Friday, 16 December 2011

Where do footballers live in London?

A salubrious corner of London has emerged as a honey pot for some of the world's top footballers, but it’s not just about the homes and open space. As Mary Wilson discovered, it’s all about an easy commute to “work”

If you walk down West Heath Road past the homes in Hampstead , London, NW3, you could very well bump into a Premier League footballer. The surrounding network of streets has become a honeypot for top footballers - most of which play, or have played, for one of London’s top teams, Arsenal.

The reason the big boys like it here, apart from the rather nice houses, apartments and highly salubrious neighbourhood, is the fact that it lies half way between the Emirates Stadium in Holloway Road, N7 and Arsenal’s training ground at London Colney, off the A41.

The majority of these star players may have now moved on from the Gunners, but they haven’t moved home – so the area, with its village feel, mix of period and new houses, and 1,000 acres of green open space (including Hampstead Heath), is obviously top of the league for them.

It all started when George Graham , a former Arsenal player and double winning manager of the Gunners from 1986 to 1995, first bought an apartment in NW3  's Oakhill Avenue, subsequently moving to a magnificent house in the exclusive cul-de-sac, Eden Close. 
Following Graham, Thierry Henry bought in Templewood Avenue, Patrick Vieira in Branch Hill and Freddie Ljungberg on The Bishop’s Avenue.  More recently, Samir Nasri bought a home in Wellgarth Road and both Cesc Fabregas (now with Barcelona) and Robin Van Persie (Arsenal’s prize goal scorer) bought in West Heath Road, although neither Nasri (who plays for Man City) and Fabregas (Barcelona) are there that often.  Even football agent, Darren Dein, is renting in a new development just off West Heath Road. 

If you fancy rubbing shoulders with one of these superstars, then Aston Chase  is selling a double fronted five bedroom neo Georgian detached house, close to where yet another footballer, William Gallas, lives in Elm Walk for £3.5 million.  

And opposite the celebrity house that the 2010 XFactor contestants stayed in, Aston Chase is marketing an ultra contemporary 5,000 square ft family home with a football pitch sized garden, which has recently attracted the attention of Tottenham’s new signing, Emmanuel Adebayor. The six bedroom house in West Heath Road is for sale for £6.5 million .

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