Celebrating the career of one of the English capital’s most prominent sporting heroes, “I Want to Play Football” features a selection of Kane-related items on display from his childhood growing up in Chingford, east London, to his various achievements as a professional footballer.
The title of the exhibition is taken from an infant school project in which the young Kane made a brief handwritten list of things he could and can do — “cry,” “crawl,” and “swim” — as well as the big dream he had for the future: “I want to play football.”
Lo and behold, Kane did go on to play football. After starting out with local youth sides Ridgeway Rovers and Gladstone Rangers, the aspiring striker made his way up through the ranks before finally breaking through at Spurs and becoming captain of his national team.
Now, at the age of 28, Kane is England’s joint-third-top-scorer of all time with 49 goals, and second all-time scorer for Tottenham with 244 goals.
“The Museum of London got in touch and wanted a Londoner to inspire young children to be their best, so I am delighted to have all my memorabilia on show,” Kane said as the exhibition, which opens on May 21, was announced. “I’ve got three kids now, so I know how important it is to inspire the younger generation and help them understand how far you can go with hard work, dedication, and self-belief.”
The exhibition will feature a selection of artefacts including archive photos, match-worn shirts (including the jersey he wore on his England debut), and even a few of Kane’s personal effects such as the Golden Boot he was awarded for finishing as the top scorer at the 2018 World Cup and his MBE medal.
It’s perhaps unfortunate that 5-year-old Kane didn’t use his school project to express his determination to win a few more trophies as a pro, as that might well have provided a few more choice exhibits for inclusion in his retrospective museum show. Just saying.
In much the same way that Kane declared his nascent dream to play his beloved sport for a living later in life, several other notable names from the football sphere have also shared written records of their childhood dreams over the years.
11 year old with a dream… pic.twitter.com/9gPjmViyph
— Marcus Rashford MBE (@MarcusRashford) April 10, 2017
Back in 2017, Marcus Rashford shared a letter that he’d written as an 11-year-old in which he revealed he had only one aim in life, and that was “to be a professional footballer, hopefully at Manchester United.”
With 303 senior appearances and 93 goals for United under his belt now, we’d suggest that the striker has definitely made good on his promise to himself.
— AS USA (@English_AS) May 17, 2019
A couple of years later, U.S. women’s national team star Alex Morgan shared a letter that she wrote to her mother as a school homework assignment in which the young hopeful formally introduced herself before announcing for the record that “I am going to be a professional soccer player.”
Two World Cup triumphs and an Olympic gold medal later, here we are!
Love this bro ❤️
— Harry Maguire (@HarryMaguire93) June 11, 2020
In 2013, a schoolboy named James Maddison tweeted to say he had told his teacher that he would beat the odds to make it as a professional player. Less than a decade later, he was a Premier League star and an FA Cup winner with Leicester City.
The young Maddison’s tweet gained prominence in 2020 when his former Leicester teammate, Harry Maguire, replied to it.