We all have a bit of a soft spot for Ron Weasley showing support for his brave Chudley Cannons even though they hadn’t actually won the League Cup since 1892. For some of us, though, orange isn’t a great colour (although, given how much it clashes with his hair, it probably isn’t Ron’s either). Luckily there are a lot of other teams in the British and Irish League to consider supporting – why not try some of these instead?
The Harpies are the only all-female team in the league, representing Holyhead in Wales. The volatile beater Gwenog Jones, who was described as ‘brilliant but dangerous’, famously captained them for a number of years. Jones later went on to manage the Welsh national team, and during the 2014 Quidditch World Cup had to be restrained by her own Beaters when she made a spirited attempted to curse the Brazilian team’s manager (he having referred to the Chasers on her team as ‘talentless hags’). Ginny Potter, née Weasley, was a big fan of Jones – even having a poster of her on her bedroom wall – and it was probably a great source of pride for Ginny when she went on to play professionally for the Harpies herself.
Hailing from the north of England, the Arrows have some of the most fetching uniforms in the league, clad as they are in pale blue robes with a silver arrow emblazed on them. They also boast a fantastic traditional crowd celebration – that being their fans firing arrows from their wands whenever an Appleby Chaser scored, though this was sadly banned when a referee received a free nose piercing from a wayward arrow.
Perhaps the Arrows’s most famous, not to mention most impressive, achievement, was triumphing over the Vratsa Vultures of Europe in a match that went on for 16 days. They’re a formidable team to put your name behind.
The Wimbourne Wasps, also from England, are named for an incident where their Beater batted a wasps’ nest at the Appleby Arrows's seeker (which has resulted in an enduring rivalry between the two teams). The Wasp’s robes are, somewhat predictably, striped in black and yellow, which suits the larger-than-life personality of Ludo Bagman, who played for them for some time before becoming the Head of the Department of Magical Games and Sports that Harry ran into at the 1994 World Cup. Fans of the Wasps call themselves Stingers, and buzz loudly during penalties in a spirited attempt to put the opposing Chasers off their game, so they’d be the team of choice for fans who like to bug their opponents.
This Northern Irish team are notable for their adorable mascot Barny the Fruitbat, who featured in a line of Butterbeer adverts. The bat theme is of course represented in the team robes, which are black with a scarlet bat logo, making them an imposing sight to see bearing down from the sky. The Ballycastle Bats are also notable for being the second most successful team in the British and Irish League with a total of twenty-seven league wins, which some people may consider of more importance than having a lovely mascot.
The Bats are pipped to the post for being the most successful team by the Montrose Magpies, a team from Scotland who have won the League Cup 32 times, and twice European Champions. They have, in recent years, lost some form after one of their Chasers became heavily invested in the Muggle game football and tried to introduce its techniques into Quidditch. This ultimately resulted in the Magpies losing a key match when the Snitch was kicked in the direction of their Seeker. This Chaser was ultimately fired, so the Magpies could be on the up and up again.
With rousing team songs to sing during matches like ‘Beat Back Those Bludgers, Boys, and Chuck That Quaffle Here’, Puddlemere United have some strong credentials for fans of the beautiful, broom-stick brandishing game. They not only poached former Gryffindor team captain Oliver Wood for their reserves, but are also Albus Dumbledore's team of choice.