a point though, your SPL B list 11 aren’t exactly cutting a sway through the league are they ?

  6. kev cressey

    to be fair to boro I work up there a few days a week and theres not alot going on so they’ve got to get excited by something !! To the mackems there nothing and the geordies even less,personally i rate cardiff,sheff utd and hull more of a rivals then boro let them have their five minutes!!

  7. les irwin

    boro are a a perfect answer to all those who say celtic ,rangers etc should play in prem league they would be relegated in no time ..derbys though for leeds would include ,huddersfield ,bradford city for me ,donny ,sheffield etc are games like the rest i dont get this fascination with local derbys my god there is only 3 league clubs in westyorks

  8. les irwin

    for the record i had qpr to go up at paddy power before season started ,i had no expectations before season started so rivals never became a thought ,i dont think we will get a play off place and for me we dont need one as long as we finish not in a relegation place

  9. TheReaper08

    Good news everyone, apparently Betfair have just announced Boro as favourites for the game.

    Anyone paying attention to the accuracy surrounding there summer transfer predictions will now know this is now an away win banker.

  10. Clarkeonenil

    Your showing your relative youth with this one, if you ever went to Ayresome Park in the early 80’s then the smoggies are up their with the rest as hate material. Even our last PL visit had a massive edge fans wise to it!

  11. yorkwhite

    Sorry TSS but I have to disagree about your Yorkshire comments. Just because some Whitehall tosser divided our fine county up doesn’t mean that we have to accept it. I don’t care whether it’s North, South, East or West we’re still Yorkshire, the biggest and best county in the land. I agree however that Middlesbrough hardly registers on the derby scale; they’re just another wannabe club as far as I’m concerned. And the fact that hate us is hardly devastating, everyone does. Good to have you back BTW, where have you been? MOT

  12. Mike

    “Yorkshire routes?” sorry :-0
    A good reason to go up there is to partake of some Tetley Imperial which is unavailable elsewhere and the finest bitter anywhere.

  13. Mr. Blonde

    Teesside is spelt like this and not like this: Teeside. Ohh and you are wrong in that we are in fact a Yorkshire club as Cleveland was disbanded in 1996. Another thing I don’t get is how you say Sunderland don’t care about us. If they don’t care why do they sing ‘we hate boro’ and the infamous ‘Paedo’ chants? And the fact you say we try and build up a rivalry with anyone as no one cares, when in fact you try and build up this big rivalry with United and they don’t care. Your club is infatuated and full of jealousy.


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