England captain Harry Kane is at the top of his game, but the football legend says he wouldn’t be mentally match fit without the support of friends and family – a lesson he hopes to pass on to schoolkids
Harry Kane is at the top of his game, captain of the England squad, and already a legend at Bayern Munich, scoring 22 goals in the first half of his first season.
He might be regarded as one of the best footballers of his generation, but the 30-year-old striker admits: “I’ve had many challenging times throughout my life and my career.” And in those times, he has sought support. He says: “Connecting and talking to my friends, family and teammates is key for me.”
In the Here4You film to be shown to schoolkids across the UK, Harry tells youngsters to get help if they feel low. He says: “Life is full of experiences that sometimes we don’t have control over. As we go through tough times we learn more about ourselves and build resilience. But most often we can’t do this alone and need the support of others.”
He always had “great support” from his parents, brother, and now his wife, Kate. He says: “If there was anything bothering me or I had on my mind, I always went to them to talk to and they were always there to support.”
The film will be shown in schools across the UK on January 25 to encourage young people to talk about their mental health. In the film, Harry tells young people: “I’m supporting Here4You because I want you to know it’s okay to ask for help.” He also advises kids to work hard and to exercise to keep mentally fit.
He says: “I think the most important thing was to stay focused and show resilience and work hard. As a footballer, I need to prioritise my physical fitness, but it’s just as important to keep my mind fit, too. I think exercise is really important. I feel that puts you in a good mindset. Also, just talking. Talking about how you are feeling, whether it’s good or bad, whether it’s friends, family or support networks, what it may be. I think just getting stuff off your chest and talking is really important.”
Harry, who founded the Harry Kane Foundation to promote positive mental health, is one of a number of stars from sport, music and broadcasting in the Here4You film. Hosted by broadcaster Roman Kemp, it also features singer Tom Grennan, 28, and actor Lenny Rush, 14.
The unique project is backed by six mental health charities – Mind, Shout, The Mix, YoungMinds, Place2Be and Joe’s Buddy Line – and is released amid growing concern about the scale of mental health problems among the younger generation. NHS data shows one in five young people now have a probable mental health condition, compared with one in nine in 2017.
Roman, 30, says: “We don’t want any young person feeling alone and not knowing where to go for help, so on January 25 we’re making a special broadcast available to teachers and schools. We are getting our message out to young people that there is help. For the first time ever, six leading charities have joined forces. Let’s all work together and improve our mental health.”
The video is on Mirror Online from 8.30am on January 25.