‘England’ wasn’t always the answer to the perennial question facing Irish soccer supporters: what team to support when the boys in green are absent from major international tournaments?
But football fans in County Galway have reason to get behind the ‘auld enemy’ at the 2018 World Cup, which kicks off tonight . . . because England captain Harry Kane has his roots deep in Connemara.
The Three Lions striker who last week signed a new deal for Tottenham Hotspurs, whose fans sing he’s one of their own, is in fact one of our own and has relatives living in Letterfrack and Renvyle.
Kane’s grandfather, Michael John was born and reared in the townland of Dawros in Letterfrack and emigrated to England as a young man.
In May 2013, Michael John died and was brought back home to be buried in Baunogues, the local cemetery in Letterfrack and Kane, who was less well known back then, flew West for the funeral.
His relatives and the wider community in Connemara are proud as punch of the soccer superstar’s scoring prowess and are looking forward to him returning to the area soon . . . possibly with the World Cup trophy!
One of his cousins is, Liz Kane, a talented musician who along with Yvonne makes up The Kane Sisters. Liz said the build-up to the World Cup in Connemara has so far been low-key but she admitted Harry Kane’s extended family will be glued to the telly for the matches.
“We will of course be watching – definitely. It’s huge, absolutely it is, and to be captain as well. We’re super proud of him and his achievements,” Liz told The Connacht Tribune.
“Someone said to me the other day that it gives us a reason now to support England because their captain is a Connemara man – it’s hilarious,” laughed Liz.
She added the local hostelries will probably be buzzing during the England games. “Harry’s father Pat, and his brothers Michael and John, who are based in London, are real sociable lads when they come home. I know Molloy’s pub in Letterfrack village will be supporting Harry no end. Veldon’s (in Letterfrack) and all the pubs in Tullycross and Renvyle probably will as well!”
See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune.