"Harry Kane may now be the poster child for those in North London and at Wembley, but we will always remember his time at The Den..."
Harry Kane was barely old enough to pass his driving test and have the occasional pint of shandy when he joined Millwall halfway through the 2011/12 season. Sharing petrol money with Ryan Mason, the two Tottenham Hotspur youngsters signed for Kenny Jackett for the remainder of Millwall’s second campaign back in the Championship, after the Lions' 2009/10 promotion from League One. Both were signed with the intention of getting more goals for the South London side, as Jackett stated on Millwall’s official site that his side's goal scoring options ‘need to improve’.
Kane was by no means a veteran on arrival, but had spent the season before on loan in League One with East London side, Leyton Orient and had a respectable return of five goals in 18 games for the O’s. Kane had scored against the likes of Bristol Rovers, Huddersfield Town, Walsall and Sheffield Wednesday, but the step up to the second tier of English football would see the England youth international really tested.
After a handful of Europa League games for Spurs, which saw Kane hit the back of the net in a 4-0 away victory against Shamrock Rovers, the young striker made his Millwall debut in a 1-0 away defeat against Bristol City on 3rd January 2012. The fixture saw Kane start the match and play 85 minutes for the Lions, and it didn’t take long for the loanee to open his account in a Millwall shirt, scoring twice in the 5-0 FA Cup Third Round Replay with Dagenham & Redbridge on 17th January.
The second season back for Millwall was very up and down in both performances and scorelines, with even Kane struggling to find the back of the net again until 25th February in the 3-1 away defeat to Burnley, but the number 37 was an ever present in the Millwall squad, either starting or from the bench in games against the likes of Brighton & Hove Albion, Southampton, Watford and Derby County. Kane also got to taste the fierce rivalry between Millwall and West Ham, coming on as a 56th minute substitute away at Upton Park in the Lions’ controversial 2-1 defeat on 4th February 2012.
After the goal against Burnley, Harry Kane was a lot more prolific in front of goal, and managed to score against Peterborough United, Doncaster Rovers, Hull City, Portsmouth and Leicester City. This was followed by not only the final goal of his loan spell, but also the final goal of Millwall’s season, in a 2-2 home draw with Blackpool.
In his time at The Den, Harry Kane scored 10 goals in 33 appearances for Millwall. For a young striker with limited experience when arriving, Kane’s goal return of nearly one in three, as well as a very intelligent football brain and fantastic work ethic, saw him very popular with the Millwall fans and saw the striker finish with Millwall’s Young Player of the Year award. After returning to Tottenham Hotspur, Kane went back out on loan to Norwich City and Leicester City, and has now gone on to be club captain for his boyhood club. He also is the all-time goal scorer for both Spurs and England, as well as featuring in multiple World Cup, European Football Championship, Premier League and Champions League fixtures.
Harry Kane may now be the poster child for those in North London and at Wembley, but we will always remember his time at The Den, as many see this as the catalyst which made Kane the player he is today.