BT Sport Films: South Of The River explores south London's football hotbed in new docuseries

The three-part series looks at English football’s most high-profile young players who hail from an area which has produced several Premier League and international stars.

Published: 26 October 2021 - 5.07pm

South Of The River, a new three-part docuseries exploring the eye-catching football talent pool in South London, will premiere on BT Sport on Tuesday 23 November.

The latest in the acclaimed BT Sport Films series, South Of The River, produced for BT Sport by award-winning production company Noah Media Group, tells the stories of some of English football’s most high-profile young players who all hail from an area which has produced a string of Premier League and international stars, such as Jadon Sancho and Declan Rice in recent seasons.

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The series will explore the stories of these rising stars who, in the last three years, have emerged from statistically underprivileged parts of South London – which are now globally recognised as among the most productive areas for young footballing talent.

The talent pool emerging from a densely populated strip of South London over recent years has included some of the Premier League's top players: Jadon Sancho (Manchester United & England), Joe Gomez (Liverpool & England), Tammy Abraham (Roma & England) Aaron Wan Bissaka (Manchester Utd), Declan Rice (West Ham & England), Ademola Lookman (RB Leipzig), Ryan Sessegnon (Tottenham), Michail Antonio (West Ham), Eberechi Eze (Crystal Palace) and more.

South Of The River will be screened in three parts, on BT Sport 1HD at 10.15pm on Tuesday 23 November, and then at 10.30pm on BT Sport 3HD on Wednesday 24 November and Thursday 25 November.

A focus of the series is the next generation of up-and-coming, ambitious and highly-talented youngsters; teenagers from the same area, who look up to former and current professional players as role models, and who are just starting out on their own journeys, facing the same challenges.

“It’s a talent factory like no other”
- Rio Ferdinand

Powerful contributions from key supporting cast (coaches who have helped change lives, talent scouts, community leaders, friends and family) will showcase the reality of life for these young people in South London.

Contributors include Jadon Sancho, who has become one of the most recognised players in the world with Borussia Dortmund, Manchester United and England. Sancho will share his individual experiences about his journey into the world of professional football.

Former Manchester United and England defender, and lead BT Sport analyst Rio Ferdinand, who grew up in the area, provides personal insight into the South Of The River phenomenon.

Ferdinand, who is also an executive producer on the docuseries said: “It’s great that the area of London I grew up in is getting the recognition it deserves - it’s a talent factory like no other. You’ll hear from me and many others who, against the odds, have been lucky enough to represent South London at the biggest clubs and international competitions in the world.

“South Of The River shines a light on what makes the place so special and the obstacles that need to be overcome, whilst showcasing the next generation who are daring to dream by following in our footsteps. I’m proud to be from South Of The River.”

Crystal Palace’s Eberechi Eze
Crystal Palace’s Eberechi Eze is one of many Premier League stars from south London

Sally Brown, BT Sport Films Executive Producer and Commissioning Editor, said: “I have long-admired the quality of Noah Media’s long form documentary output and was excited to work with them on South Of The River.

“Their approach to storytelling fits in well with ours and I’m thrilled to be able to add this three-part series to the award-winning BT Sport Films stable. It joins a very exciting autumn line up of titles on BT Sport including the recent Standing Firm: Football’s Windrush Story, Glenn Hoddle: Extra Time and The Special 1.”

South Of The River is also Executive Produced by Noah Media Group’s Simon Corney and John McKenna. Corney said: “We are delighted to be collaborating on this fascinating series with BT Sport Films. It is great to add BT Sport Films as a documentary partner for Noah and we hope this will be the first of many collaborations.

“We are excited to have developed a series that includes incredible themes, narratives and characters - delivering what we always aim for: a documentary about much more than the sport itself.”

The release continues a compelling 2021 from BT Sport Films with six new in-house documentaries to be broadcast across the year. These include Make It Or Die trying: The Frank Warren Story, a unique biopic which reveals how the eponymous promoter rose from humble beginnings in North London to multimillion pound deals in Las Vegas.

And in May, BT Sport premiered George Best: True Genius, which takes viewers on an evocative journey of how Best rose to become the best player in the world.