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London Born Footballers

I found this article by Bill Edgar in Monday's Times interesting.

Wayne Rooney won his 100th cap at football’s spiritual home of Wembley, in northwest London, but England’s four capital-born centurions all hail from the opposite end of the city, which is the real hotbed of the game in the metropolis.

David Beckham (Leytonstone), Bobby Moore (Barking), Ashley Cole (Stepney) and Frank Lampard (Romford) represent a half of London that has produced a large majority of the city’s talent.

Imagine drawing a line through the centre of the capital, from north-northeast to south-southwest: the area to the right has supplied more than two thirds of the London-born players in the top two divisions at present.

In the 17 boroughs to the right of this line live 4.3 million people, while the 16 boroughs to the left contain 3.9 million, a fairly even split. Yet, of the 94 London-born players in first-team squads at Barclays Premier League or Sky Bet Championship clubs at present, 67 players were born on the eastern half of the line and only 27 on the western half.

The borough of Barking and Dagenham in the east of London stands out, as does Greenwich in the southeast, with 20 players between them.

Barking, home of the aforementioned Moore, is also the birthplace of John Terry, Bobby Zamora, Paul Konchesky and Dean Marney, among others. Greenwich has spawned Glen Johnson, Chris Smalling, Kieran Richardson and Shaun Wright-Phillips.

To the left of the line, Barnet, Ealing and Hillingdon all have bigger populations than those two eastern boroughs, yet they have produced only two players among them who are in the top two divisions at present.

Comments

  • Greenwich has spawned Glen Johnson, Chris Smalling, Kieran Richardson and Shaun Wright-Phillips.


    None of whom played for Charlton!
  • It's hardly a surprise, footballers have generally come from working class families which historically have always been in greater number in East London than compared to West. What is interesting (and without getting into an immigration debate) is whether this will change in the coming years? A greater number of Asian families now and historically have yielded very few footballers, white British families moving out of London and recently European migration.
  • I am surprised we are not already seeing a heavy sprinkling of players with Polish surnames in the youth set ups of all the London clubs.
  • 'Greenwich has spawned Glen Johnson, Chris Smalling, Kieran Richardson and Shaun Wright-Phillips.'


    Sorry about that.
  • Probably be a few more years yet, the majority of Eastern Europeans who come over are young and single, so you're probably looking another 10 years before we start seeing some young Lewandowski's coming through.
  • edited November 2014
    LenGlover said:

    Greenwich has spawned Glen Johnson, Chris Smalling, Kieran Richardson and Shaun Wright-Phillips.


    None of whom played for Charlton!

    Nope, but Kieran Richardson played for Samuel Montagu as a kid and i got MOM for marking him out of the game in a cup final, he only scored 5 in an 8-0 victory over my Long Lane team at the time!

    Funny thing was, we beat them 2-1 a week later in the league, he scored the 1!
  • We don't buy stars, we make them.
  • colthe3rd said:

    It's hardly a surprise, footballers have generally come from working class families which historically have always been in greater number in East London than compared to West. What is interesting (and without getting into an immigration debate) is whether this will change in the coming years? A greater number of Asian families now and historically have yielded very few footballers, white British families moving out of London and recently European migration.

    There have been a good few programmes on TV about how Asian families expect their kids to work hard at and perform well at their schools/universities. They seem to drive their children hard to be successful. Let's face it, if you qualify to be a vet, doctor, dentist, lawyer or accountant, to name a few, you get a much better chance at having a long-standing, well-paid career than if you take your (slim) chances in football where you've got to be very good/very lucky to carve out a decent living.

    I'd guess there are maybe 500+ lawyers earning seven figure sums in the "magic circle" City law firms alone. One of the firms is reported to be paying their marketing guy 500k. Of the "big four" accountancy firms, KPMG reportedly pay their 600-odd partners around £700k the others will be similar, Deloittes maybe more. So you are talking about 2500-3000 jobs plus a similar number of bankers each taking a seven-figure sum. Those jobs will all be open to Brits too. (HMRC figures now indicate that 18,000 people earn £1mn+ a year - how many of them play football - 400, maybe?)

    So, okay, maybe your average premier league footballer earns gets paid more per year than almost everybody. But for how long and how many of then are British? About 100?

    Whose to argue with that kind of logic?
  • No I agree, I was more pointing towards the likelihood that fewer footballers will be originating from London over the coming years because of situations like that.
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