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SPOTY Betting: Back Prince Harry for a place on the Podium

Will the Spurs support get behind Harry Kane?
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Spurs and England striker Harry Kane was a surprise name on the BBC's shortlist when it was named yesterday. Ralph Ellis thinks he may do better still.

"You don’t have to be a Tottenham man to admire Kane. England fans love him and the application with which he’s made himself the Golden Boot winner for two years in a row must resonate with any football person."

It's hard not to like Harry. That slightly boyish grin, the quiet but mature way he deals with the media. When like yesterday he's at the centre of a big announcement, why wouldn't you wish him well?

No, not Prince Harry. Although of course we send good thoughts to him and his new bride-to-be Meghan Markle. I'm talking about Tottenham's Prince Harry, Mr Kane, or King Harry as the Spurs fans would probably prefer him to be known.

He was named as one of the 12 on the shortlist for this year's BBC Sports Personality of the Year and I'm wondering if he might be this year's best bet to sneak from nowhere into the top three.

The market is settling right now but there are three obvious favourites who can be backed at a shorter price than Kane - Anthony Joshua [1.04], Lewis Hamilton [1.57] and Chris Froome [1.85].

But 1.3 million Twitter followers of his own, plus 2.53 million who follow Spurs, add up to a pretty huge body of potential voters.

It's eight years now since Manchester United fans all got together to vote in Ryan Giggs ahead of F1 champion Jenson Button and world heptathlon winner Jessica Ennis. But the power of a big fan base remains crucial in picking long price bets in this particular market.

You don't have to be a Tottenham man to admire Kane. England fans love him and the application with which he's made himself the Golden Boot winner for two years in a row must resonate with any football person. Even Arsenal supporters - Sir Mo included - would probably grudgingly admit how well he's done.

In 2017 he's been consistent throughout the year. His goal against West Brom last weekend was his 40th for his club since January 1st, and he's hit seven for England in the World Cup qualifying campaign too.

Between now and the SPOTY show on December 17 he has SIX more chances to add to that haul, starting tonight at Leicester and ending - intriguingly - with a trip to Manchester City the day before the BBC ceremony.

Get a couple there to change the dynamic of the Premier League title race and that might well provoke a campaign of Spurs fans to push him onto the podium.

Last year I backed Nick Skelton to finish third based on how I thought the public votes would go and it remains the biggest factor to bear in mind.

It's why I still think Anthony Joshua at [1.35] has to be laid for the big prize. For all the excitement of his spectacular win over Wladimir Klitschko, it happened back in April. Will just one defence against a late stand-in really have captured the imagination of anybody other than boxing fans?

When like us you follow all sports, it's easy to imagine that Joshua is a household name, but I apply a simple test: "Has my mother-in-law heard of him?". The answer when I asked her was a resounding "Who?".

She had heard of Hamilton [9.4], though, who is a huge contender because F1 fans have a track record of voting. They took him to the award in 2014 when Rory McIlroy was as big a favourite as Joshua is this year. And she knows who Chris Froome [16.0] is.

She had also, believe it or not, heard of Harry Kane. And no she wasn't confused with Prince Harry, either.

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