Kane eyes Shearer’s record, won’t catch Greaves and Rowley

Only one man now stands between Harry Kane and the all-time Premier League goal-scoring record after the Tottenham Hotspur striker scored his 209th top-flight goal in Saturday’s 1-0 win over Crystal Palace to go past Wayne Rooney into second place outright.

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England captain Kane, 29, is still 51 goals behind former Three Lions skipper Alan Shearer, who has occupied the top rung on the ladder for nearly two decades.

Shearer retired in 2006 having scored 260 goals in 441 Premier League games across his four-year stint at Blackburn Rovers, where he won the title in 1994-95, and decade at hometown club Newcastle United.

Shearer also claimed three Golden Boots over consecutive Premier League seasons between 1994-95 and 1996-97.

As only the second player to break the 200-goal barrier in England’s top flight since it became the Premier League in 1992-93, Rooney had come closest to toppling Shearer. But, despite becoming Manchester United‘s all-time top scorer over the course of his 13 years at Old Trafford, he was still 52 goals behind by the time he scored the final goal of his Premier League career during a swansong season with boyhood club Everton in 2017-18.

If Kane continues his career in the Premier League for another few seasons, at Spurs or elsewhere, then it would seem only a matter of time before he overtakes Shearer. But that will not put him at the summit of English league football’s goal-scoring charts — not by a long way.


Shearer’s record (283 goals)

Even if Kane matches Shearer’s Premier League record, the Spurs hero will still need to add 23 extra league goals to his tally to equal Shearer’s overall top-flight record. That is the amount of goals Shearer scored in 118 games for Southampton in the old First Division, prior to the establishment of the Premier League in 1992-93.

As such, Shearer’s overall record in the English top flight stands at 283 goals in 559 games scored between the 1987-88 and 2005-06 seasons, after which he was forced to retire through injury at the age of 35.

The bad news for Kane is that even if he manages to score the extra goals required to beat both Shearer’s Premier League and First Division totals, he will still find have a mountain to climb to become the out-and-out top goal scorer in English top-flight history.

Indeed, the final boss in Kane’s arduous quest to outscore them all comes in the form of a fellow Tottenham legend — namely the late, great Jimmy Greaves.

English top-flight record (357 goals)

While Kane may have surpassed Greaves’ long-standing record goal tally for Spurs (266 goals in 379 games in all competitions) to become the club’s all-time top scorer in February, the 29-year-old still has some way to go if he wishes to break Greaves’ astounding record in English football as a whole.

Renowned as one of England’s greatest natural goal scorers, Greaves scored 357 goals in 516 leagues games during stints with London trio Chelsea, Spurs and West Ham United between 1957 and 1971 — more than any other player in the history of English top-flight football.

To spare you the mental arithmetic, Kane needs to stick away 148 more league goals to draw level with Greaves in that regard which is some feat, even for him.

English football league record (434 goals)

Even if Kane somehow beats Greaves all over again, he’ll no doubt be horrified to learn that he still won’t be the man with the most league goals scored in English football outright — and worse still, it’s not even close.

Tacking on the smattering of league goals Kane notched during his formative years on loan at Leyton Orient (five), Millwall (seven), Norwich City (zero) and Leicester City (two), the Spurs striker can “only” boast a current overall total of 223 goals scored in English league football matches.

That leaves him a whopping 211 goals shy of the ultimate English football league record held by Arthur Rowley, who scored 434 goals in 619 games for West Bromwich Albion (four goals), Fulham (27), Leicester (251) and Shrewsbury Town (152) during an absurdly prolific career between 1946 and 1965 played in the top three divisions.

The powerful inside-forward finished his playing career holding records for the most league goals scored in a single season at both Leicester (44 goals in 1956-57) and Shrewsbury (38 goals in 1958-59) before eventually moving into management, first with the Shrews and later at Sheffield United.

With Kane on 223 league goals, the Spurs star needs to score almost as many again between now and the end of his career to beat Rowley’s record. Over to you, Harry.