The data for this map was collected from Wikipedia. We collected and processed data from every English football player (past and present) that has a Wikipedia page - over 26,000 players! As well as each player's name and birthplace we also extracted the number of pageviews they have had in the last 12 months using Wikipedia's API (June 2018 - May 2019). Finally we organised all of the data to identify the most popular player from every location.
We were able to uncover some great insights from analysing the full dataset of players.
The north of England produces more players than the south, nearly 50% more, in fact.
The North West is the region that has produced the most professional football players with 3,804. London is a distant second with 2,824. The region that has produced the fewest number of players is the South West with 885.
The North East is the region with the most footballers per capita with 2,423 players in a population of just 2.6 million. That is nearly one footballer for every thousand people. The region that fares the worst here is the South East with one footballer for every six and a half thousand people.
The county that has produced the highest number of English players is Greater London. Followed by West Midlands and South Yorkshire. Rutland has produced the fewest.
The county that performs best per capita is Durham with one footballer in every 847 people. Northumberland and Tyne and Wear are second and third respectively.
The player with the most Wikipedia pageviews during the data collection period is Harry Kane. The top five also includes David Beckham, Wayne Rooney, Gareth Southgate and Raheem Sterling respectively.