With its mix of cultures the area is fast becoming one of the most productive breeding grounds for young talent who have grown up playing on estates and in parks
As some black-cab drivers in London used to insist, we never go south of the river. But when England’s Under-21s run out at Tynecastle on Tuesday there is one part of the country that should take particular pride. Having qualified for next year’s European Championship in Italy and San Marino with a 7-0 win against Andorra on Thursday, Aidy Boothroyd’s side to face Scotland could include as many as eight players born and raised in south London – an area fast becoming one of the most productive breeding grounds on the planet.
As well as the regulars Tammy Abraham and Under-20 World Cup winner Ademola Lookman, who hail from Camberwell, Boothroyd’s squad has been boosted by the emergence of a new generation of young players including Roehampton’s Ryan Sessegnon of Fulham and Reiss Nelson, the Arsenal forward on loan at Hoffenheim this season. His fellow 18-year-old, the Kennington‑raised Jadon Sancho, was one of four south Londoners named in Gareth Southgate’s senior squad last week, moreover, along with the young goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli (Croydon), Joe Gomez (Catford) and Nathaniel Chalobah (Gypsy Hill).