Around 100 million people around the world listen to a podcast at least once a month, and that number is only predicted to grow higher in the years to come. Increased numbers of listeners mean more podcasts, and there are an estimated 850,000 active pods on the go right now.
With so many to choose from, it can be devilishly difficult to find a podcast which is worthy of your attention. That’s where we come in, because we have trawled the internet and listened to countless hours worth of sports podcasts in order to find the right ones for you.
Top Sports Podcasts from Around the World
Our list of the best sports podcasts is in no particular order, as your preference will depend greatly upon which sport is your favourite. However, we have awarded a gold medal (🥇) to the podcast in each category which we think is the best. Our selection comes from the UK, Ireland and the US and covers a broad range of sporting topics, including podcasts on golf, football, tennis, boxing, the NFL and more.
If you are looking for a new sports pod to while away the time during your commute, when going for a run or taking care of chores around the house, then we have got you covered. Read on to find out our choices for the best sporting podcasts for 2021:
Best Football Podcasts:
The Football Ramble
A group of mates chatting about football. Sounds like the kind of podcast just about anyone could make, except the scores of failed attempts tell a different story. The four hosts of this podcast – Luke, Peter, Marcus and Jim – have managed to create a fun and bantz-tastic podcast which straddles that fine line between silly and serious. The boys have been Rambling about footy since 2007, and show no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
🥇Quickly Kevin, Will He Score?
This podcast takes the (infamous) line of commentary when commentator Brian Moore asked Kevin Keegan how David Batty would fare from the penalty spot for England. (Here’s how that worked out). Comedian Josh Widdicombe is your amiable host here, in the company of mates Michael and Chris. This is a fast-paced and funny pod with a focus on football in the ’90s and lots of starry guests from the worlds of football and comedy.
This is the perfect football podcast for people who really don’t care too much – or even at all – about football. Comedian Bob Mortimer and writer Andy Dawson started out to make a podcast taking a sideways look at football, but over the years it has morphed into something altogether weirder. This is a bit of a marmite podcast in that some people love it while others just can’t get onto its wavelength, but give it a listen to see if it tickles your funny-bone.
Guardian Football Weekly
One of the oldest podcasts on our list, Football Weekly has been doing its stuff since 2006. Some might argue that the pod suffered when it lost original host James Richardson, but Max Rushden has won around most of the non-believers, and cynical journo Barry Glendenning has been there since the beginning. Regular contributors like Sid Lowe and Jonathan Wilson help to provide a fully-rounded picture of the English and international football scene.
That Peter Crouch Podcast
This is one of the most popular podcasts of any description in the UK, and Peter Crouch has proved to be a natural as a podcast host. Crouchy never seemed to take himself too seriously on the pitch – as that famous robot dance would suggest – and he takes a similarly light-hearted approach to podcasting. Co-hosts DJ Chris Stark and journalist Tom Fordyce help to keep the show on the tracks.
The Second Captains is a group of five Irish radio personalities who have migrated to the medium of podcasting and become a huge success. Irish Times journalist Ken Early is undoubtedly the star of the show, albeit ably supported by Eoin, Murph and a host of regular contributors. The show covers all sports, with football taking centre stage, and although to enjoy the 6 pods a week released by the Captains you need a paid subscription, you can check out their Monday podcasts for free.
Undr The Cosh
We have all heard crushingly dull interviews with professional athletes, but Undr The Cosh manages to give us unvarnished and often hilarious football interviews every week. The fact that two of the three presenters (Browny, Jon and Chris) are former lower-league pros means that they tend to get more authentic responses from the current and ex players they meet. This makes this pod one of the most authentic sources for all you ever wanted to know about life as a professional footballer.
Mark Chapman is your (main) host for this BBC podcast for those who want to keep on top of all the latest footy news. If you are familiar with the presenting style of BBC 5 Live then you will know what to expect here: comprehensive football news and views delivered in a bright and breezy tone.
Best Golf Podcasts:
🥇No Laying Up
Solly is the host of this all-encompassing golf podcast, and he is joined by regular contributors as well as some famous golfing names. Golf can sometimes take itself too seriously, but there is no danger of that here, where serious and fun golf stories from around the world are given equal space. If you only need one golf podcast to keep you up to the latest in the PGA – albeit from an American perspective – then this is the one for you.
There’s a distinctly Scottish twang to the Bunkered podcast, with Michael McEwan on hosting duties in the company of various scribes from the Bunkered magazine. Scotland is the home of golf, of course, but this pod doesn’t limit itself to what takes place in Northern Britain. All the golfing issues of the day are covered here, with journos and big name golfers from around the world giving their takes on the latest news and views.
The Fried Egg Podcast
A ‘fried-egg lie’ in golf is when your ball ends up in a bunker, plugged in the centre of the little crater formed when it landed. This American podcast is less about keeping up with the weekly golf news – although this is covered – and more about taking a broader look at the game. The pod is interested in the architecture of courses, as well as various macro interests around the sport, which makes for a nice change of pace and some thoughtful conversations.
The Rick Shiels Golf Show
Anyone who has scoured YouTube in an attempt to shave a few shots off their golf game will almost certainly have come across Rick Shiels. The podcast he presents with Producer Guy isn’t specifically about improving your game, however, and instead covers all things golf related. Time spent in the company of these two amiable blokes makes for very easy listening.
