SunSport tracks down goalkeeper who conceded Harry Kane’s first-ever Spurs goal – who has his own amazing story

    IF you have no idea who the goalkeeper was who conceded Harry Kane’s first Tottenham goal, don’t worry, he won’t be offended.

    In fact, the self-proclaimed “nobody” would actually quite enjoy leaving most football fans stumped by the pub-quiz question.

    Harry Kane matched Jimmy Greaves' record of 266 Spurs goals v Fulham


    Harry Kane matched Jimmy Greaves’ record of 266 Spurs goals v FulhamCredit: Getty

    The answer is Richard Brush, a Birmingham-born stopper who has spent the majority of his 22-year career playing in Ireland.

    He was between the sticks for Shamrock Rovers when a fresh-faced Kane came off the bench for Spurs in the Europa League in December 2011 and completed a 4-0 rout with what would become a typically-clinical finish.

    Two hundred and 65 goals later and Kane is one away from breaking Jimmy Greaves’ long-held record for the club.

    The England captain matched Greaves’ haul of 266 by hitting the winner in Monday night’s 1-0 win at Fulham.

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    SunSport tracked down the refreshingly self-deprecating Brush, who is into his fourth spell at Sligo Rovers aged 38 and fully aware that his claim to fame is playing a tiny part in the England captain’s story.

    The former Shrewsbury goalie said: “It is sort of a badge of honour and is definitely the highlight of my whole career since I left school and joined Coventry at 16, to have someone score against me that turned out to be Harry Kane.

    “It’s quite a sad indictment of my career and the way it’s gone!”

    The goal itself showed what a natural-born finisher Kane is. 

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    Danny Rose swung a cross into the far post, Andros Townsend nodded it down and there was Kane to bury it from six yards, giving Brush no chance.

    Yet the goalkeeper said: “I wish it had been a worldie where he had bent it into the top corner but it wasn’t. 

    “Given all the goals he’s scored, the competitions he’s scored in and the teams he’s scored against, for his first one to be against a nobody, it’s a bit of a fun fact.

    Richard Brush conceded Harry Kane's first-ever goal for Tottenham


    Richard Brush conceded Harry Kane’s first-ever goal for Tottenham

    “People will be racking their brains to remember the team it was against and it might be the last on their mind that it was Richard Brush, a Birmingham lad playing in the Irish leagues.

    “It will probably be an impossible question for most football fans!”

    Kane has gone on to have one of the great careers in the modern game, becoming a multi-millionaire in the process.

    Brush’s has been very different, toiling away in Ireland where the average wages are around £1,000 a week on one-year contracts, and even going part-time for half a decade where he supplemented his income by working in residential social care.

    Birmingham-born Brush has spent most of his career in Ireland


    Birmingham-born Brush has spent most of his career in Ireland

    He also has one of the most amazing comeback stories you are likely to hear in football.

    Back in November 2018, Brush was driving the two-and-a-half hour journey home after a game for Cliftonville in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

    He suddenly felt what he describes as “wooziness” at about 11.45pm.

    He tried to drink from his water bottle, but the liquid just ran out of his mouth. Then when he attempted to pull over, he was unable to push the clutch with his left foot or move his left arm when attempting to put the car into neutral.

    Brush with Carlo Cudicini for the return leg of Shamrock v Spurs


    Brush with Carlo Cudicini for the return leg of Shamrock v Spurs

    When the car eventually rolled to a stop, one look in the mirror at his face, which had dropped on the left side, confirmed the horror.

    Two weeks shy of his 34th birthday, unbelievably, he was having a stroke.

    He could not get through to his wife so he rang his manager, who at first thought his player was joking but then said help would be on its way.

    Brush called 999 but with “the Irish not understanding my accent at the best of times”, it was unclear if the message got through.

    The road was pitch-black with no cars around.

    Brush recalled: “There was a period of 20 to 30 seconds where I was starting to slump into the seat and was thinking, ‘This is it. No one is going to find me’.

    “There are no cars coming. If the gaffer doesn’t come in the next half an hour and doesn’t understand the severity of the situation, I might slip off now. The woman on the phone can’t understand a word I’m saying.

    “I haven’t dwelt on it since it happened, but there was a little moment of, pardon the expression, ‘I am f***ed here’.” 

    Luckily, a car did eventually turn up and Brush managed to flash it down. 

    The hospital later revealed he had two blood clots on his brain due to a genetic hole in heart, which was then surgically corrected. 

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    Astonishingly, he was back playing six weeks and a day later of his own volition and is still going strong just over four years later, now working as a player-coach for Sligo.

    Brush is happy to be known best for conceding the first goal against Tottenham’s soon-to-be greatest scorer – even if his own personal story is far more memorable once you learn of it.


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