It’s no secret that England have a chequered past when it comes to world cup performance. In recent world cups the expectations placed on England’s performance has rarely been delivered, and that’s no surprise, while England haven’t got as far through the competition as they statistically should, winning the world cup is a monstrous achievement that requires everything to fall in to place, even at the very best of times.
With so much analysis on the selection process we decided to take a look at the 10 areas of the UK that have consistently provided the most England world cup player selections. While some of the areas might not come as a big surprise as they have several top-flight clubs, other areas that do very well in consistently coming up with some of the country’s best players that are regularly selected for the national team.
We take a look at each area and some of the most prominent players that they have produced
1. Greater London
It’s no surprise that Greater London provides the lion share of England world cup selections, it is not only the most densely populated area of England, but it also has the most premiership clubs. This combination not only means there is simply more population to choose from, but that wannabe professional footballers generally have a better chance of working their way up to becoming professional players.
Merseyside has a great footballing history and that shows in the fact they are able to provide so many world cup selections. With 2 major clubs in the area which are responsible for the longest running professional derby in England, it’s no surprise that the area consistently inspires young footballers to pursue the game professionally and ultimately achieve world cup caps.
3. Greater Manchester
Similarly to Merseyside, Greater Manchester has a long standing top-flight footballing history with another of England’s great derbies. The Manchester area provided 4 players to the world cup winning squad of 1966, with the most notable contribution from Sir Geoff Hurst who famously scored a hat-trick in the 1966 final.
Yorkshire might not historically have the player quality that some of the other areas of the UK can boast but the area has consistently provided world cup player selections. The 2018 team is the most Yorkshire-heavy team on record, with 6 Yorkshire players in the selection, Jamie Vardy is one of the most notable selections, who originally hailed from Doncaster in South Yorkshire.
While no Essex players made it into the 2018 world cup selection the area does have a history of producing world cup players including the captain of the world cup winning 1966 squad – Bobby Moore. The same squad also had 2 other selections from Essex meaning it was the most Essex heavy squad selection to date.
Not particularly known for it’s top clubs, Northumberland still manages to get in to the top 10 of world cup selection contributing areas thanks to footballing legends Jack and Bobby Charlton who not only contributed heavily to the winning squad of ‘66 but have been legends of the game ever since.
As one of the home counties, Hertfordshire has produced some stars over the years, one of most notable mentions is England’s current manager Gareth Southgate who was selected to play for England in 1998 and 2002 and hailed from Watford in Hertfordshire.
8. Tyne and Wear
Tyne and Wear has a great footballing history and has produced some of England’s most recognisable and charismatic footballers of all time, such as Paul Gascoigne, Chris Waddle and Alan Shearer. The current selection Tyne and Wear selection of Jordan Henderson who is seen by many as central to England’s 2018 squad.
9. County Durham
Until this year’s selection of Jordan Pickford as England’s principal goalkeeper, County Durham hadn’t had an England selection since Bryan Robson in 1990, previously to that they contributed players to most of world cup squads, but currently the area is not known for it top-flight contributions to the footballing leagues.
A rich footballing past means that Lancashire is home to the Premiership team of Blackburn, the club was founded in 1882 and manage to finish the previous season in 7th place. The area has also managed to provide England players consistently over the years including teams from both this year’s England world cup team and the team of 1966.
This article is written by Marcus. Marcus is the founder of EnglishCountryHouse.co.uk who celebrate all things English countryside as well as helping you to discover the perfect location for your next country side getaway.
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Founder and editor of Footiecentral. A voracious reader who loves reading anything and everything related to the history of football. He’s an ardent supporter of Manchester United and rarely misses a match.