Best Boxing Bodcasts:
🥇5 Live Boxing With Costello & Bunce
Mike Costello is the silver-tonsilled voice of boxing on BBC radio, while Steve Bunce is the grizzled veteran of the boxing scene in the UK. Together they make for the perfect podcasting partnership, and if you are a fan of British boxing you won’t want to miss out on their chats about the domestic and international game, peppered with interviews from the biggest names in pugilism. After-timers Welcome!
Hotboxin’ With Mike Tyson
Mike Tyson remains one of the biggest names in boxing over the last 30 or more years, so it is little surprise that his podcast has become a big success. Iron Mike interviews famous figures from boxing, UFC and the world of entertainment, and his name ensures that he attracts some high-calibre guests. The show is more about Mike than the guests, while co-host actor Jeremy Piven keeps the conversation rolling along.
Best Tennis Podcasts:
No Challenges Remaining
Ben Rothenberg and Courtney Nguyen are your hosts for this Stateside podcast on pro tennis. The podcast follows the WTA and ATP tours, giving updates from the major event, while also featuring tangential episodes on more general issues related to the sport.
🥇The Tennis Podcast
The Tennis Podcast provides a British perspective on the sport, featuring BBC radio presenter David Law and Prime TV presenter Catherine Whitaker, plus long-time ‘intern’ Matt Roberts. Their podcast is very similar in content to the afore-mentioned No Challenges Remaining, except that The Tennis Podcast comes from this side of the pond.
Best Cricket Podcasts:
Test Match Special
Test Match Special is a BBC institution known to cricket fans from all over the globe. Jonathan ‘Aggers’ Agnew is the regular presenter, joined by journalists, players and famous cricket fans from the world of entertainment. The show doesn’t just focus on test matches, despite the name, but instead covers all forms of the game and is the go-to podcast for lovers of the venerable radio show.
Tailenders is another cricketing podcast from the Beeb, but is very different in tone to its ‘big brother’ TMS. Presented by BBC DJ Greg James, cricketer James Anderson and musician Felix White, this is a freewheeling pod that takes cricket as its starting point and goes from there. This show has developed an almost cultish following, as the loyal army of ‘Tailenders’ from around the globe will attest.
Best NFL Podcasts:
🥇Around the NFL
A really great podcast gets under your skin after a while, to the point where you start to feel like the hosts are more like friends than broadcasters. Certainly that is the case with the NFL’s finest podcasting crew, as evidenced by the widespread outpouring of grief online when key member Chris Wesselling tragically passed away from cancer. The remaining trio of Dan, Marc and Gregg have continued to cover the NFL with their customary wit and humour, making this one of the most popular Stateside sports pods in the UK.
Inside the Huddle
The Inside the Huddle podcast has gone through various incarnations over the years, the only constant being the presence of Sky Sports NFL host Neil Reynolds. The partnership between Reynolds and straight-shootin’ Coach Jeff Reinebold is when this podcast is at its best, although in recent years the synching up with the Sky Sports TV show during the season has meant that the pod has lost some of its organic feel.
Best Rugby Podcasts:
The Rugby Pod
Host Andy Rowe is joined by former rugby internationals Jim Hamilton and Andy Goode in this Spotify podcast. The Rugby Pod claims to be the most listened to rugby podcast in the world, and they certainly manage to attract high-calibre guests for their weekly shows. The presenting team are clearly comfortable in each others company and this results in a free-flowing and relaxed show which still manages to rigorously cover the issues of the day.
🥇The Good The Bad & The Rugby
Payno, Tinds and Hask are the kind of nicknames you’d expect from a trio of bantering rugger podcast presenters, but luckily this pod rises well above chuntering lad-bantz. ‘Tinds’ and ‘Hask’ are former England internationals Mike Tindall and James Haskin, alongside journalist Alex Payne. The lads find the right balance between humour and intelligent analysis, with the two ex-players bringing their experience to bear when taking on the big issues in the game.
Best NBA Podcasts:
🥇The Bill Simmons Podcast
Bill Simmons is something of a legend in US sports media circles, starting his own website as ‘The Boston Sports Guy’ before joining ESPN and eventually creating sports/pop-culture site The Ringer. Simmons’ podcast is an offspring of The Ringer, and gives Bill free reign to chat with various guests about US sports stories in general, with an emphasis on his beloved NBA.
Best Formula 1 Podcasts:
The Race F1 Podcast
Edd Straw is your host in this F1 pod which takes a look at stories around the sport. Scott Mitchell, Gary Anderson and Mark Hughes are regular contributors, and together they shine a light on some of the big issues of the day in Formula One. This is one of those podcast where you always come away from it a little wiser than when you started listening.
🥇F1: Chequered Flag
For fans of a certain age, ‘The Chain’ by Fleetwood Mac is the F1 theme tune, and when this podcast opens with that distinctive music you know you are in good hands. BBC F1 journalists Jennie Gow and Jack Nicholls are joined by former F1 driver Jolyon Palmer to break down the latest news from the grid. Each Grand Prix gets a preview show plus a review of qualifying and then the race itself, meaning that you get a comprehensive account of how the season is unfolding.
All of the podcasts on our list are up to date and regularly releasing episodes (at time of publication) so we won’t point you in the direction of any lapsed and outdated sports pods.
If you have spotted any glaring omissions in our list then make sure to comment below and let us know exactly where we have gone wrong. Otherwise, hopefully this list will have pointed you in the direction of a couple of sports pods you may have missed – happy listening!
…And if you fancy using your eyes rather than your ears, check out our list of the best sports books of all time to find some real gems among the 100 we’ve picked out.