[print_link] | Subscribe: Main Listening ReportOur Main Listening Report takes a look at the football crests of the English teams featured in this week’s predictions. Football and football teams are steeped in history and rooted in the communities in which they are based. The shirt and kit colours are worn by the fans and the crest or the badge is a symbol of the team’s history and identity, so today we have a look at the badges worn by some of the teams we feature this week.
The symbol worn, usually on the left hand side of the shirt is known as a club crest or badge, and more recently as a logo. However, most football fans would think that ‘logo’ is a modern term and perhaps a colder more money-conscious meaning. One phrase in football that is often heard is ‘kissing the badge’. This is when a player scores and then pulls the badge up and kisses it: it is seen as a sign of allegiance to the club, but can be devalued when players do it at several different clubs. Either way, it annoys the opposing fans.
Their badge has Rupert’s Tower in the centre and two laurel wreaths, which symbolise victory, either side. Rupert’s Tower is a landmark near the ground, and historically it was used as a prison to keep drunks and criminals. Interestingly, the club is planning to redesign the crest for next year and drop the laurel wreaths.
Liverpool FC’s crest is the Liver Bird, which has been a symbol of the city of Liverpool for several hundred years. The bird is a cormorant, a sea and river bird, which can be found on the River Mersey which runs past the city. The symbol is also found on the Royal Liver Building, which stands by the river.
Arsenal’s nickname is the Gunners and that comes from the symbol of a cannon, a large gun, on their badge. Originally, Arsenal were based south of the river Thames in London at Woolwich. This area was (and still is) associated with the army and a store of guns and ammunition, called an arsenal. In 1913, the club moved to north London, a fact which still annoys many Tottenham fans, who see their club as the original north London side.
The Southampton crest is a complicated collection of images. At the top is a halo, which represents the nickname, The Saints. Under this is a football. In the main part of the badge is an Oak tree, symbolising the New Forest near the city, waves to show that the sea and water is important to this coastal town. Finally, there is a white rose, which is also part of the city’s coat of arms. The original badge was a lot simpler and featured two red roses and one white.
This club’s modern badge was redesigned significantly in the 1970s. It has an eagle, which is a symbol of the city of Manchester, a shield with a ship, a symbol of the Manchester Ship canal, and three stripes, which represent the three rivers running though the city. There are also three golden stars, which have no meaning. Usually clubs add stars to their crests to indicate some major achievement but this is not the case with Manchester City.
This has to be one of my favourites, even though I’m not Spurs fan. The modern badge is almost identical to the original badge worn in the early 20th century – a cockerel standing on an old-style football. The nickname of Tottenham Hotspurs, ‘Spurs’, refers to the metal knives that were tied to fighting cockerels legs. The spurs can still be seen in the badge today.
crest: badge, symbol
be steeped in history: have a lot of history
allegiance: loyalty; love for
drop: stop; end; also, in football, to not include a player in the first team
cannon: a large gun; an artillery piece
coat of arms: symbol usually representing a town or city
cockerel: a male chicken, often used in the past for cock fighting
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