Why is Boxing day such an iconic day in football?

In this article we will take a closer look at the history and significance behind Boxing Day in football and why is it celebrated like an iconic day, 

Boxing Day football, which has been played for decades, is one of the biggest sporting traditions in the UK and is still a major event in English football. Football was customarily played on Christmas Day starting in the heyday of the sport in England at the turn of the 20th century and continuing through the 1950s as it was one of the few days off for the working class and a day for celebration, fun, and sports.

What is Boxing Day in Football? 

The day following Christmas is customarily observed as Boxing Day. It’s a British habit to watch football after Christmas Day, even though it’s the vacation season and footballers are frequently said to need a break. Teams in the Premier League compete twice weekly during this time, which includes Christmas, Boxing Day, and New Year’s Day. During the holidays, the majority of European top divisions are suspended, but not in England.


Boxing Day originated from the idea that you should have more of everything at Christmas, including food, family time, and sporting events. As its name might imply, boxing is not a part of the celebration of Boxing Day. The name derives from a British custom in which the wealthy would give gifts to the less fortunate the day following Christmas. The day on which this exchange takes place is known as “Boxing Day,” and the gifts are beautifully wrapped and placed in boxes.

It is a joyful occasion, as the tradition says. Sports were played on special occasions in the past, before professional football, and this is maybe where the tradition of playing football on Boxing Day originated. It wasn’t until 1863 that professional football was a thing. During the reign of Queen Victoria, football games were played on special occasions and on days off from work. For the working class, two games played in two days during the vacation season may end up being the only games they got to watch.

Football clubs opted to capitalize on the fact that these days were bank holidays because they could easily increase attendance while everyone was off. As a result, the Bank Holiday Legislation Act played a significant role in creating the tradition of Boxing Day football.

Why is it called Boxing Day?

The name derives from the custom of wealthy families, who on the day following Christmas Day would package up and distribute gifts to their employees. Then, as Christmas presents, the slaves would deliver such boxes to their families. Although it was once a day when masters would distribute gifts to the underprivileged, today it is a well-liked shopping day in the UK.

Why is football played in the UK on Boxing Day?

Football games between British teams used to be played on Christmas Day in the past, but this tradition was abandoned in the 1950s when December 25 was viewed as just a family day. As a result, the final Christmas Day football game was played in 1957, and Boxing Day football became a UK tradition after that. 

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