Harry Kane revealed he shook off a fever to move level with Jimmy Greaves as Tottenham’s joint record scorer with his 266th goal for the club in Monday’s 1-0 win at Fulham. The England captain netted on the stroke of half-time with a clinical strike from the edge of the penalty area at Craven Cottage.
Greaves’ Tottenham record had stood since 1970, but Kane’s first goal in his last three appearances gave him a share of the milestone. However, Kane played after ignoring the lingering effects of an illness which gave him a sleepless night on Sunday.
“Last night was a tough night, up every couple of hours. A bug or virus. I have three kids, but I have a day off tomorrow,” Kane said. “To get the goal and equal the record was a nice feeling.”
Tottenham boss Antonio Conte hailed Kane’s desire to play through his illness. “I want to underline that Harry played with a fever. He was not so good but he wanted to play because he understood the moment, he understood that he is a point of reference for us, for me and the other players,” Conte said.
Kane could have broken Greaves’ record in the second half, but his close-range header was superbly saved by Bernd Leno. “I wasn’t thinking about the record but whenever I miss a chance that I expect to score I’m disappointed,” Kane said. “I knew it would have broken the record but he made a good save.”
The 29-year-old is now one short of becoming the third player to net 200 Premier League goals, after Alan Shearer (260) and Wayne Rooney (208). Kane is also level with Rooney as England’s joint record goalscorer after bagging his 53rd international goal in the World Cup quarter-final defeat against France in December.
Showing his selfless nature, Kane was more relieved that Tottenham ended a damaging run of two successive league defeats. Their victory at Fulham closed the gap on fourth placed Manchester United to three points, with Kane admitting a meeting among Conte and the squad had helped produce the improved performance.
“A really important win for us, especially after the last couple of games,” Kane said. “We are little bit behind where we want to be but tonight was important. We had a good talk amongst ourselves, just to get back to what we are good at, clean sheets and hard to break down.”
Yet to win a major trophy for club or country, Kane has been linked with a close-season move to Manchester United. But he insisted he is not thinking about his future with so much at stake at Tottenham this season. “I am concentrating on this season. There will always be talk about my future, I just want to focus on my job on the pitch,” Kane said. “There is a long way to go, a lot to play for like the Champions League, FA Cup and that is what my focus is on.”
Greaves, who died aged 81 in 2021, is regarded as one of the most natural goal scorers in football history. A member of England’s 1966 World Cup-winning squad, who netted 44 times for his country, Greaves is the highest scorer in English top-flight history with 357 goals.
Kane’s share of the Tottenham record drew praise from the club’s former striker Gary Lineker. “What an incredible achievement for Harry Kane to equal the great Jimmy Greaves as all-time top scorer for Spurs,” Lineker tweeted. “And, yes, before you start, I know he’s not won anything. Also, that fact doesn’t make him any the less of a footballer.”
Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane celebrates after scoring against Fulham during the Premier League match. (Reuters)