How Harry Kane broke Jimmy Greaves’ Tottenham goals record
Harry Kane has once again written his name into the history books at Tottenham Hotspur by becoming the club’s new all-time top goal scorer, claiming a record that has stood for over 50 years.
In scoring one goal against Manchester City on Sunday, Kane took his total for Spurs to 267 to surpass the long-standing record held by revered club legend Jimmy Greaves since the 1969-70 season.
Famed as one of English football’s most prolific strikers, Greaves scored 266 goals in 379 games in all competitions for Spurs between 1961 and 1970. He scored more than 30 goals in six of the nine seasons he spent at White Hart Lane and even went beyond the 40-goal barrier on one occasion — scoring 44 goals in 49 games during the 1962-63 campaign as his team finished First Division runners-up before going on to win the European Cup Winners Cup.
However, after scoring in the 1-0 win over Fulham in the Premier League on Jan. 23, Kane took his Spurs total to 266 goals — just one behind his predecessor — meaning that his goal against City took him beyond Greaves to become Tottenham’s top scorer in all competitions on his 416th appearance.
Kane’s goal on his 304th appearance in the Premier League also saw him join the exclusive “200 Club” alongside Alan Shearer (260 goals in 441 games) and Wayne Rooney (208 in 491), becoming only the third player in history to net a double hundred in the league.
Greaves — the 1966 World Cup winner with England who died in 2021 at the age of 81 — remains the all-time top goal scorer in the history of the English top flight with a total of 357 goals in 516 games for Spurs, Chelsea and West Ham combined. Only two players in history have scored more goals in the same European top-tier division: Gerd Muller (356 goals in Germany’s Bundesliga) and Lionel Messi (474 goals in Spain’s LaLiga.)
Here’s a detailed breakdown of Kane’s record-breaking run for Tottenham, along with a selection of his best strikes and landmark goals.
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Kane’s goals by competition
It stands to reason that Kane has scored more goals in the Premier League than in any other competition, given that he’s made more appearances in the top flight (304) than anywhere else during a 13-year career in which he has won the Golden Boot three times — in 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2020-21.
Kane has amassed 200 goals in the Premier League but also racked up respectable numbers across the board for Spurs with an additional 45 goals scored in European competition (Champions League, Europa League and Europa Conference League), plus a further 21 goals bagged in domestic cup competitions.
The 45 goals in 73 games that Kane has scored for Spurs in Europe is a club record in itself, and he is also the only player ever to have scored a hat trick in each of the Champions League, Europa League and the Europa Conference League.
Season by season for Tottenham
Kane has scored at least one goal for Spurs every season from his senior club debut in 2011-12 right through to the present day — with the only exception being the 2012-13 campaign, the majority of which he spent on loan at Norwich and Leicester City in between injuries.
The 29-year-old forward has scored more than 30 goals in all competitions four times in 12 seasons and has even matched Greaves’ achievement of passing the 40-goal mark on one occasion. That came in 2017-18 when Kane notched 41 goals in 48 games for Spurs in the most prolific campaign of his club career to date.
On average, Kane has a career goal-per-game rate of 0.64 for Tottenham, a touch less than Greaves at 0.70. He also averages 22.5 goals per season [not including this season’s running total], while Greaves’ average for the North London side was 29.7 goals per season.
Kane’s greatest hits
1. The first (of many)
⚽ The first of many!
🗓️ December 15 2011
🆚 Shamrock Rovers#ThrowbackThursday ⚪️ #COYS pic.twitter.com/Uj5fNsI0o9
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) April 23, 2020
You never forget your first. For Kane that came at the age of 18 during a Europa League group-stage clash against Shamrock Rovers in mid-December 2011. After scoring five goals in League One while on loan at Leyton Orient the season previous, the teenager finally got off the mark for Spurs in 2011-12 when he popped up in injury time to add the fourth goal in a routine 4-0 win and thus open his account for the club. For the record, Kane’s first Premier League goal didn’t come until April 2014 when he found the net against Sunderland during the first of three appearances he made for Spurs at the tail end of the campaign.
2. The best?
Harry Kane has scored 7️⃣ #PL goals against Crystal Palace, including this cracker 💥#TOTCRY // @SpursOfficial pic.twitter.com/Zc9pQt4DcG
— Premier League (@premierleague) December 26, 2021
Kane has certainly scored some delectable goals for Tottenham since 2011 but the best from a purely aesthetic standpoint might be this exquisite first-time, 20-yard drive against Crystal Palace in March 2021. The striker scored two goals in a comfortable 4-1 win on the day but only after fellow attacking foil Gareth Bale had kicked things off for Jose Mourinho’s side with a brace of his own.
3. Best goal in the North London derby
🔊 Get your sound 🔛 and listen to the roar of the Lane after THAT @HKane goal! 🙌 #NorthLondonDerby ⚪️ #COYS pic.twitter.com/8am8FiWdfF
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) August 30, 2019
Kane has scored 14 goals in 19 games against North London rivals Arsenal during his career and the best arguably came during the Premier League derby at White Hart Lane in March 2016. Wearing a mask to protect a broken nose, Kane picked up the ball in the corner of the pitch and proceeded to gallop inside before unleashing an unstoppable shot from a seemingly impossible angle to put Spurs 2-1 up in an exciting game that ultimately ended in a 2-2 draw.
