The Rose Wars – The History of The Sports Rivalry Between Lancashire and Yorkshire

“The Wars of Roses” is a competition fought between the House of Lancaster and the House of York as a series of English civil wars. The name was derived from the house sigils and the colors associated with it; the Lancastrians with their red rose and the white rose for the Yorkists. This was to acquire control of the English throne. However, the rivalry continues even today between Yorkshire and Lancashire. Every year on May 22, there are the Wars of the Roses, conducted to commemorate the war that happened during medieval times. The whole event is a playful enactment of what was a gruesome battle centuries ago. The enmity is signified in almost everything that originates from the two counties. On May 22nd the war of the roses happens between the University of York and the Lancashire University. Each university will fight to show their superiority in a playful setting. The hosting university always tries to take home the superiority cup every year as well.

The Competition

The two schools assembling is itself a big event as it is the biggest inter-university sports competition throughout Europe. The magnitude of the event is not the only thing to look forward to. There are many events to participate in during the sporting day such as Snowboarding, American football, Equestrian, Dodgeball, Chess, Debating, Clay Shooting, and Ballroom dancing. It embraces an array of intellectual and sporting challenges to acclaim the rights and also to display their supremacy. The intervarsity contest is full of praise for holding the record as the biggest in Europe right from the day of its inception back in 1965. This competition brings egos to the line along with the sporting ethos and also provides invaluable opportunities to promote harmony between the staff, students, and ex-students of each university, respectively. The whole presentation of a historical event in a fun-filled, setting brings communities and people together.


This iconic enmity was acquired from the rose wars and is officially the qualifier for the enemity in football between Leeds United and Manchester United. The colors of the footballing teams also flatter the ethos of the rose’s rivalry and are prominently attached to the cricket matches between Lancashire and Yorkshire. The first ever cricket match goes back to the year 1867. Today, each of the counties has something to boast about every year and are forced to embrace. The requirement to this rivalry is between Cambridge and Oxford, where they take on a boat race. The rivalry between Lancaster and Yorkshire is symbolic as both are tough and not weak counties. On playday, there is much tension and hatred in the air in a friendly spirit that borders real hatred. The fans of each team also cannot stand each other. When the matches occur, it is an opportunity for the two communities to meet on a common sporting ground and attempt to fight off their rivalry in a sensible manner.