England and Tottenham captain Harry Kane says it is important to have a tangible legacy to remember those footballers who gave the “ultimate sacrifice” during World War One.
Kane, who led England to the World Cup semi-finals in the summer, has planted a tree at Tottenham’s training centre at Hotspur Way, Enfield in memory of one of the 16 Spurs players who represented the club and served and died during the conflict.
At the outbreak of the Great War in 1914 there were also 14 current England internationals – players who had represented their country in the 1913-14 season – who went to war.
One of them, winger Frederick “Fanny” Walden, also played for Spurs and Kane said what Walden’s generation went through was something for which we should be forever grateful.
Kane told the BBC: “It’s great to have something to remember the players who fought in World War One.
“It’s amazing to think, when you are in this bubble and the world we live in now, that those guys went off from playing football and went off to war.
“They gave the ultimate sacrifice for us. It’s an honour to have days like this to remember them by. It’s great to be part of it. Days like this are very important, not just for the players but for the community as well.”
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Kane said he was honoured to be involved in the Woodland Trust’s For Club and Country project, which is part of the wider Football Remembers campaign.
Premier League champions Manchester City and FA Cup holders Chelsea are among more than 60 football clubs who have pledged to commemorate the role footballers played in World War One by planting trees this November.
Football fans can visit www.forclubandcountry.org.uk for more information on how to get involved with the campaign.