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Published 24 March 2023 4 min read
England Men's Senior Team

Wembley tribute planned for Harry Kane

Written by:

Andy Walker

England's game with Ukraine on Sunday 26 March will see tributes to Harry Kane, Jack Leslie, George Cohen and more


A sold-out Wembley Stadium connected by EE will pay tribute to record-breaking England men’s captain Harry Kane.

The visit of Ukraine on Sunday (26 March, 5pm BST kick-off) will be a memorable occasion for several reasons with plenty of pre-match activity.

Kane scored his 54th senior international goal during Thursday’s 2-1 win over Italy in Naples to surpass Wayne Rooney’s record as the leading England goalscorer.

That magnificent milestone will now be honoured ahead of kick-off on Sunday with the Tottenham Hotspur striker to be presented with a commemorative golden boot by FA Chair Debbie Hewitt.

Prior to this, the family of Jack Leslie will be presented with a posthumous honorary England cap to recognise the former Plymouth Argyle forward’s contribution to the game and wider society, and to right a historical wrong.

In 1925, Leslie earned a deserved call up to represent England. However, he faced adversity because of the colour of his skin, and was deselected and never played for his country. This should never have happened.

In addition to support for the Jack Leslie Campaign’s ongoing legacy work, the FA Chair and former England international Viv Anderson will welcome members of his family to the pitch to be presented with the honorary cap and certificate.

The occasion will also be an opportunity to show solidarity with the Three Lions’ opponents.

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine last year, the football world has come together and Sunday’s fixture will welcome some of those displaced from their own country.

More than 1000 Ukrainians and their host families have been invited to the game as special guests of the FA and Wembley Stadium in conjunction with the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain (AUGB).

Thousands of people across the UK registered their interest to host people fleeing the war under the government’s Homes for Ukraine Scheme when it launched in March 2022. Many are now providing a safe and secure space for the 117,000 Ukrainians who are still unable to return home as the war continues into its second year.

Around 4,200 Ukraine fans will be among a sell-out crowd in excess of 85,000 and both sets of players will come together before kick-off to send a message of peace.

Fans – as well as Channel 4 viewers – will also have the opportunity to donate to UNITED24, the charity platform of President Zelenskyy.

In addition, FA staff at St. George’s Park have supported a small charity called Siobhan’s Trust that is operating food kitchens in Ukraine and is feeding around 5,000 of the country’s most vulnerable people, every day.

A key part of Siobhan’s Trust’s work is also the morale mission – and giving clothes, food, sanitary products, cuddly toys and footballs are a key part of this important objective.

After Christmas, 50 balls were sent from old stock at the England teams warehouse in Stafford. Then lots of other items were passed on – notably 30 double mattress toppers (from Russia 2018), 35 pillows and 200 yoga mats, which are in dire need for children to sleep on, as well as another 110 footballs to send.

Before the important UEFA EURO 2024 qualifier gets underway, Wembley will take a moment to remember a Three Lions great.

George Cohen, a FIFA 1966 World Cup winner who won 37 England caps, passed away aged 83 in December 2022. A moment’s applause will allow those in attendance to celebrate the Fulham legend’s contribution to the game.