For Harry Kane, it’s neither. Calling him “Kane” would sound disrespectful: he’s more than just another player. But he’s not a “Harry” either: in a way, that would be too intimate, too familiar.
Instead, he will lead England to this summer’s European Championship – hoping to win an international tournament in a home final – as Harry Kane, first and last name, as a Pele. inverted. It’s an honor, in a way, but it’s also a sign of a certain unconscious distance, as if it were a brand, or a company, or a place.
There is a lot that everyone knows about Harry Kane. But knowing who he is, or what he looks like, is not one of them.
At the end of his first campaign with Tottenham, Kane and his teammates traveled to Australia for a brief tour. It had been Kane’s breakthrough year: he had scored 21 goals in 34 Premier League games. Almost overnight he had gone from a marginal player, always on loan, to a thriving idol.
Kane, however, hadn’t noticed the transformation. While in Sydney, he decided he wanted a walk. He walked to the nearest mall, expecting to be able to walk around in peace and quiet. Instead, within minutes he found himself swarmed with hundreds of fans. Unable to escape, he had to call the club to get him out.
The memory stuck with him. “I think at first I was a little naive about what it would be like to be famous in terms of what you can and can’t do,” he said. “I like it, obviously, and I like parts of it, and I guess when I retire and it’s gone, I can tell you if I miss it or not. But there are restrictions that go with it. “