The story of the Liverpool FC crest

The crest of Liverpool Football Club is known worldwide. One may wonder how it came into existence and developed through time to become what it is today. One of the club's followers, who calls himself "Ajjam" has studied the history of the crest and agreed to share it with us.

The animated club crest is based on a small plastic plaque that I have had since I was a boy in the 1970s. The crest itself is an early version of our club crest used between 1970-1992, a crest that had many variations during that period.

I still possess the plaque which is a cheap and a worn piece of plastic, yet it is also to me a priceless, sentimental piece of personal history. It is a version of our club crest that was used from around 1970 until our centenary in 1992. I have never seen a version of our club crest of the time that exactly matched this plaque, so it was a little bit of a mystery as to how “official” it was. My search into this matter would provide me with one surprising discovery that would bring a smile to my face. More on that later on...

on a pedestal or perch of some sort. Now here‟s the thing: this crest does not appear on our team shirts until post WWII.This is the first crest that appeared on our team shirts: a Liver bird. So what did the original crest look like and how many were there before the 1950s? Was it . in an “elegant” shield. You can also see the crest on this team pic from the 1953-1954 season. Here it is on the white away shirt from the FA Cup Final runners-up 1949-1950 season on display in the Anfield museum.

and is essential to our crest's history. They hold banners with the cormorant and a ship. stamps or seals.floated on the old staff. the following text and image are taken from The Heraldry of the World web site: "The arms were granted in 1797 and show a cormorant with a piece of seaweed in its beak. The Liver bird is a subject in itself. The supporters are a Triton and Neptune. What use was there for the Liverpool club crest before it started to appear on our team shirts? Was it used on official documents. The broom. The cormorant also appears on the crest. and is used widely in the city. "A new man .A. the God of the sea. is based upon the city's coat of arms where the Liverbird is prominent. He needed a new port to ship his troops to Ireland and to control the Irish Sea. The seal showed the eagle of St John holding a sprig of broom in its beak. To keep that brief. A Liverpool crest of some kind is first mentioned by reported Field Sport on 19 September 1892 in Liverpool's inaugural season.“ The club crest. L. The cormorant is often referred to as the Liver Bird. The arms shows the importance of the sea to the city of Liverpool. as you may very well know. The new town adopted King John's seal as its own. bearing the letters. Right proudly did it wave over the field of battle and seemed to beam on its patrons with a hopeful smile.F. if anything? Was there any merchandise or official club clothing with it on? I wanted to fill that 50-year gap in my – or our – knowledge.beg pardon.simple or elaborate? Was it in a shield of some sort or on its own? Did it look like the one used by Liverpool Council? (which has recently changed to a simpler style). or planta genista was the symbol of the . a flag . surmounted with the liver. Liverpool was founded in 1207 by King John. pennants.

" Other translations I have seen of the motto DEUS NOBIS HÆC OTIA FECIT is "God has given us this tranquility" or "God hath granted us this ease. a more familiar bird in the area. is a eulogy of the idyllic country life. Above could be the first club crest. It is likely that the artist mistook the eagle for a cormorant. In 1644 the seal was lost and a new seal was made. and is taken from Virgil. For some strange reason the eagle was replaced by a cormorant. in context. This is an image of a medal that was given to Tom Robertson when he won the League title with Liverpool in 1901. .royal house of the Plantagenets. The motto can be translated as "God has bestowed these blessings on us"." It's apparently taken from Virgil's epilogue (Epilogue 1. The cormorant became later known as a mythical liver bird. The piece of broom was replaced by a piece of seaweed.6) and.

and was more like a big shirt. how would the words "Winners of the English Cup 1922-23" fit? Very well. the tale of which was told and and the "tail" shredded.The Liver bird is at the forefront on Liverpool's banner from the 1921-1922 championship season: Text with picture: "To-day we are able to give an exclusive picture of the Liverpool Football Club's new flag. There is quite a prospect that the flag will have to be brought down and another honour added to it as the result of this season's work. The new flag tells the world at large that Liverpool were champions last season and on two other occasions. In between the three. we think." . The old one has become torn and tetered in the exigencies of the service.

