White Hart Lane: Tottenham Include ‘Air Rifle Bullet Dent’ In New Golden Cockerel Originally Caused By Paul Gascoigne In 1988 (Photos)

Chris Wright

25th, March 2019


Embed from Getty Images

J’Neil Lloyd-Bennett. Remember that name, for it might just come in handy at future pub quizzes – particularly ones local to north east London.

The 17-year-old striker was the scorer of the first ever goal at Tottenham’s new stadium after Spurs Under-18s took on Southampton on Sunday afternoon in a test event – the first ever full match to be held at the New White Hart Lane* (*name pending).

Spurs’ younglings won 3-1 amid the 62,000-seater splendour of the club’s luxurious new lodgings, which is now – finally – due to host it’s first Premier League encounter when Crystal Palace come a-calling on 3rd April.

While alas it would seem that the VIP cheese-sampling suite was little more than a fever dream, The Lane 2.0 is positively dripping with ultra-modern fixtures and fittings. As well as being entirely cashless, the stadium offers fresh-cooked food throughout and bars are fitting with ultra-convenient five-second pint pulling technology.

From Thai noodles to craft ales to glass-walled dining suites with views of the tunnel, Spurs are hoping to usher in a brave new dawn of matchgoing experience.

Embed from Getty Images

However, it should also be noted that the club have included more than a few nods to their proud past, with one of the smallest details impressing Pies the most.

Indeed, the golden cockerel that has sat atop Spurs stadium for decades has been updated for 2019, but in the most sympathetic manner possible.

This from Guardian writer David Hytner:

The golden cockerel that now perches above the 17,500, single-tier South Stand [is] the venue’s showstopper.

The cockerel used to occupy a position at the top of White Hart Lane but it has been recast, enlarged with the help of 3D imaging.

It even features an air rifle bullet dent to reflect the one that Paul Gascoigne notoriously fired into the original.


The popular prevailing myth was that the damage to Spurs’ famous bird had been inflicted during the bombing raids on London during World War II.

In fact, as confirmed by Spurs’ historian John Fennelly in an interview with the club website last year, the dent was actually made when the statuette was removed for maintenance in 1988, only to be stumbled upon by a rifle-toting Gazza.

The Cockerel was falling apart. It was dented and in pretty poor condition.

The story was the dents had been caused in the Blitz. But the truth was the damage was done by Gazza — with an air rifle!

He tried to deny it but he’d been spotted.

The dent can actually been seen in the photo below, taken of the original cockerel above White Hart Lane in 2017…

Embed from Getty Images

Posted in Tottenham Hotspur

Share this article: Email


  1. Dildo says:

    Why do people in England rate Gascoigne so highy? He has never even played for a big club. I see him as drunk, less constant version of Matt Le Tissier.

    • Chris Wright says:

      Creative, aggressive, skilful, imaginative, spontaneous, unpredictable, wild – everything that English midfielders are, or at least were not.

      He was brilliant (if flawed) and a cut above Le Tissier in their respective pomps, much as I love Le Tiss.

      Also, not sure what you’re classing as a ‘big club’ but Newcastle, Tottenham, Lazio and Rangers are hardly minnows.

  2. Dildo says:

    And this stadium looks like the Etihad mixed with the Emirates.

    • Geraldo says:

      I can see the similarities. But surely with fewer empty seats on display and more atmosphere than a library…

Leave a Reply to Dildo