Harry Kane statue in storage for years and hidden from view in London

<span>Harry Kane now plays for Bayern Munich, where he has been in fine scoring form despite his club’s recent struggles. </span><span>Photograph: Alberto Lingria/Reuters</span>
Harry Kane now plays for Bayern Munich, where he has been in fine scoring form despite his club’s recent struggles. Photograph: Alberto Lingria/Reuters

Somewhere in in the borough of Waltham Forest council, a statue of local hero Harry Kane lies unused. A sculpture of the Walthamstow-born, Chingford-raised record goalscorer for England and Tottenham was commissioned by the London borough in 2019, completed the following year at an expense of £7,200 but is yet to appear anywhere in public.

Attempts were made by local Conservative councillors to place the Kane statue on Chingford’s Weaver Line Overground railway station but that proposal was denied after a risk assessment carried out by Transport for London, on the grounds it could be targeted by rival football fans. TfL has suggested its placing should be near to – rather than in – the station, depending on local approval. Thus far, no local assent has been given to that suggestion. A further possible placing, in Ridgeway Park – Kane is an alumnus of local youth team Ridgeway Rovers – was also rejected.

Related: Harry Kane in Germany: ‘The kids are loving it. They’ll be speaking the language before me’

Emma Best, one of two councillors who originally commissioned the statue, told the BBC’s Local Democracy Reporting Service she had spent “hours and hours” trying to agree a home for the statue. No photo has been made available of the representation of Kane, though its storage has been arranged by its commissioning councillors, with local complaints made that the money has been wasted on something the public cannot see. The project did receive the cooperation of the player, now at Bayern Munich, and his representatives, who told the BBC “the location of the statue is really important to us”.

Waltham Forest’s council said: “Community ward funding projects are suggested by residents and approved by ward councillors, who lead on communications around ward funding opportunities and the delivery of projects or events that receive funding.

“Each year there is clear guidance on what can and cannot receive community ward funding, dependent on the corresponding theme. All ward councillors must unanimously approve projects to receive community ward funding. Councillors must follow the guidance provided to them, which is reviewed each year.”

The statue was paid for by a pot of about £6,600 from a fund allocated to “local initiatives, projects or improvements” that councillors in each of the borough’s 22 wards share out.

While fellow Ridgeway graduate David Beckham, born in Leytonstone, brought up in Chingford and who attended the same school as Kane, is yet to receive his own statue, one footballer, Laurie Cunningham, has been celebrated in sculpture within the borough. The former Leyton Orient winger, one of England’s first black internationals and the first British player to represent Real Madrid, is celebrated outside Leyton Orient’s stadium, Brisbane Road.