Clubs: Southampton, Arsenal
Born: 16 March 1989 in Stanmore, London
Transfer fees: In January 2006 a 16-year-old Walcott left Southampton to join Arsenal in a deal worth up to £12 million although only £5m was paid up front with another £5m due depending on club appearances and a further £2m subject to England appearances.
They said what: At the time of the transfer to Arsenal, Harry Redknapp, who had given Walcott his debut at Southampton said: “The kid can run through puddles and not make a splash. He’s lightning, he drifts over the ground and he’s a fantastic talent.”
Club highlights: Walcott has become one of Arsenal’s leading players in his eight years at the club and although he is only 25 he is one of the senior figures in the squad. In 185 appearances Walcott has scored 69 goals with his best return coming in 2012/13 when he netted 21 times in all competitions.
International career: To date Walcott’s international career has featured more lows than highs. He was left out of England’s squad for the 2010 World Cup by Fabio Capello and missed the 2014 World Cup through injury. He was taken to the 2006 World Cup as a 17-year-old, although he did not feature in England’s run to the quarter-finals. In September 2008 he became the youngest player to score a hat-trick for England in a 4-1 away win against Croatia, and he remains the youngest player to represent England having made his debut against Hungary in 2006 aged 17 years and 75 days.
Personal honours: Walcott was named the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year in 2006 after joining Arsenal and going to the World Cup with England. He had previously finished second in 2005.
The record breaker: As well as being England’s youngest-ever international and England’s youngest hat-trick scorer Walcott is also the youngest goal scorer for the England Under-21 side.
An amazing statistic: Walcott took Arsenal’s 40 metre sprint record from Thierry Henry in 2009, beating the Frenchman’s time of 4.82 seconds with an impressive 4.42. However, he revealed in August 2014 that young defender Hector Bellerin had taken his crown as the Gunners’ sprint king.
Did you know? Walcott has penned a number of children’s books including ‘T.J and the cup run’, ‘T.J and the winning goal’, ‘T.J and the hat-trick’ and ‘T.J and the penalty’. The main character, T.J, is based on Walcott whose full name is Theo James.
Sponsorship deals: At the tender age of 14 Walcott was signed up by Nike. His official website lists Mars, EA Sports, Nationwide and Marks & Spencer among his other official partners.
Wealth: Walcott signed a three-and-a-half year contract worth £100,000 in January 2013 making him one of Arsenal’s top earners. Some internet reports estimated Walcott to be worth in the region of £7m as of May 2012.
Private life: Walcott became a father to Finley in April 2014, announcing the news that his wife Melanie Slade had given birth via Facebook with the message: “So over the moon to announce the birth of our baby boy Finley born this morning…. It’s amazing to be mummy & daddy! Love him so much x”. The couple married in Italy in June 2013, 10 years after meeting.
Social media: A relative newcomer to Twitter, Walcott announced his arrival on the social networking site in May 2014 with the message: “I know I said I wasn’t gonna join twitter ………I changed my mind!”. He quickly picked up 600,000+ followers which was more than the 388,000 he boasts on Instagram but nothing compared to his 3.8m likes on Facebook.