Published: 06:00, 14 January 2021
There was great pride at Harvey White’s old youth club after the midfielder made his full debut for Tottenham.
White played 90 minutes as Jose Mourinho’s side won 5-0 at Marine in the FA Cup third round on Sunday.
The 19-year-old, who was born in Maidstone, justified Mourinho’s faith with a composed performance, showing the qualities he demonstrated as a kid at Cuxton 91.
White started out with Cuxton, aged six, and the grounded teenager still watches their first team today when he can.
He played a year up in the same team as Harry Earley, whose dad Mark worked as coach under manager Trevor Hayes.
“The Medway Messenger Youth League didn’t have an under-7s division at the time so we got the boys together and played up a year as under-8s,” recalled Earley, a Spurs fan.
“You could see at this point Harvey was a special kind of player but he was very much a team player.
“He was a mature player from a young age, always happy to be involved with the team. It was never about him.
“We didn’t keep him long before he went to Chelsea.
“Any spare weekends he’d be back with us but then Chelsea let him go and by the age of eight he was with Spurs.
“He was always a pleasure to coach and he was also a very good cricketer with Cobham and High Halstow.
“That performance for Spurs on Sunday was Harvey. He was always happy to win the ball back for the team and give it to someone else.
“It was never about Harvey, he just wanted to play football.
“If we were ever in a game and it needed someone to take control, he was able to do that, but it was never his intention, he just wanted to be around kids playing football.
“He always had that ambition to be a pro footballer but he never got big-headed about it.
“Last year I was talking to his dad and he’d had people asking for his autograph but he said, ‘Dad, I’ve not made it.’
“I don’t know what he’s going through now but he’s a very grounded person and I don’t see him as being one for parties and all that.
"He’s close to his mum and dad and he’s kept the same three or four friends down here at Cuxton and he still comes down to watch the first team.
“He’s a quiet lad if you don’t know him but the minute he sees someone he knows, he puts a smile on his face and he comes over and wants to talk.
"He’s an all-round good kid and I’m happy to see him doing so well.”