Here at FanHub, we’ve been having a look at the best fans in each division over the past few weeks – and now we’ve got to the Championship.
Arguably one of Europe’s top divisions, despite being England’s second tier, the Championship is home to some excellent footballers. But, more importantly for us, it’s home to some excellent sets of fans.
The likes of Derby County, Birmingham City, Nottingham Forest, and Sheffield Wednesday are all massive clubs – and bring with them massive supporter bases. Their fans are loyal, dedicated, and will go to any length to watch their team.
But who has the best fans in the Championship? Do you agree with our choices? Does your club have the best fans?
5th – Nottingham Forest
The Tricky Trees’ faithful may rank highly on our list here, but we haven’t put them as the best.
Despite their on-pitch fortunes being poor in relation to their club’s size over the past two decades, Reds fans have stuck by their team all the way. In the last fully completed season, 2018/19, Forest recorded the third best average home attendance in the division – 28,144 – only beaten by Leeds United (34,033) and Aston Villa (36,029).
The rendition of Mull of Kintyre before home games is nothing short of astonishing. Many a set of travelling fans have tried to out-sing their home counterparts before kick-off at the City Ground; none have been successful.
But their support isn’t just limited to the city itself. Forest’s faithful is renowned for its associations across the globe, many thanks to the club’s rich history and successes. Some stretch as far as as Toronto, where a group of Reds regularly tune in via iFollow – but also make trips over when possible!
A club with both a fanbase and setup fit for the Premier League, it is surely only a matter of time before the men in Garibaldi Red are back in the top flight.
4th – Derby County
Edging their local rivals by just a place, Derby County come in at fourth for us.
Numbers wise, Derby fans have continuously posted attendances far above the division’s average – and beaten quite a few Premier League sides in the process, too. Away from home, the Rams’ followings have been equally as impressive.
But it’s not all about numbers for us, and that’s what makes Derby stand out. Their fans are among some of the most vocal in the division, the hardest to out-sing, and most passionate. Pride Park’s South Stand, situated directly next to the away followings, is arguably one of the loudest in the country at times, whether their side are with or without the lead.
The club has a wide range of supporters groups available, covering fans from a diverse set of backgrounds. Their involvement in the local community is second-to-none and thoroughly deserves recognition.
3rd – Birmingham City
The St Andrews faithful are notoriously loud, passionate, and come in at third on our list. Their average attendances might not be the highest, having stood in at 22,483 for the 2018/19 season, but there’s more to it than that.
Away from home, Blues always travel in good numbers – and for any that don’t make the trip, those that are there certainly make up for them vocally. Keep Right On is one of the most famous anthems and can be regularly heard throughout your town when the Bluenoses are around.
But their fans are far more than vocal. Over recent years, the club’s supporters have stuck with them through some difficult times, narrowly avoiding relegations to League One. The 2011 Carling Cup victory may have seemed nothing more than a distant memory at times, but Blues fans still turned up in large numbers.
The Second City derby is one of the fiercest in English football – if not the fiercest – and is a testament to the passions of both clubs’ supporters. Blues are a club steeped in history and culture, and their fanbase is nothing more than an excellent representation of that.
2nd – Luton Town
Bedfordshire outfit Luton Town are second, flying the flag for the South.
The Kenny is one of the most atmospheric grounds in the division, largely thanks to Town’s support. Almost all areas of the ground are regularly up on their feet cheering the Hatters on, making for an intimidating – but exciting! – experience as an away fan.
The fans also played a huge role in the club’s fight against administration back in 2007, numerous protests helping eventually bring some form of resolution – though no thanks to the FA. Throughout their non-League era, the fans still stuck behind their team until they were finally promoted back to League Two in 2014.
After their troubles of the late 00s, Hatters fans have been rewarded with plenty of success over recent years and their vocal, passionate support can very much be attributed to this. It’s starting to look like Luton might become an established Championship fixture over coming years, and their fans will be very much welcome.
1st – Sheffield Wednesday
But topping our list – though you may not agree! – are the famous Sheffield Wednesday, a club who without any doubt belong a division up.
Wednesday’s average attendances have fluctuated over past years, though much of this can be attributed to the extortionate ticket fees charged by the club. Despite both the increase in costs and a drop in quality on the pitch, however, the Owls have nevertheless continued to loyally back their team both home and away.
Football plays such a huge role in the culture of the Steel City – and at no time is this more apparent than on derby day. But last time out, it was used to do a lot of good. Both sets of fans between raised over £4000 for West Park Cancer Charity in buckets on the night at Hillsborough as the two sides played out a scoreless draw.
Their contribution to the national team must also not be forgotten. Though certainly by no means everybody’s cup of tea, the England Band have become synonymous with the national team’s travels in recent years and have become an integral part of English football culture.
So, do you agree with our choices here? Are there any others you would add in? Special mentions must go out to Huddersfield Town, Middlesbrough, and Cardiff CIty, all of whom having only narrowly missed out on being in our top five.
Regardless of who they support, all fans deserve better – and that’s what we’re looking to achieve here at FanHub. We’re building the app that rewards fans for their loyalty, giving power back to the supporters. After all, football is nothing without fans.
Last week, we also took a look at who we think are the best sets of fans in League Two. Do you agree with our choices?