Walcott was born in Stanmore, Greater London, but grew up in Compton near Newbury, Berkshire. He attended Compton Church of England Primary School and The Downs School, playing football for the local village team and later for Newbury. Walcott scored more than 100 goals in his one and only season for Newbury, before leaving there for Swindon Town. He spent only six months there before leaving for Southampton after he rejected a chance to join Chelsea. Nike agreed to a sponsorship deal with Walcott when he was fourteen years old.