Alf Common, the first footballer to attract a fee in four figures when Boro bought him from Sunderland in 1905, had to cover the length of what is now the A19 to make his move. More adventurous later travels took him to Sheffield, Arsenal (then a sarf London club) and Preston. Charlie Buchan played only for Sunderland and two London clubs (Arsenal and Leyton). In 17 years, Jimmy Armfield never made it out of Blackpool …
Not surprisingly, none of the above features in the two tables produced by the online travel agency Kiwi.com from a study comparing the distances elite footballers, active and retired, travel during their playing careers – even though they take account of all travel, not just the distances between the pairs of clubs after each transfer.
The research also highlights “which players are most clinical (goals), which get in the most trouble (bookings) and which get paid the most for the miles they travel”.
The full details can be found at the Kiwi link.
Among the key findings:
* Wayne Rooney is England’s ultimate journeyman, travelling 243,959 miles during his playing career – over 16k per year. He has scored 13.12 goals per 10,000 miles travelled – more than the two best players in the world Ronaldo (10.64) and Messi (10.58)
* Robert Lewandowski is the most lethal traveller, scoring an incredible 21.13 goals per 10,000 miles travelled.
* Carlos Tevez, currently in China, is the most expensive traveller, paid £1,339 per mile travelled based on current salary.
If you’d like to use this research for a piece online, please can you credit Kiwi.com with a hyperlink to as the source of information.
Now, let’s tot up the miles covered playing for Sunderland by, say, Joleon Lescott. Or maybe don’t. There are two Top 15 tables, one for active players, one for retired. Don’t spend too much time looking for any of ours …