Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane has given something back to the club that gave him his first start. The striker announced today that he is — personally — sponsoring League Two side Leyton Orient’s football kits for the 2020-21 season.
Although a Tottenham academy player, Kane made his professional football debut as an 18 year old while on loan at Orient in 2011. He made 18 appearances for the O’s that season, scoring five goals. Kane has always had a soft spot for Orient, as they were the club that gave him a chance as a young professional player trying to make his mark. Today, he’s one of the best strikers in the world and England captain, but he hasn’t forgotten who helped get him there.
While the money for the kit sponsorship comes from Kane himself, he got to decide which organizations would appear on the fronts of the kits. The Orient home kit is simply a message of support and thanks to front line healthcare workers in the National Health Service who are doing amazing work during the coronavirus pandemic. The away kits will feature the logo of mental health charity Mind, while the third kits will feature the logo of Haven House Children’s Hospice in north London.
Kane received explicit permission from the Premier League to make this sponsorship deal. 10% of all proceeds from kit sales will go to support the charities that are on the front of the kits.
Here’s Kane on why he decided to support Orient in this way, according to the BBC:
“I was born and brought up only at a couple of miles from the stadium and I am really happy to have the opportunity to give back to the club that gave me my first professional start. This also gives me a platform to be able to say a big thank you to the many frontline heroes and charities out there who provide care and support during these challenging times.”
Orient CEO Danny Macklin was effusive with praise for Kane’s gesture.
“What started with a simple idea has escalated into a very unique and emotive shirt sponsorship agreement. When we discussed with the England captain Harry Kane and his team at CK66, we all decided that we wanted this to be unique.
“We wanted to say thank you for the exceptional hard work and dedication of the frontline heroes during this pandemic and also bring attention to the other charities out there who have all suffering financial loss due to the pandemic. We are in uncertain and worrying times across the world but thanks to their efforts we will get through this together.
”Thank you, Harry, for your amazing support and generosity – you are a true role model for the modern game.”
The amount of money Kane contributed for the sponsorship wasn’t released, but it was probably somewhere in the neighborhood of £100k, based on other kit sponsorship deals from League 2 that are publicly available.
This is such an amazing gesture. It feels like you have to dig pretty hard right now to find positive news about Tottenham, but it just feels so good to see One Of Our Own do something that not only helps out a struggling lower-league local football club, but also supports important charitable organizations and calls attention to the important work that they do.