Harry Kane is determined to make history next summer by following in the footsteps of the great Bobby Moore and captaining England to glory on home soil.
Three years on from spearheading the Three Lions’ unforgettable run to the World Cup semi-finals, the rearranged European Championships offer a once-in-a-generation shot to end the long wait for a major trophy at Wembley.
Moore is the only captain to have led England to silverware and the image of the defensive great on the shoulders of his fellow 1966 heroes holding the Jules Rimet Trophy remains one of the country’s most cherished moments.
Kane sees those heroes’ names and achievements sprinkled around St George’s Park and Wembley when away with his country, with the Three Lions skipper dreaming of achieving glory like Moore.
“He was captain when we won the World Cup so that gives me, and I’m sure it gives a lot of other players, inspiration to go and do the same,” the England captain told the PA news agency.
“I think he got given the captaincy at 23 years old, which was similar to me. He was a guy who led by example.
“He was taken too early, he was only 51 when he passed away so, yeah, it’s a shame that I didn’t get to meet him and talk to him.
“But kind of his legacy that he’s left on the pitch is definitely an inspiration for all of us.
“Everyone’s still in our country got that image of Bobby Moore lifting that World Cup and picture of him on the other boys’ shoulder and things like that.
“It would be great to create some of our own memories that can be a bit more recent.
“That’s the aim, that’s the goal. That’s the driving force every time we’re in an England camp is to be able to do that.
“We’re in a good place, we know there’s some great teams around Europe who are all thinking the same thing, to go on and win the Euros.
“We’ve just got to try and make it happen but for sure the squad is looking good right now.”
Moore is immortalised in a statue looking down Wembley Way, having died in February 1993 at the age of 51 after battling bowel cancer.
Kane was born five months later and is supporting the Bobby Moore Fund for Cancer Research UK ahead of Football Shirt Friday on November 20, when people are asked to wear their favourite shirt and donate £5 to help fight bowel cancer.
The 27-year-old obviously gets to wear a fair number of shirts and would choose England’s 2018 top this Friday as there were “some good memories” in Russia, then added “hopefully they’ll be even better ones next year”.
Kane believes England are in a “good place” heading into the Euros, with the side progressing and benefitting from the chance to bed in players that would not have been ready had the tournament been staged in 2020.
“I think you’ve seen over the last few camps players come in and do really well,” the striker said fresh from the likes of Jack Grealish, Phil Foden and Bukayo Saka shining during the autumn fixtures.
“Look, we want our best players, the players in form, playing in the major tournaments, so obviously we’ve got another seven, eight months until that tournament so a lot can change from now until then.
“But we’re showing really good signs and even these camps with the friendlies, obviously we’ve taken a bigger squad so more chance to see a few of the younger boys play.
“I think, for me personally, seeing them in a training, seeing them in the games, there’s some really, really good players.”
Kane reached a half-century of England caps in Sunday’s defeat to Belgium and helped Gareth Southgate’s side round off their 2020 calendar with a 4-0 win in Wednesday’s dead rubber against Iceland.
A lot has changed since he made his debut off the bench against Lithuania in March 2015 as a substitute for Wayne Rooney, whose 53-goal scoring record is already well within the Tottenham striker’s reach.
There are not many other faces still involved from that period, meaning Kane is now comfortably one of the most experienced heads aged just 27.
“Yeah, it does (feel strange),” Kane said of his role as an elder statesman. “It’s been something I’ve been getting used to over the last year or two.
“Obviously I’m only 27 myself but just in terms of experience and being around and being in the England set-up, obviously I’ve been here one of the longest.
“That’s part of my role now. It’s part of responsibility as an experienced player in the team to help the younger players, to lead by example and show them the way that we do things.
“I think we’ve been doing that pretty well so, for me, it’s just about letting the young boys express themselves.
“Let them play, let them play with a smile on their face. That’s when they’re going to play at their highest.”
If that continues along with England’s development, it could be Kane pictured on the shoulders of team-mates with a trophy next summer.
“That’d be nice,” he said with a smile. “That’d be nice.”
:: Fans are encouraged to wear their favourite shirt with pride at home, work or school on November 20 as part of Football Shirt Friday and donate £5 to the Bobby Moore Fund for Cancer Research UK. For more information visit www.bobbymoorefund.org
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