Last season’s Golden Boot winner went to the Peter May Sports Centre in Walthamstow, east London, named after the legendary England cricketer, to open the new £578,000 floodlit 3G artificial grass pitch.
Kane learned to play on the site, as did David Beckham before him. Other notable fledgling sporting careers started at the centre include Kane’s former Spurs teammate Andros Townsend, who unluckily missed out on making Roy Hodgson’s final 23 for the imminent Euro 2016, and England & Essex cricketer Ravi Bopara.
The new facilities, installed by SIS Pitches and Dawn Fencing using Duo8 Super Rebound sports fencing from Zaun, replace a sand-filled pitch, which could not cope with the high demand from local clubs.
Many amateur teams will call the new facility home, including Beckham and Kane’s old club, Ridgeway Rovers. At the same time, Colchester United and Leyton Orient will help the women’s game and people with disabilities.
Over the next five years, it is expected that the number of teams at each of those clubs will increase by 40%.
Kane joined the local 16-18-year-olds in an impromptu keepy-up session at the opening, which was also attended by Peter May’s widow Virginia, who said: “The new pitch is absolutely wonderful, and I was thrilled to open it with Harry officially.”
He said: “It looks fantastic; I wish we’d had this when I was playing down here.
I learnt my football trade in this part of the world, so I know how much this new pitch will mean to the local community. This facility will inspire more people to get involved in sport and in doing so will create quality, home-grown talent and increase participation levels in football.”