Danny Hall: Leicester as the sporting capital of the UK? Not if Sheffield has anything to do with it!

Jamie Vardy in his days at Stocksbridge Park Steels
Jamie Vardy in his days at Stocksbridge Park Steels

After an evening celebrating the great and good of the region's professional football scene last night, Sheffield was brought back down to earth with an almighty bump this morning thanks to a BBC website which posed the question: Have Leicester City turned the city into the UK's sporting capital?

A fair one, you may say. The Foxes have just pulled off the biggest shock of the modern sporting era - if not all time - by winning the Premier League title and, on the same evening, Mark Selby was crowned World Snooker champion. The city's basketball and women's football teams have tasted success, too.

The article, by East Midlands-based writer Andrew Aloia, then goes on to examine Leicester's rivals. Manchester; again, fair enough. United, City, Wigan, Tyson Fury. London, with Anthony Joshua, Spurs, the Olympic Stadium.

Other cities with a claim, according to Aloia, are Glasgow, Cardiff and Newport. And there's a mention, too, for Nottingham. One major player, though, is conspicuous in its absence; Sheffield.

Sport in this city has arguably never been more successful, so let's remind Andrew, the BBC and the wider sporting world of what we have to offer. Fair enough, the achievement of Claudio Ranieri's men can't be matched but the Steel City has two big clubs of its own; one of which, Wednesday, could still yet seal promotion to the Premier League this season.

The other, United, still regularly attract crowds of 19,000 in League One, where they play in the oldest professional stadium in the world. Bramall Lane is one of only two grounds to have hosted an England football international, an England cricket Test match and an FA Cup final.

Olympic 2012 queen Jessica Ennis-Hill

Olympic 2012 queen Jessica Ennis-Hill

Oh, and the game which Leicester have been playing so brilliantly all season? It was invented in Sheffield, too. Sheffield FC are the world's first football club; Hallam's Sandygate is the oldest football ground in the world. How's that for history? It's lived on, too. The Sheffield and District Junior Sunday League is the biggest in Europe, with over 1,000 teams. Sheffield FC's Ladies side made history, too, by reaching the Women's Super League last season.

Curiously, Aloia's BBC article boasts of Leicestershire, the city's cricket team who went nearly three years without winning a game until last summer. So we'll mention Yorkshire, the most successful cricket team in the world; which was founded at Sheffield's Adelphi Hotel, and began life at Bramall Lane before leaving for Leeds.

The Adelphi Hotel was also instrumental in forming both United and Wednesday, and was demolished to make way for the Crucible Theatre; which now hosts the World Snooker Championships every year. A remarkable 210million viewers from China alone watched this year's event and the tournament will remain at the 980-seat Crucible for another 11 years.

The achievements of Leicester Riders - British Basketball League champions and BBL Trophy winners - are rightly championed, and they chase a domestic treble this weekend when they compete in the BBL play-off final at London's O2 Arena on Sunday. Standing in their way are the Sheffield Sharks. Across the city, Sheffield Hatters are not only this city's most successful basketball team; they're the most-decorated sports club in this country. Since the early 1990s, they've banked over 50 titles.

Sheffield's finest

Sheffield's finest

What about Kell Brook, the IBF world welterweight champion who grew up inspired by the likes of Naseem Hamed, 'Bomber' Graham, Clinton Woods? Joe Root, the world's No.2 Test ranked batsman, comes from Dore. Jessica Ennis-Hill, our London 2012 heptathlon queen, looks to retain her Olympic gold medal this summer in Rio.

Danny Willett, from Hackenthorpe, is the Masters champion. Fellow Sheffield golfer Matt Fitzpatrick won the British Masters last year. Kyle Walker, the Spurs and England right-back, hails from the city; Jamie Vardy, who inspired Leicester to their fairytale title, does too. We have a Wimbledon winner and a squash world champion, too, in Jonny Marray and Nick Matthew. Sheffield is no stranger to making a racket in sporting circles.

Sheffield Steelers have won the Elite League title for the past two seasons. Take into account the Premier League speedway team Sheffield Tigers and rugby league side Sheffield Eagles, the Steel City has a club in every major team sport in this country.

World champion boxer Anthony Joshua hails from London, but trains at Sheffield's English Institute of Sport, as did Nicola Adams in the build up to her historic medal at London 2012. City swimmers Ellie Faulkner and Max Litchfield will travel to Rio this summer for the Olympics.

England cricket star Joe Root

England cricket star Joe Root

The Olympic Legacy Park, to be built on the site of the demolished Don Valley Stadium, will ensure the spirit of 2012 will never be forgotten but the city's sporting status apparently is. Be proud of what we have, Sheffield; a legacy and a history that cities around us can only dream of. Even if they're apparently reluctant to admit it.

Bramall Lane, the world's oldest professional football ground

Bramall Lane, the world's oldest professional football ground

Danny Willett, the 2016 Masters champion

Danny Willett, the 2016 Masters champion