Harry Kane

Why does Harry Kane wear No.10 for Tottenham? Spurs & England striker explains shirt choice

16:37 SAST 2022/02/22
Harry Kane Antonio Conte Tottenham 2021-22
A home-grown star in north London took a scenic route to the top of the game, but made the most of a big break once it came his way

Harry Kane is one of the most fearsome strikers in world football and would, with historical shirt numbers taken into account, be expected to lead the line with No.9 on his back for Tottenham and England.

He does fill that jersey as captain of the Three Lions, with Wayne Rooney’s all-time leading goal tally being chased down there, but the prolific 28-year-old dons No.10 when turning out in the colours of his club.

Some illustrious names have gone before him in that department at Spurs – such as Martin Peters, Glenn Hoddle, Gary Lineker, Teddy Sheringham and Robbie Keane – with their success part of the reason why Kane jumped at the chance to enhance that legacy back in 2015-16.

Why does Harry Kane wear No.10 for Tottenham?

Explaining his decision to favour 10 over nine for Spurs, Kane told BT Sport: “I feel like 10 for Spurs was a bit of a number – Robbie Keane, Glenn Hoddle, players like that, Teddy Sheringham.

“I just felt like I wanted to be No.10 for Tottenham. The No.9 for England I feel like is a bigger number for a striker – there have been some great No.9s.

“To be fair, growing up in the youth team days I would wear No.10 a lot, I kind of played in that No.10 role, so I always enjoyed the number.

“I just thought at Tottenham that the 10 was a bigger number and more responsibility.”

He added on the pressure of emulating the efforts of previous No.10s in north London: “I think it brings the best out of you.

“Obviously it is just a number, but I think what it represents to fans around the world, young boys and girls watching you play, hopefully they will one day try to be the No.10 of Tottenham themselves.

“It adds a bit more pressure, but I enjoy that. I want to represent the club well and I feel like taking the No.10 shirt was the best way of doing that.”

What other numbers has Harry Kane worn for Tottenham?

Kane was not always in a position to demand the most prominent of squad numbers at Spurs, with his senior career only really bursting into life during the 2014-15 campaign after taking in spells out on loan at Leyton Orient, Millwall, Norwich and Leicester.

He wore No.18 when making the most of a big break, having previously worked his way down the pecking order from the high 30s.

“No.18 was my first big season for Spurs, I would say,” three-time Premier League Golden Boot winner Kane said of wearing that shirt in a season that delivered 31 goals in all competitions.

“I played a bit under Tim Sherwood the season before. I went from 38 to 37 and then down to 18. I might have been 35, but I don’t know if I played in 35.

“No.18 was when [Jermain] Defoe went, so he said to me ‘you can have my number’. I spoke to the kit man and he gave it to me.

“It was a great season, the first time I was playing regularly in the Premier League, played some great games – scored goals against Arsenal, Chelsea – and that gave me great confidence playing against the top teams and managing to do well.”

Has Harry Kane played in goal for Tottenham?

It is not just outfield jerseys that Kane has sported, though, during his time at Spurs, with one memorable Europa League outing against Asteras Tripoli in October 2014 seeing him take over between the sticks.

After first-choice goalkeeper Hugo Lloris was sent off with three minutes left on the clock, Kane – who had already registered a hat-trick in the game – decided to inherit the gloves and conceded only once in a 5-1 victory.

On that outing, the superstar frontman said: “That was strange! The good thing was that I had scored a hat-trick in the game already.

“Hugo unfortunately got sent off but we were 5-0 up at the time, or something like that, and I was there like ‘I’m going in’. A lot of outfield players fancy themselves in goal, so I was like ‘put me in’.

“It was strange because he gave me the captain’s armband at the same time, so I had the armband on, the keeper kit and goalie gloves – I think I’ve still got the shirt at home.

“It was a strange night but scoring a hat-trick – my first one – and then to do that was quite unique.”

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