In Premier League academies there are around 3,500 boys - but of those entering academies at the age of nine, fewer than 0.5% will ever make a living from the game.
So what happens to those who don’t make it? And does football adequately prepare them for life and alternative careers?
Sky's Martha Kelner has travelled around the UK to meet some of them.
If you've been affected by any of the issues raised in Martha's report, you can contact the Samaritans for help anonymously, at any time, on 116 123. Or you can email email@example.com. Alternatively, speak to CALM on 0800 58 58 58 or via webchat on thecalmzone.net.
SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel for more videos: http://www.youtube.com/skynews
Sky News videos are now available in Spanish here/Los video de Sky News están disponibles en español aquí https://www.youtube.com/channel/skynewsespanol
Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/skynews and https://twitter.com/skynewsbreak
Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/skynews
Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/skynews
For more content go to http://news.sky.com and download our apps: