The supporters club I’m part of has a Facebook page where we keep each other updated on team-related news. Sometimes, it’s whether we need to relocate to the Chelsea bar (ugh) for the super early match because our bar staff didn’t show up to open for us. Sometimes, it’s videos of fans spontaneously deciding, despite being down four goals to Liverpool, to cheer like Spurs scored a goal (which they did not). Sometimes, it’s lost posters for a certain Argentinian striker. Sometimes, it’s wild speculation that I feel the need to correct. Because, as you may have noticed, I cannot abide poor research.
In this case, it’s the source of the cockerel (or, as Spurs fans are wont to call it, “the cock on a ball”) that makes up the Tottenham crest. One of the members of the club posted about the possibility that the crest had arisen from the fact that White Hart Lane was built on what used to be a farm.
It literally took me 20 seconds to find the actual information. Twenty. Seconds.
According to Ken Ferris’ book, Football: Terms and Teams, the cockerel has been part of Spurs since the 1901 FA Cup final. The cock and ball* first appeared in 1909 when a former player cast a copper statue to place in the West Stand at White Hart Lane. The spurs on the cockerel are related to the late medieval nobleman Harry Hotspur’s riding spurs.** And also, you know, because fighting cocks wear spurs. As I’m sure you can guess, Tottenham Hotspur take their name from our friend Harry, who had ties to North London.
*That just never gets old…I sometimes have the sense of humour of a 12-year-old boy.
**That’s late medieval, not late, medieval, though that’s also accurate. Obviously.