England football captain Harry Kane has been awarded the freedom of his home borough Waltham Forest after top scoring at the World Cup.
The Spurs striker won the prestigious “Golden Boot” award as Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions roared to the semi finals before crashing out 2-1 in extra time to Croatia.
Kane topped the scoring charts at the tournament after netting six goals in Russia.
Harry Kane’s childhood was spent in Waltham Forest, east London, and he was born at Whipps Corss Hospital in Leytonstone in 1993.
The 24-year-old lived in Walthamstow for the early part of his life before moving to Chingford where he attended both primary and secondary schools.
Kane played football from a young age, joining local club Ridgeway before going to Arsenal.
He began his football career as a youngster on the books of Arsenal before being let go aged 11, and then joining Tottenham’s academy.
Waltham Forest Councillors met last night and unanimously voted to award the striker the freedom of the borough following his golden boot winning success.
Clare Coghill, Waltham Forest Council leader said “Harry Kane is a hero to millions but it isn’t just his footballing ability that marks him out to be given the freedom of the borough.
“He has shown incredible perseverance and maturity throughout his career and to be captain England at a World Cup at the age of 24 shows just how much leadership qualities he possesses.
“I’m proud that our borough welcomed his Irish father, that his family could make their home here, and he received the opportunities to make the most of his footballing talent.
“Whilst the World Cup had to come to an end – sadly one game earlier than we all hoped – our men’s football team gave us much to be proud of this summer.”
Waltham Forest has a history of producing world class footballers that become England Captains as David Beckham, was also born at Whipps Cross and brought up in Chingford, attended Chingford Foundation School – as Harry Kane did.
Councils are allowed to give freedom of the boroughs to ‘persons of distinction’ and persons who have in the opinion of the authority ‘rendered eminent services to the Borough of Waltham Forest’ to be honorary freemen of the borough.
The council said it believed Harry Kane’s goal scoring exploits and exemplary attitude on and off the pitch warranted this award.
Before the tournament concluded Bury council awarded the freedom of the town to England right-back Kieran Trippier
The medieval term “freeman” meant someone who was not the property of a feudal lord, but enjoyed privileges such as the right to earn money and own land.
Town dwellers who were protected by the charter of their town or city were often free – hence the term “freedom of the city”.
Today the title is regarded as an honour or award to people of note who have lived or worked in the town or city.
The most recent recipients of the award in Waltham Forest were Leyla Qalbi Hussein and Hibo Wardere for their pioneering leadership fighting FGM (female genital mutilation) in this country and around the world.
By Ben Gelblum and Chris Dyer