Until the last 20 years or so, American Football has never really been taken that seriously in Britain. With rugby already one of the country’s most popular sports and considered to be very similar to - or if not better than - American Football by most, the game has struggled to make a big impact on this side of the Atlantic.

After American Football was brought to Britain by American and Canadian soldiers who were placed here in the Second World War, it gradually grew in interest over the latter half of the 20th Century before Channel 4 began to televise 1 NFL game per week, which was received with a surprisingly high volume of interest from overseas fans of the sport. There were several attempts by the USA to establish American Football leagues across Europe which all seemed to fail, but there was still quite a lot of enthusiasm for it.

Interest has grown since the turn of the century, largely due to the increased access to all American sports via the internet. Several teams have used this as an opportunity to expand their franchises globally, opening many British people’s eyes to less famous teams such as the Oakland Raiders rather than just the likes of the Dallas Cowboys. This has culminated in the establishment of the NFL International Series which has amplified this rise in popularity, with 4 sell-out games taking place in London last year at both Wembley and the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Alongside this, several British American Football teams have been founded. The British American Football Association (BAFA) was founded in 2010 and there are currently 62 adult teams across the country, with over 10 based around London alone such as the Kent Exiles who train and play in Sidcup. There are also plenty of opportunities for children between the ages of 7 and 18 as well, with a mixture of contact and non-contact flag leagues available for them.

But the big question that remains is whether a London NFL team, which has been rumoured for many years now, is likely to be established in the near future. The NFL has set a target of 2025 to do so, with the likes of Shahid Khan – owner of Fulham FC and the Jacksonville Jaguars – said to be interested in setting one up, especially after his failed attempt to buy Wembley Stadium was seen as an effort to find a ground where his current Jaguar team could move into permanently.

Either way, it now looks extremely clear that American Football is one of the country’s fastest growing sports, and that it is likely to become embedded into British culture very soon.