Laura Pater
Laura Pater

One of our own: Thank you Harry Kane

Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane scores his side's fifth goal of the game from a penalty during the UEFA Europa League playoff match at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London, against Maccabi Haifa. (Via Jewish News)
Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane scores his side's fifth goal of the game from a penalty during the UEFA Europa League playoff match at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London, against Maccabi Haifa. (Via Jewish News)

Dear Harry Kane,

To put it simply, I love you.
Not romantically and not even as a super fan. I know none of your stats and I hardly ever watch you play. But nonetheless, I love you and as such want to thank you.
Thank you for making my three sons (and occasionally my daughter) happier than any other adult.
You have taught them that hard work combined with natural talent is far more important than edgy/ridiculous haircuts and contrived goal celebrations.
You have shown us how to be humble in success and gracious in defeat. Perhaps most importantly, you have modelled how to react, or rather how not to react in the face of aggressive tackles and unfair fouls. Every time you get knocked down three sets of eyes are trained with anticipation from my sofa in the Middle East. So every time you brush yourself off and run back to resume play they see the best way to handle would be bullies and playground politics.
Mainly, I admire you because on and off field you behave like a mensch -a good bloke.
 There has only ever been one team in London for my family. In the late 1800s my great grandfather’s family escaped persecution in Eastern Europe and settled, like so many other Jewish refugees -in London’s East End. Since then my father and his father, my uncles, my brother and my husband, our kids and their cousins have been committed to Spurs -whilst maintaining a healthy tolerance and deep affection for our Arsenal and Brighton supporting step-family.
When my husband blithely mentioned on Saturday night that there were rumours that you would be leaving Tottenham, I was genuinely devastated.
The news came at the end of a dreadful week. It started with the fear of rockets and sirens. As we were confined to our house and back on zoom there were the horrific images of once familiar London streets now littered with hate filled Palestinian supporters raging about raping Jewish girls. This was compounded by the sickening response on mainstream and social media. Plumbing new depths of pernicious anti Israel rhetoric whilst self righteously (and for the most part, falsely) attempting to delineate and defend these attacks as not antisemitic.
Throughout the week I watched with disbelief as so much of the England I grew up in, love and miss so dearly, crumbled away. So to think of potentially losing you, Harry after all you have done for my boys and their precious Tottenham, was a heavy blow. I assumed you would become a modern day Danny Blanchflower and restore some of the glory Tottenham so richly deserves. But it is clear that is not meant to be. You are, as the terraces chant: “One of our own,” have done all you can but now it’s time to move on. I truly hope, you realise your full potential whatever you do.
 I also hope wherever you go, indeed if you go, the poignancy will not be lost on British Jewry, Spurs and non Spurs supporters alike. Comes a time, painful though it is, when your loyalties are tested, you can do no more and so it might be time to leave.
Sometimes, to dare is to do.

About the Author
Laura Pater is a freelance writer who has been living in Israel since 2003. Her work has been featured in The Jerusalem Post and Cosmopolitan magazine. She is married with four children.
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