4. Best Champions League goal
Dortmund delight! #COYS ⚪️ #UCL pic.twitter.com/sU6OCyFxEF
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) March 5, 2019
Kane has found the back of the net a total of 21 times in the Champions League and was the fastest player to reach the 20-goal milestone in the competition (in just 24 games) before Erling Haaland came along to seize the record (14 games) in March 2021. All but two of Kane’s 21 Champions League goals have come in the group stage. The latest stage of the competition at which he scored is the round of 16, finding the net against Juventus (2017-18) and Borussia Dortmund (2018-19). Dortmund were also on the receiving end of what is probably Kane’s finest Champions League effort in the 2017-18 group stage — a powerful solo attack that began wide on the touchline and ended in a fierce shot being rocketed into the top corner with what is supposedly his weaker left foot to wrap up a 3-1 victory.
5. Goal No. 100
🗓️ #OnThisDay in 2017, @HKane joined the 💯 club!#THFC ⚪ #COYS pic.twitter.com/O8XSxLfZTV
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) September 9, 2019
Kane brought up his century for Spurs with a speculative strike against Everton as part of a straightforward 3-0 win back in September 2017. While it’s certainly debatable whether or not he actually meant to whack his lofted shot straight over Jordan Pickford from way out on the right flank, it can’t be denied that the goal signalled an incredibly important career milestone for the Spurs striker. That milestone goal against the Toffees is tied as the lowest xG ever recorded for a Kane goal, such was the low (.01, i.e. 1 in 10) possibility of the chance being converted.
6. Goal No. 200
✌️💯 @HKane‘s 200th goal for Spurs 🔥#THFC ⚪️ #COYS pic.twitter.com/HsiX5gq6Sc
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) November 9, 2020
Three years after scoring his 100th goal for Spurs, Kane reached the 200 mark with a goal against Ludogorets in the Europa League in November 2020. On just his 300th appearance for the club, the striker reached his double century (becoming only the third Spurs player ever to do so alongside Greaves and Bobby Smith) with a simple header from a corner in a 3-1 victory over the Bulgarian opposition.
7. Longest-range goal
🎞️ Rápido y furioso: Reto hat-trick
👤 Harry Kane
🆚 Stoke City
¡El día que el 🔟 nos regaló ⚽️⚽️⚽️ goles en 23′! pic.twitter.com/0y64utTsjC
— Tottenham Hotspur (@Spurs_ES) December 22, 2020
While Kane is not exactly renowned for his long-range thunderbolts — only 11% of his goals for Tottenham have come from outside the area — the striker has certainly scored a fair selection from beyond the edge of the box. Indeed, his longest ever goal for Tottenham was put away from 31 metres, though it took a heavily deflected free kick against Stoke City in February 2017 to do so — the third goal of a hat trick in a 4-0 victory for Spurs. Kane did register a monumental 47.9-metre goal against Juventus in the International Champions Cup back in July 2019 but alas it doesn’t count towards his official record at Tottenham as it was scored during what was effectively a preseason exhibition game.
Assisting as well as scoring
🅰️ 𝗞𝗔𝗡𝗘’𝗦 𝟭𝟰 𝗔𝗦𝗦𝗜𝗦𝗧𝗦 🅰️
Every assist from the 2020/21 Playmaker Award winner.#THFC ⚪️ #COYS pic.twitter.com/lnz0q9yAjg
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) May 25, 2021
As well as his formidable goal record over the past decade or so, Kane can also claim to have been one of the most creative Tottenham players in the same timespan by evolving from a No. 9 striker into an effective assist-maker over the years, capable of sparking attacks with his accurate passing and cerebral link-up play.
He has totalled 58 assists for Spurs since 2011-12, with 44 of those coming in the Premier League. His most creative season coming in 2020-21 when he laid on 17 goals for his teammates as well as scoring 33 goals himself — taking his goal involvement stat to an impressive 50 — that’s a whopping 41.3% of the total goals scored by Spurs in all competitions that campaign (121 goals.)
Indeed, the 14 assists which Kane produced during the 2020-21 Premier League campaign was enough to earn him the Playmaker of the Season award ahead of Kevin De Bruyne (12 assists), Bruno Fernandes (12) and even teammate and strike partner Son Heung-Min (10). Incredibly, he also won his third Golden Boot as the Premier League’s top scorer that same season, with 23 goals in the competition.
From the spot
Having assumed penalty duties for Spurs in 2014-15, Kane has gone on to convert from the spot at least twice in every single season since, including three already in 2022-23.
The striker has scored 39 penalties in total (compared to 228 non-penalty goals) with his most prolific campaigns coming in 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2020-21, during which he scored six times from the spot in all competitions.