After spending long spells on loan to lower-league sides watching expensive foreign imports flow in and out of White Hart Lane, Tottenham’s home-grown striker Harry Kane got a rare opportunity for first team football and grabbed it. The 21-year-old Londoner went on to score 30 goals in all competitions – a feat last achieved at Spurs by Gary Lineker – ending the season as club captain with a richly deserved PFA Young Player of the Year award to celebrate.
Memorable goals against capital rivals Chelsea and Arsenal endeared him to home crowds, while a dream England debut scoring just 79 seconds after coming on during a Euro qualifying match against Lithuania completed the unlikely fairytale.
“To go out at Wembley and score is what you dream about as a kid,” says Kane as he gets ready for another debut – his first fashion shoot. “I’ve had so many good moments this year that it’s hard to choose a favourite, but I think that tops them all.”
Part of Kane’s appeal is his hard-working and down-to-earth demeanour, which comes across in person as clearly it does on the pitch. Even so, coping with all the hype and attention – often the downfall of young English stars – can’t be easy?
“I think I’m adjusting to it quite well,” he says. “I was a fan once, too, so I know when people ask you for a picture or to sign something, it’s a compliment that shows you’re doing something right.”
Naturally, the newfound attention isn’t only affecting Kane himself. He lives with his girlfriend of four years, Katie, who has been given a taste of the paparazzi treatment, too.
“We went to school together, so she’s seen my whole career. Of course, she’s finding it a little crazy. I think she’s even been in the papers a couple of times taking the dogs out,” he says.
The canines in question – Brady and Wilson, a black and a white Labrador – are key players in Kane’s life off the pitch, which couldn’t be further from the champagne and nightclubs stereotype of the modern footballer.
“If I need to relax, I take them both out for a walk, or I play a round of golf. I can’t remember the last time I went to a club,” he says, no doubt to the delight of manager Mauricio Pochettino. “Obviously, everyone’s different, but I love just settling down and having a barbecue with my friends at the house.”
The clothes Esquire has picked for Kane’s shoot are met with approval – “blazer and a shirt, that’s my sort of style,” he says – though he is bracing himself for the possibility of receiving some stick in the Spurs dressing room when his first modelling job hits newsagents’ shelves.
“We’ll wait and see,” he says warily. “But it’s all harmless banter. Most of the lads dress similar to me, though [midfielder] Étienne Capoue has got some strange outfits. He says he’s the ‘future of clothing’ but I don’t believe it to be honest!”
This summer, in between international duties, Kane is planning a well-earned break.
“In the couple of weeks I have off, I’ll go away with the missus. To America maybe, or Portugal. Just put my feet up and get a good suntan.”
Fans needn’t fear, though, as there’s no danger of Kane getting out of shape.
“Obviously, I’ve got to stay fit, so I’ll work out in the morning then chill by the pool the rest of the day.”
Will he have a few cocktails?
“Not me. I’m probably not allowed. I’ll just stick to Coke.”