Connemara rooting for Harry Kane as World Cup fever grips

England captain’s grandad was born in Letterfrack, Galway, before moving to London

England Harry Kane leads his side into a World Cup quarter-final against Sweden on Saturday. Photograph: Yuri Cortez/AFP/Getty

England Harry Kane leads his side into a World Cup quarter-final against Sweden on Saturday. Photograph: Yuri Cortez/AFP/Getty

 

World Cup fever is set to grip a small Connemara outpost on Saturday as locals cheer on ‘one of their own,’ with England captain Harry Kane bidding to guide his side into the semi-finals of the competition in Russia.

The exploits of the England captain have been closely followed and cheered on in the Letterfrack and Tullycross areas of north Connemara, as they celebrate the achievements of a grandson of a local who left for a better life in London.

Michael John Kane left Letterfrack and emigrated to England but the Kane family have been regular visitors to County Galway over the decades.

Harry’s dad Pat returned to Connemara recently and presented Angler’s Rest pub owner Patrick Sammon with a signed Spurs’ shirt.

And World Cup fever has gripped Molly’s bar in Letterfrack where pub owner Gerry Lyons is sticking to his promise to put up a free round of drinks for customers every time Harry Kane scores at the World Cup.

It’s proving a costly exercise as Kane has so far netted six goals and will be hoping to find the target again today when they take on Sweden in the quarter-finals of the tournament.

“Unfortunately, Ireland are not involved in the World Cup but we might as well support a local guy, so for every goal Harry scores everyone in the bar gets a free pint,” said Damian Lyons, who manages the pub for his dad.

Kane has many relations living in the area but they were keeping a low profile yesterday as they geared up for the showdown with Sweden.

But cousin Liz Kane said previously they were so proud of Harry’s achievements.

“Harry’s father Pat and his brothers, who are based in London, are real sociable lads when they come home. We’re all super proud of Harry and for him to be captain as well,” said Liz, a renowned musician who performs with her sister Yvonne.

Harry Kane, who was born in Walthamstow in north-east London, was a regular visitor to Connemara growing up and was back five years ago for the funeral of his grandfather Michael John, who is buried locally at Baunogues cemetery.

The 24-year old, who is appearing in his first World Cup, scored a hat-trick against Panana, having twice found the net in the opening match against Tunisia. He scored the opening goal on Tuesday against Colombia and also converted the first spot-kick as England advanced 4-3 in a dramatic penalty shootout.

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