He may be spearheading England’s electric Euros campaign so far, but ten years ago Harry Kane made his professional debut in the 73rd minute of a League One tie for Leyton Orient FC. The London-based club saw the striker secure his first professional goal, going on to score four more in 17 matches, after which he’d proved his footballing flare and returned from his loan spell to Premier League giants Tottenham Hotspur.

Kane’s illustrious career is today defined by two shades of white – and may be about to be defined by two games at Wembley – but his roots remain firmly grounded at the now-League Two club, who are immensely proud of the role they’ve played in his record-breaking career so far – not to mention England’s Euro 2020 campaign.

Marketing Executive at Leyton Orient and graduate of UCFB’s BA (Hons) International Football Business programme, Jake Cook, said: “Having had the England captain start his career at Leyton Orient makes the club very proud. From Harry scoring his first ever professional goal with us, to him now leading England’s front line at another major tournament, is something that means a lot to us.”

Despite Kane’s overwhelming success on the pitch, the 27-year-old is keen to stay connected to his former club, the gateway to his flourishing Premier League career, and is doing this by providing the shirt sponsorship for the O’s over the 2021/22 season and renewing the “magic partnership”, as the club described it, for next season.

Speaking of the significance of this for Leyton Orient, Harry Schrattmeier, a goalkeeping coach at the club and BA (Hons) Football Coaching & Management student, said: “I think the sponsorship shows the importance of the EFL to players. Harry is not the first player to have started his career in the EFL and gone on to have a shining career. It gives the opportunity to young players to put their feet into first team football and acts as a potential springboard for their career.”

With 23 of the 26 man England squad kick starting their careers in the lower divisions of the England football pyramid, the team is a testament to the tenacity of the EFL, a living and breathing advertisement of its importance for players, clubs and country. Now just two games away from European glory for the first time in history, this masterful England team may not exist without the strongholds of the lower leagues.

Jake finished: “Gareth Southgate’s England squad says all you need to know about the importance of the EFL and of young talent being presented with opportunities to play regular professional football – look at where it’s taken them.”