FOOTBALL fever has well and truly arrived with England just three days away from kicking off their World Cup campaign.

Harry Kane will lead the Three Lions out against Tunisia in Volgograd.

And one Billericay Town defender has been remembering his own experiences of sharing a pitch with the England captain.

Joe Kizzi played in the same youth team as Tottenham Hotspur forward Kane, with both turning out for north-east London outfit Ridgeway Rovers.

The 24-year-old Billericay man played for Rovers when he was just 10, with Kane - who was on Arsenal’s books at the time - often leading the line for the young team.

And Kizzi laughed that the pair’s journeys in football have taken different paths.

“He has done alright for himself I suppose,” said Kizzi, who joined Billericay from Wingate & Finchley.

“I played for Ridgeway Rovers when we were young and Harry was playing for them as well. I think he was at Arsenal at the time and he came in and played for us now and again.

“I remember on one occasion the team went to Selsey on tour. The manager knew what he was like and he started him on the bench and he was a great outlet for us.

“If we were a goal or two down he came on and more often than not he scored us a goal. It must have worked for us as we ended up winning that tournament.

“So I suppose that is my little claim to fame. I have some old videos from presentation nights and I am standing next to him in a few pictures but it is safe to say our paths in football have gone quite differently since then.”

Kane is not the only professional footballer to have cut his teeth at Ridgeway Rovers.

Other notable graduates include Crystal Palace winger Andros Townsend and former England captain David Beckham.

And Kizzi added he was unsurprised to see Kane crack the big time. The striker has now scored more than 100 Premier League goals for Spurs and recently signed a new contract that will see him earn an estimated £200,000 a week.

“At that age children just want to play football,” said Kizzi. “He went off and did his thing and you could tell he was a talented boy.

“Good on him for doing so well.”

Kizzi will be cheering on England come Monday evening and he says he is approaching the tournament with renewed optimism, although he is unsure whether the Three Lions can emerge victorious in Russia.

“You go through a pessimistic phase with England but when it arrives World Cup fever takes hold,” he said.

“The squad does not hold up against previous years but I don’t think you need a team of stars to win. If we can get further than the quarter-finals that will be progress.

“We have looked good in the warm-up matches and have played a more exciting brand of football. It looks more organised with three at the back and I am looking forward to it.

“But if I have to choose a winner I can’t look further than Brazil.”

But Kizzi hopes his old team-mate will be able to change his mind in the month ahead.