The demolition of White Hart Lane after the 2016-17 season was poignant and sad, but perhaps the moment that truly brought home the fact that Spurs were tearing down their beloved old ground came when workers removed the golden cockerel from atop the roof. The golden bird was treated with all due reverence and was moved to the tunnel at Wembley Stadium last season.
Last night, a photo leaked on Twitter that seemed to suggest that there are plans to return the cockerel to Spurs’ new stadium, to great excitement from Spurs fans online.
This morning, the club confirmed it: the cockerel is coming home and will be featured on top of the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium when it opens to the public, hopefully later this year.
The club confirmed that the cockerel will be placed on the roof above the new single tier South Stand. Photos of the stadium suggest that there’s a platform of some kind on the stadium roof that would make an excellent roosting spot for a large, golden bird.
One point of clarification — that is most certainly NOT the cockerel that sat atop White Hart Lane — it appears to be significantly bigger, which makes sense considering the size of the stadium. The one atop the Lane was approximately man-sized, based on photos from the Wembley season, and it would look tiny on a stadium the size of Spurs’ new ground. The White Hart Lane cockerel was also a replica — the 1909 original was taken down and replaced with a replica; it is now housed in a place of honor in Lilywhite House.
However, the club also confirmed the new cockerel was specifically designed to exactly model the original bird, complete with a dent, noticeable in the leaked tweet, in the ball made by Paul Gascoigne in the 1980s with an air rifle. No worries, then, that the old bird is getting a modern makeover.
It may be a new stadium, but Spurs are taking great pains to tie the new ground to the club’s long history, with numerous details such as the flooring being made with crushed aggregate from the Lane. A new golden cockerel proudly sitting atop the stadium is the pièce de résistance — many fans couldn’t imagine a Tottenham Hotspur stadium without a cockerel watching over them from above. Now they won’t have to.