Voting is now open for the SJA2018 British Sports Awards sponsored by The National Lottery. As far as CHRISTIAN RADNEDGE is concerned, there is only one contender for sportsman and that’s Harry Kane.
It’s a measure of the high standards that Tottenham Hotspur star Harry Kane sets himself nowadays that despite being only the second Englishman in history to be awarded with the World Cup golden boot, the striker still came away saying he should have scored more at this year’s tournament in Russia.
Many say that a captain should lead by example – and Kane certainly set the tone for a dramatic England run by scoring twice in their opening group game against Tunisia, the second a stoppage time winner.
Next came a hat-trick in England’s highest ever World Cup scoreline, a 6-1 thrashing of Panama. Fortunate as the 25-year-old was for his deflected third strike, the two penalties he scored should not be diminished.
To have a player dispatch penalties in a World Cup with such ruthless efficiency is something that England should cherish.
Especially when a spot-kick comes with so much expectation and pressure. Arguably, no other major nation is more prone to self-doubt from 12 yards but even a place in the quarter-finals up for grabs Kane made no mistake during 90 minutes against Colombia and then again in the winning shootout.
Gareth Southgate’s side reached their limit in the semi-final to Croatia but just as the last England men’s team to reach the last four in 1990, so this squad too inspired a new generation of fans to believe in the three lions once more after years of under-achievement.
Leading from the front; Spurs’ own Harry Kane.
Domestically it had to take a record-breaking and mesmerising season from Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah to stop Kane from winning a third successive Premier League golden boot. Even then, Kane scored 30 for his best ever league tally as Spurs finished third – the only team from the capital to finish in the top four.
A teetotal model professional, first on and last off the training pitch, who is always spoken of with such admiration – even without the World Cup golden boot, those would be characteristics worthy of championing in an English footballer.
If that is not enough to convince you that England captain Harry Kane should be sportsman of the year, consider this also: he now scores in August.