England football captain Harry Kane has reflected on a “special” day after he received the Freedom of the City of London on Thursday in a ceremony alongside his family at Guildhall.
One of the City of London’s ancient traditions, the honour is believed to have first been given in 1237 and enabled recipients to carry out their trade.
The England record scorer was recognised by the City of London in November for his outstanding sporting achievements but has only now been able to receive his certificate in a ceremony alongside wife Kate, their three children and other family members.
Kane, 29, who has spent the majority of his playing career in the capital with Tottenham Hotspur, where he is their all-time top scorer, was nominated by Chris Hayward, the City Corporation’s policy chairman, and his deputy Keith Bottomley.
Reflecting on the ceremony, Kane told the PA news agency: “It was great, really unique and really special in its own way.
“Just a great experience. I have all my family with me today and for them to be in that room with me and see me get the certificate has been amazing.
“I am learning more and more about it as we go on. The ceremony dived into a bit of the history and some of the names before me so it is incredible to be a part of.
“I am extremely grateful to London and what it has given me, the opportunities it has given me. I have been lucky to live here my whole life pretty much.
“I have had a couple of short spells away when I was on loan, but other than that I have been here. To represent not just England but London as well is something I am extremely proud of.
“To receive this award has been an amazing honour for me.”
Many congratulations to @England team captain and @SpursOfficial striker and top goalscorer @HKane who was awarded the Freedom of the City of London at Guildhall today, in recognition of his outstanding sporting achievements. #football #HarryKane https://t.co/dFW2B3L39u pic.twitter.com/rvzRiq0RZG
— City of London (@cityoflondon) May 25, 2023
Kane follows in the footsteps of former England cricketer and World Cup-winning captain Eoin Morgan, who officially received the Freedom of the City of London last year.
It was also granted to every member of the Lionesses’ squad following their winning exploits at Euro 2022.
Kane, who was born in Walthamstow, joined the Tottenham academy in July 2009 and signed his professional forms a year later.
He made his England debut in 2015 and guided the team to the final of the European Championships in 2021 after winning the golden boot for top scorer at the World Cup in 2018.
Mr Hayward added: “Harry Kane is an outstanding sportsman and role model for young footballers, having achieved so much before the age of 30.
“Born and raised in London and admired by many millions of followers of the beautiful game – not just in this country, but around the world – it was our pleasure to welcome him and his guests to Guildhall.”
Mr Bottomley said: “Harry is, in every sense, at the top of his game and his Freedom goes some way towards expressing our admiration for his tremendous skill on the pitch, and our considerable pride in him.”