seems also to have been when the club crest first changed. What I have found out is that it appears to have been a reluctant change. The club crest became something other than the city's crest. from 19391946." The board felt that the club could do more for the city by wearing the Coat of Arms in games in England and abroad. with a life and development very much of its own. I glean this from the fact that. but I have not been able to pin down exactly when. It seems that the City Council either refused to give continued permission for the city‟s crest to be used or perhaps permission may have never been given in the first place. Shirt crests . as until 1992 they differed from each other. I have differentiated between the crests worn on the shirts form those appearing on merchandise. The Liverpool Echo reported that Liverpool City Council had turned down a request from Liverpool FC to use the city's Coat of Arms as its club crest. The Club directors were reported to be "surprised and disappointed" at not being allowed to follow the likes of Newcastle United (amongst others). The „break‟ that WWII imposed upon the official league programme of fixtures. Below is a timeline displaying how the club crest evolved after WWII. on 13 December 1961. such as tickets and programmes.Above is a club crest used on cover of Liverpool FC's programmes from September 1935 in the first season after Everton and Liverpool stopped sharing the programme. It was turned down by the "Finance and General Purposes Committee" before the decision was confirmed at a full Council meeting. who wore the "coat of arms of their municipality.

Depictions of the subsequent crest. in some regard or other. suggesting it was 'the one' (see the text under the crest at the bottom of the letter. . appears on slightly later documents as a Registered Trade Mark.c1950 c1955 c1969 1976 1987 1992 1993 1999 Merchandise crests c1947 1970 1992 1993 1999 The 1947 merchandise crest reminds one of a certain club crest that might make you want to spit. below). overlapping each other's usage. During the 1970s in particular. varied considerably. One particular depiction of the crest though. found on club tickets as early as the 1972-73 season. differing versions appeared on official tickets. but it appears to have been our official club crest on programmes and documents until 1970 although it was still used by the club. documents and programs. used from 1970 until 1992. One isolated use of it after that date was on the cover on the 1981 European Cup Final programme. until 1974.

should cover any and all such used. The pleasant surprise for me was which one. When checking the current state of words and images that are registered as Trade Marks by the club. as the variations of the crest were all slight enough so that they could be described and therefore considered as 'the same' crest. they would have been protected under that same Trade Mark Registration. and indeed they still have one of the variety of club crests used between 1970-92 registered. they were all official. which as I say. It was not the one that was so prevalent and appeared on official documents. but the exact same crest as depicted on my old plastic plaque! Check it out for yourself: go to the IPO site and look for the Trade Mark under reference 1099121. . nor any of the ones that appeared on club programmes. I was not too surprised with what the club has currently registered (which you can check for yourself through the Intellectual Property Office web site).However. it was OK. This would perhaps partly explain the apparent 'laissez faire' attitude of the club towards the various crest depictions that appeared and their inconsistent and over-lapping usage: So long as it was close enough to that design. I received my pleasant little surprise. In other words.

It is likely. as whilst it should cover the various ones used. Examples of crests used from 1970-1978 (left). with regard to “retro” style clothing and other merchandise. such as replica kits with this crest on. that this was merely the last one of several Registered Trade Mark images in the 1970s. although old records no longer exist to confirm this. 1971-1979 and 1979 -1984 (right) . the last one remaining registered by the club was kept current in order to continue to protect its interests. from 19871992. the Club probably registered more than one version in order to be safe. The others would have been left to expire over time and when the crest changed in 1992.

An end to the apparent division between shirt and merchandise crests started to come about in 1987. This shirt crest still retains the Liver bird look that seems to have evolved over time on our shirts. and ushered in the beginning of a more co-ordinated approach in the use of our club crest. when the shirt crest (aside) was altered to match the merchandise. before the crest was changed to our current crest. probably because of the nature of embroidery. with more symbolic changes. to mark our club's centenary. When the crest was significantly altered for the 1992-93 season. . c1999. and the appearance that a stitched or embossed design on the team shirts gave. Our current Liver bird appears to have come about as a 'merger' between the printed or merchandised versions. this historic and symbol-ridden change led to a 1993 post-centenary version.

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