England forward and captain, Harry Kane received an MBE medal from the Duke of Cambridge today following a successful summer in Russia last year.
The prestigious award recognised both the team’s performance and Kane’s individual contribution after becoming the second ever Englishman to win the golden boot at a World Cup.
During the campaign, Kane netted six goals before England revisited old misery and fell short once more in the semi-final.
What in an MBE?
The ‘MBE’ award abbreviates ‘Most Excellent Order of the British Empire’ and by definition, rewards “distinguished service to the arts and sciences, work with charitable and welfare organisations, and public service outside the civil service”. (The British Monarchy)
The presentation took place in Buckingham Palace where Prince William handed the medal to Harry Kane. Parents, Kim and Patrick Kane and fiancée Kate Goodland attended the ceremony in support, sharing the proud moment as a collective.
The honour was specifically awarded for ‘services in football’. (Evening Standard)
With England without a notable captain since Wayne Rooney’s retirement, Gareth Southgate was given the task to pick his England captain for the upcoming tournament.
Southgate announced that his decision to grant Kane the armband was for a number of reasons.
“He has belief and high standards and it is a great message for the team to have a captain who has shown that it is possible to be one of the best in the world over a consistent period of time and that has been his drive.” (Sky Sports)
“My feeling is that over the last 18 months in the camps that he’s been with us he has shown that he has got the desire to take that into a team environment and he recognises the importance of bringing others with him.” (Sky Sports)
Kane backed up his managers quotes in Russia by not only delivering the goals but also carrying out the way that Southgate intended to play. As he is so lethal in front of goal, Kane’s ability to hold the ball when his back is to goal is sometimes overlooked. His strength and aerial play was essential in all things going forward for England.
During a tournament when the England players are under the most scrutiny and pressure, Kane maintained a relaxed mind set which stemmed down throughout the whole camp.
One situation which Harry Kane showed his leadership qualities was with the Raheem Sterling tattoo incident. With his fellow teammate being crucified by almost every publication weeks before a major tournament, it could have been easy for Kane to react in a hostile way, expressing his discontentment.
However, the way that Kane, Southgate and the rest of the England camp carried themselves through the difficult situation was nothing short of remarkable. This strong vision was a key asset for England overcoming many hurdles in the World Cup.
Since becoming the face of English football, Kane would have been expected to deal with the pressure of becoming a role model. However, Kane didn’t need to alter any of his characteristics as he had already moulded his attitude throughout his career to helping others and setting examples.
Kane’s work with youth sport especially is one of his off the field traits which makes him a great leader and suitable for the armband.
It’s surely only a matter of time before he gets the Spurs captaincy, right?