Liverpool Football Club are one of the most successful teams in English and European football history, and the club not only has massive support in England but also around the world, the club probably has many millions of fans. Liverpool were founded in 1892 and have won 18 League titles, seven FA Cups and famously, they are five times winners of the European Cup and Champions League, combined.
The club badge or crest, is the epitome of this famous club, and the badge on their shirt is often kissed by the players when celebrating a goal or a victory, as a sign of loyalty and love for the club. The badge has changed considerably since the formation of the club well over a hundred years ago, but today’s crest has much significance about the history and tradition of this famous football club.
The club badge is predominantly based on the city’s famous Liver Bird, which has represented the city for many centuries. The mythical bird, which many believe to have been derived from a cormorant, can be seen on the top of the clock towers on the Royal Liver Building, where two famous Liver birds sculptures dominate the building and overlook the River Mersey, and they date back to 1911. Many modern myths have evolved regarding the origin of the Liver bird, but it is widely accepted that they watch over and protect the people of Liverpool and myth dictates that should they ever leave, the river Mersey would burst its banks and flood the city.
The Liver bird dominates the centre of the Liverpool badge, which is placed inside a shield. The image of the Liver bird on the badge has a short head and curved beak, which is more usually associated with a bird of prey rather than a cormorant, but it retains the sprig of laver, a type of seaweed, in its mouth.
In 2008, Liverpool FC attempted to claim copyright for the Liver bird image, but they failed in their attempt as it was deemed that the Liver bird belonged to all the people of Liverpool and not one company or organisation. The Liver bird image is also used by several other organisations.
Above the shield is a representation of the famous Shankly Gates, which were erected outside the Anfield Stadium in 1982, as a tribute to Liverpool’s former and most famous manager Bill Shankly, who had led Liverpool from Second Division mediocrity, to win three League titles, two FA Cups and the UEFA Cup. Bill Shankly is regarded by most fans as the greatest Liverpool manager, by the way he transformed the club.
Across the top of the Shankly Gates, and portrayed in the badge, are the words You’ll Never Walk Alone, which is the title of the song by Gerry and the Pacemakers that has been adopted by Liverpool fans as the club’s anthem, this again stems during Shankly’s time as manager, and is still sung reverently by Liverpool fans today.
The twin flames either side of the shield are symbolic of the Hillsborough memorial outside Anfield, where an eternal flame burns in memory of the 96 Liverpool fans who tragically died in the Hillsborough disaster of 1989, when the fans were crushed due to overcrowding during Liverpool’s FA Cup semi final against Nottingham Forest, 766 fans were also injured in the disaster.
The date of the formation of the club is clearly displayed below the shield, and while the club crest has changed a number of times over the years, it symbolises some of the most important events in the history of the club, the badge is worn with honour and pride by both players and fans alike.